By Joginder Tuteja, Bollywood Hungama News Network
- The BIG evening arrived. The evening of 26th July. The evening when Madhuri announced loud and clear, yet again, that she is THE lady when it comes to making hearts 'dhak dhak' go all over again. Worldwide. And she did that in style. Making her debut in 'Unforgettable' at Los Angeles, she made a grand entry where she arrived with a horde of dancers who graciously made way for her to take center stage. What followed from there on was sheer magic!
- It was just the sound of 'Ku Ku Ku' (from the famous 'Choli Ke Peeche' composition by Lakshmikant Pyarelal) which was good enough to send the crowds in ruptures. No, Madhuri didn't perform on this number but the one which kick started the event was 'Ek Do Teen', yet another LP composition from 'Tezaab'. With a phenomenal crowd backing behind her, she went on to do many more tracks including A.R. Rahman's 'Kay Sera Sera' (Pukar).
- However, the highlight of the evening was her pairing with Aishwarya Rai for the number 'Dola Re Dola'. Ismail Darbar's magic spellbinded a 20000 odd crowd yet again as Madhuri and Ash matched steps in perfect rhythm all over again. LA was enthralled but there was a lot more in the offering!
- Buzz is that 20000 patrons out there at the venue were actually occupying a space which was meant for 12000 people. No wonder, there were people all over including aisles. Production values at LA, rightly considered to be the 'Mecca of global entertainment', were huge and as per insiders, they were even better than what the stars had witnessed in the opening show at Toronto!
- With great sound to match, the props and lighting were great too. LCD curtains, backstage LCD screens, gizmos - all of them contributed to the LA concert matching standards as witnessed in international shows. As someone rightly pointed out backstage, it seemed as if nothing lesser than Madonna was performing LIVE!
- Talking about international standards and Madonna, audience didn't care less since they had Amitabh Bachchan amidst themselves. Though everyone from Riteish Deshmukh to Madhuri Dixit had their golden moments while audience too having all the right reasons to rejoice, the atmosphere was altogether different with Big B taking center stage. He sung his famous numbers from the 70s and 80s all over again but the moment of the event was him reprising his unforgettable trademark dance steps for the number 'Jahan Teri Yeh Nazar Hai' [Kaalia]!
- Big B taking center stage comes with a story by itself. As everyone is aware by now, he has been indisposed for last so many days. He wasn't in his best spirits till moments before his act and was wrapped in muffler and shawl. However, the moment he got into his costume and arrived in front of a roaring crowd, it was a different Amitabh Bachchan altogether. Not showing any signs of discomfort, he gave the appreciative 'junta' it's paisa vasool moments!
q - Meanwhile the 'bachcha brigade' has been in it's elements as well. Riteish is enjoying all the attention he is getting while kick starting the events and the LA concert was no different. Getting madder with every passing day, he is now used to the thunderous response his acts have been getting him. Even though the songs and the dances remain to be the same from one show to another, it is the improvisation and sheer comfort while occupying the stage which is making all the difference.
- Ditto for Preity Zinta who has been dancing away to glory with her many songs including the ones from 'Kal Ho Na Ho' [Shankar Ehsaan Loy]. Humor too is accompanying her wherever she goes since now she is being termed as a Lady Soldier. Reason? The flu has spread it's wings over the 'pretty woman' as well and at LA, she too took the stage in spite of being unwell!
- However, the man who is continuing to get more and more whacky day by day is Abhishek Bachchan. Yet another show, yet another entry from the crowds. And this time around, he also had a cradle/suspended platform (akin to what one witnesses with those who clean windows at high rises) for company as he juggled from one end of crowd area to another! He went berserk and also did the crowd, which continued to make this tour one evening to remember for all!
- While so much happened on stage, back stage drama was in full force as well. Vishal Dadlani shares an interesting anecdote. Apparently, while working on the sound design for the show, he was interacting with the Sound Engineer who belonged to LA and had earlier worked on setting the stage for international concerts. Oblivious to the stars for which he was working for this time around, he wasn't clued in to the legend called Amitabh Bachchan. This is when Vishal woke him to the fact. He gave him a simple analogy. He asked him how would he react if he worked setting up the platform for someone like Elvis Presley. All dreamy eyed, the Engineer's obvious answer was - 'Unbelievable and over the moon.' To this, Vishal replied, "Bro, today you are doing it for someone as legendary as Presley. Get your best work in place, stay tuned and do check out the response from the audience. You would have lived you dream!'
While it is obvious that the Engineer as well as thousands of fans did get to live their dream, it was another concert on another day, just in a matter of hours for the stars. As they moved out of a enthralling response in LA, it was time to board flight for San Francisco and rock the show. Again!