Since 2014, Mirchi Live in Concert has been instrumental in getting the biggest singing stars to a hall or a mall full of an eager audience. On Friday, two concerts rocked the city. While one had Mika Singh getting the crowd pumping, the other had Hans Raj Hans with his brand of folk and ghazal magic. When we hear the terms ghazal and folk, a pretty somber affair comes to mind and a five-hour concert on it doesn't seem anything less than an ordeal. But you couldn't be more wrong. The energy in the audience and on the stage would have been same as that at the Mika Singh concert.
Hans Raj Hans, a Padma Shri recipient, was performing at Shanmukhananda Hall. In his own words, this was also the place he performed for the first time. He started with a soft Sufi track and we thought this was what the rest of the concert would be like (boy, we were wrong). His next was a ghazal where he tried to match the style of the late Jagjit Singh and quite successfully so. He then moved on to his track from "Kacche Dhaage". Once he had explored the different types of music, he opened the floor to the audience and asked for their suggestions. The audience unanimously asked for the folk song "Nit Khair Manga" and sang along with him as he granted their wish. While he modified the lyrics to suit the current audience, he took a potshot at all the people who walked in late. As he finished this and asked the audience what they would like to hear next, the audience roared "Dil Tote Tote Ho Gaya". He granted their wish but not before singing "Ye Jo Sili Sili". The whole concert after that was people suggesting songs and him complying to their wishes. There never was a dull moment. The beauty of these songs was that even if you haven't heard these songs before, you will still enjoy them.
There were also a lot of anecdotes from his life between the music and his storytelling was rhythmic as well. He was also joined by the super nine-men orchestra who followed his lead and sometimes took lead in the musical extravaganza on stage. He might not be a part of the Bollywood scene right now, but his concert was one of the most intimate concerts I have attended. In spite of the crowd being in thousands, he managed to form a deep connection with each individual as he took us on a five-hour musical extravaganza. If he's performing in your town next, you should not miss it.