When you are asked to review an artist’s show for the third time, you wonder what new things can you talk about. But if it is Sonu Nigam and you are promised ‘a rollercoaster ride’, you know you’ll come out of it with a head reeling with excitement.
On Friday night at the Dubai Tennis Stadium, with the Klose To My Soul show organised by Oberoi Middle East — an offshoot of last year’s sold out Klose to My Heart at the same venue — the Indian National Award-winning Bollywood singer took the audience on a ‘soulful’ journey with his rocking tribute to his country’s singing legends and only a few of his own Bollywood numbers.
The evening was opened by Canadian singer Jonita Gandhi, who broke into Bollywood with Chennai Express last year. Gandhi alternated with Nigam’s younger sister Teesha, who sang the title song of Singh Sahab The Great (2013), singing Asha Bhosle hits Aao Huzoor Tumko (Kismat, 1968), Aaiye Meherbaan (Howrah Bridge, 1958), Raat Akeli Hai (Jewel Thief, 1967) and O Mere Sona Re (Teesri Manzil, 1966). Needless to say the girls wowed the crowd and have a bright future in the Indian film industry.
I was expecting Gandhi and Teesha to continue for another quarter of an hour but 15 minutes into the show, the star was on the stage, launching straight into Taron Mein Sajke Apne Suraj Se Milne, a forgotten song — must remember to update my collection — sung by Mukesh in the film Jal Bin Machchli Nritya Bin Bijli (1971), quickly following this soulful number with Mohammad Rafi’s peppy Gulabi Aankhen Jo Teri Dekheen (The Train, 1970) and Kishore Kumar’s romantic Khwab Ho Tum Ya Koi Haqeeqat (Teen Deviyan, 1965).