Concert review: Vishal & Shekhar 2017 (London)

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Date: 27th May 2017
Location: Royal Festival Hall, Southbank
Organisers: Rock On Music

Award-winning and much sought after music-director duo Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravjiani – popularly known as Vishal-Shekhar – began their UK concert weekend in London, performing at the Royal Festival Hall as part of the Alchemy Festival 2017. The evening promised to be filled with the foot-tapping and chart-topping numbers that are the pair’s compositions as well as songs that both have individually sung as playback.

A brief moment was taken at the start of the concert to remember those killed and affected by the Manchester terror attack earlier in the week. Following that, the opening act was 14-year-old Ishani, a popular YouTube talent, supported by Rock On Music. She warmed up the crowds before the main act arrived.

The duo kick-started the evening with the title track of ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’ (2008). After this, they continued with their popular tracks including Right Here, Right Now, Salaam Namaste and Dus Bahane. Ravjiani then took centre-stage, with his melodica instrument. He sang a heartfelt rendition of his song Zehnaseeb which was then followed by snippets of some golden oldies which got the audiences singing along. The popular tracks in the list included Churaliya, Lag Jaa Gale and Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai.

Aankhon Mein Teri was the song that the second half commenced with, with Dadlani returning to the stage once more. He then went solo with his own much-loved tracks such as Jee Le Zara, Malhari and Dhan Te Nan. All of these had the crowds up on their feet, as it was virtually impossible to have bums on seats with the energy Dadlani was performing with.

Ravjiani eventually came back on stage when Dadlani began to sing the ever popular Nashe Si Chadh Gayi from ‘Befikre’ (2016), which is now the most viewed Bollywood track on YouTube. You’d think it wasn’t possible but the energy levels rose with the duo performing to the ‘Befikre’ title track, Chammak Challo and Baby Ko Bass Pasand Hai. The evening then ended with Deewanagi Deewanagi from 2007’s ‘Om Shanti Om’.

If standout moments need to be talked about then Dadlani’s jump into the audiences when singing Selfie Le Le Re and also during the finale track as well as Ravjiani’s golden oldie melody can’t be ignored. They provided suitably enthralling as well as heart-touching moments to take away and cherish.

It has to be said that the concert was most definitely paisa vasool, and not just because the duo were on stage most of the way through, not relying on a supporting artiste at any point. The excitement and pure adrenaline rush of seeing Vishal-Shekhar perform live is something that perhaps can’t be explained properly to anyone who hasn’t witnessed it before. It’s something that just needs to be lived.

To those who will be missing this extravaganza this year, no doubt this duo will be returning for an encore sometime soon, if audience reactions are anything to go by. If you were in any way unsure this time, make sure you get your tickets well in advance next time because a Vishal-Shekhar concert, and that too on UK soil, is something that definitely shouldn’t be missed.

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