It calls for a certain degree of unshakeable confidence and faith to pay homage to other singers despite having a rich repertoire of hits under your belt.
Bollywood singer Arijit Singh — the voice of heartbreak and love — did just that with flair and grace at his concert in Dubai at the World Trade Centre on Friday night.
Hearing him belt out the eternally romantic song ‘Kabhie Kabhie Mere Dil Mein’, sung originally by the late Mukesh, and ‘Kahi Door Jab Dil Dhal Jaaye’ was nothing short of pure magic.
While he nudged the nostalgic soul in you, he brought you back to the present with an electrifying tribute to Oscar-winner AR Rahman’s compositions including ‘Dil Se’ and ‘Humma Humma’.
As far as mixing things up go, it worked. However, it was his own songs that had the maximum sway.
His romantic ballad ‘Tum Hi Ho’ unleashed the groupie in us. Clad in his usual crisp white shirt, a waistcoat and blue jeans, the no-nonsense singer had to just sing the first line and his fans did the rest as they completed his sentences. The sense of familiarity that the fans displayed to his hits showed how popular Singh had become over the years.
Be warned, he isn’t into any stage gimmicks such as doing push-ups on stage or jumping like a child on a sugar high. He lets his mesmerising voice do all the talking.
The singer — who’s now the ubiquitous go-to voice for heartbreaks in all its complicated glory — began his three-hour performance with a soulful rendition of ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’. He was accompanied by an orchestra that complemented his rich voice. There were times when you felt that the music overpowered Singh’s magnetic voice. He’s one of the few singers in Bollywood whose voice is his biggest asset. He can be in a no-frills garage without any of the world-class musicians at the back, yet Singh will be able to command anyone’s full attention.
During this concert that had distracting LED displays with psychedelic lights, you yearned for a simpler time when it wasn’t about the surround noise as much as the singer’s voice. Singh isn’t into making audiences involved either. But that was a tiny blip in an otherwise enjoyable evening.
The concert — which was divided into two sections — ended with the proverbial bang around midnight as Singh sang the soulful ‘Kabira’ from the Bollywood blockbuster ‘Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani’.
If that didn’t make you believe in love and its gloriously messy nature, then there’s simply no hope for us. Singh — with his straight-laced demeanour during this live act — showed us that sometimes you just need to trust your inner voice.