So what happens at a Lucky Ali concert in 2022?
Something super wonderful.
Love. Warmth. Happiness. Joy. And more. His voice brings all that on.
Rajesh Karkera/Rediff.com had a chance to experience it at a recent concert in Mumbai.
I entered the venue 30 minutes before the show started at Phoenix Marketcity, Kurla, north east Mumbai, and already the space in front of the stage was packed.
Some of the fans had been here for a couple of hours!
Looking at the young crowd, I wondered if they even knew the lyrics of Lucky's songs.
One family had a seven year old in the first row, waiting impatiently for Lucky to come on stage.
I couldn't contain myself and asked them where they were from.
Virar, they said!
Virar is a northern satellite town and that's like way, way out of Mumbai. They would have journeyed almost 72 km by road and by public transport it would take a change of three modes of transport.
So does the child know Lucky's songs?
"Yesssss!" exclaims her mom. "She would eat her food only when we played her his songs. That's why she is here today to see Lucky Ali in person."
Just beside them were two young spectacle-wearing girls in burkhas. The younger one had a handwritten letter in Urdu, with a wish that someone would deliver the letter to the man himself.
That's the craze for Lucky Ali even today!
And here I thought it would just be my college crowd that would be there. And I'm 48!
Don't believe me? View the video below:
What would a Lucky Ali concert be without Ek Pal Ka Jeena... When the music suddenly changed over to the signature tune of the song from Kaho Naa... PyaAr Hai, the crowd went into a frenzy. See the video below:
The purity with which Lucky Ali sang the songs showed his dedication to his music. Each song really saw him go into the mood of the song.
Having only heard his recorded songs, sung when he was much younger, I was struck by how much more I liked the timbre of his present-day, older voice. Lucky will be 64 on September 19.
And throughout the concert, Lucky kept asking the crowd whether they were enjoying themselves with so much humility. That made the crowd and me love him, even more.
Lucky told the crowd that COVID-19 was still lurking and it was not gone. He requested everyone to be careful and take their health seriously. And in his unique way, shifted to a song seamlessly after that message! See below:
In between songs, Lucky introduced his excellent band of musicians. They are like a one package, with Lucky at the helm.
And the energy that Lucky Ali displayed had his team smiling and playing at their best.
They were Suraj Gulvady on the electric guitar, Annada Prasanna Pattanaik, also known as the Flute Butto, playing tantalising music on the flute, Subhash Pradhan on the acoustic guitar, Raghuramam Ramasubramanian on the bass, Bharath Kumar on the keyboard and Dinushan Shanmuganathan on the drums.
There was no air conditioning at the venue. Just large fans. This same venue had a full-blown climate-controlled area when I was here last at the Kailash Kher concert, but not for Lucky's concert. Still, no one complained about the heat.
Yes, as you see above, there were little children who knew the song Aa Bhi Jaa!
Lucky went into serious mode saying that we celebrate life... Let's celebrate what's coming, with the next song:
In the next video Lucky sings O Sanam as a love letter to his audience. It was The Song. The Song the crowd had been yearning for.
And when he gave the audience what they wanted and started singing the first lines of the song... all one heard was the electrified crowd!
He ended it singing without the music! Vocals only :) Fanboy moment for me.
And here my tripod joined the crowd in freaking out and collapsed and my camera fell flat on the ground as you can see in the video above.
"Mazha matrubhumi aahe he. Mee ikadcha mai ka lal aahe" (This is my motherland, I am a son of Mumbai)," Lucky Ali, who grew up in the city as the legendary movie actor Mehmood's son, said in Marathi before he started the last song. Nice, Lucky!