Adnan Sami Rocks Warner Theater in Memorable Performance


April 17, 2013

By Geeta Goindi

WASHINGTON – There are musical shows and then there are epoch-making concerts like the one Friday night, April 12th headlined by Adnan Sami at the Warner Theater.  It will pose a challenge to the organizers, Manish and Deepa Sood of Intense Entertainment, to top this class act.

April 17, 2013

By Geeta Goindi

WASHINGTON – There are musical shows and then there are epoch-making concerts like the one Friday night, April 12th headlined by Adnan Sami at the Warner Theater.  It will pose a challenge to the organizers, Manish and Deepa Sood of Intense Entertainment, to top this class act.

Adnan Sami performing at the Warner Theater in Washington. Photo credit: Zubda Chaudhry Photography

Adnan Sami has raised the bar too high.  He is a musical genius of the highest order!  His is a mesmerizing voice that tugs at your heartstrings.  In fact, his music, his art, his voice transcends the temporal and touches the sublime!

At the Warner, Adnan was in top form – singing, playing the piano, sharing humorous anecdotes, interacting with an audience who could not get enough of his memorable performance.  At one point, towards the finale, his fingers moved so fast on the piano reaching a musical crescendo that electrified the listeners.  Clearly, there was a powerhouse performer in house!

At the outset, he promised the audience: “I’m going to try and fulfill all your requests tonight.  We are nothing without the audience.  You make us.  Your wish is our command.  Simply put, let’s have fun tonight”.

The singer, musician, composer, blessed with a voice that is surreal, made it a night to remember, rendering one melodious number after another.  From his record-breaking albums, there were non-film songs such as ‘Bheegi bheegi raaton mein’, ‘Tera Chehra’, ‘Chain mujhe ab aaye na’, ‘Dil keh raha hai dil se’, ‘Lift kara de’, ‘Teri banhon mein jo guzri bheegi raat sanam’ and ‘Nain se naino ko mila’.  Bollywood superhit numbers included ‘Ik ajnabee sa ehsaas dil ko sataaye’ and ‘Sun zara, soniye sun zara’ (Lucky: No Time for Love), ‘Noor-e-Khuda’ (My Name is Khan), ‘Tu sirf mera mehboob mein teri mehbooba’ (Ajnabee) and ‘Dil kya kare’ (Salaam-e-Ishq).

About the title track from his album ‘Kabhi toh nazar milao’, Adnan told the audience: “It is a very special song for me.  You know Washington, can I tell you something in my heart?  Hum bhi toh hai tumhare deewane O’ deewane”, he said, much to the delight of the listeners.

Among the new fare was the song, ‘Roya’ from his recently released album, Press Play.  It is named after his wife and is a touching tribute to her.  On stage, Adnan rendered it with a good deal of emotion.

Adnan Sami with Washington area concert organizers Manish (right) and Deepa Sood (left) of Intense Entertainment

Speaking with INDIA THIS WEEK Adnan said, “My music is very much a reflection of who I am as a person.  I started off as a classical musician.  So, I have my classical roots.  I have roots in Jazz, in western classical, Indian classical music.  I love romance.  I love romantic songs.  I love romance as a subject.  It’s a lovely subject to write about.  And it’s a subject that has never been exhausted.  For centuries now, people have been writing about love and continue to do so.  Not just in one language, but in hundreds of languages.  Obviously, this subject does not seem to have a saturation point.  As the cliche goes: ‘Love does make the world go around’.  And then, I love humor.  So, I try to reflect all these elements.  My album is always a reflection of who I am, musically as well as a person.  If you really want to get to know who I am, just listen to my music”.

On stage at the Warner, Adnan was accompanied by an eight-member orchestra comprising talented musicians on the guitar, keyboard, flute, bass, drums and dholak.  “No performance can ever be successful without the fine people who come together”, he said, about his team.  Lauding them as the “finest musicians from Bollywood”, he marveled at “the beautiful, amazing creativity which they bring on stage”.  And, in all humility, he bowed before them and said: “It is an honor and privilege to share the same stage with you.  I am nothing without you”.

Adnan Sami is flanked by students and founder Aanal Sheth (top left) of Studio Dhoom, a dance school based in Ashburn, VA

An endearing feature of an Intense Entertainment concert, always impeccably organized, is the opportunity afforded to local artistes to highlight their exceptional talents.  The Adnan Sami concert was no different!  It began with young students of the Studio Dhoom dance school, based in Ashburn, VA, performing to a medley of Adnan’s hit songs, under the tutelage of their director Aanal Sheth.  Then, there was Shreya Bhata, a gifted 15-year-old who has been learning Hindustani classical music for seven years from Mrs. Vatsala Mehra, founder and director of the McLean-based Balaji Music Academy.  She sang a fast-paced number, ‘Jigar da tukda’ (Ladies vs Ricky Bahl), setting the stage for a rocking evening!

Shreya Bhatia performing at the Adnan Sami concert in Washington. Photo credit: Zubda Chaudhry Photography

And it was an evening that will linger in many minds!  Adnan was masterful, even playful, on stage, gesturing as if he is playing a number of musical instruments.  Clearly, music is seeped in his soul!

Brian R. Santhumayor, Liaison Officer, Consular Affairs, at the US State Department, gushed that the concert was “awesome.  My wife and I enjoyed the show immensely”, he told us.  About Adnan Sami, he said: “I was very impressed with his awesome talent and his ability to get the crowd on their feet, singing, cheering and dancing.  Truly, a master of many talents”.

Hugs for well known physician Dr. Suresh K. Gupta (left) from musical genius Adnan Sami

Adnan has this ability of engaging the audience, not just with his music, but also with anecdotes and getting up-front and personal in a manner that is both candid as well as laced with humor.  It is well known that he has lost a lot of weight – 230 kilos, by his own admission.  “I’m visiting here after eight years and many kilos later and it feels great”, he told the Washington audience.  “It’s wonderful to be here.  When I came here last time I was a big guy”.

Adnan explained that he “went on a very strict diet.  I lost 155 kilos.  That’s a lot of weight.  Two human beings came out of me”, he quipped.  “I feel great now.  I feel born again”, he said.

But, he admitted, “It was very difficult”.  In 2005, he was visiting London where a doctor told him that he might very well have just six months to live.  “I didn’t like him very much”, Adnan quipped.

The maestro made it a point to dispel rumors that he resorted to quick and easy methods of weight loss, such as liposuction.  “I’m 230 kilos” (at that time), he reminded the audience.  “If I even thought about liposuction, I would need a vacuum cleaner”.

Adnan made it abundantly clear that his weight loss “was purely done on hard work and a truckload of determination.  What kept me going was the love of all of you.  This applause – it’s what keeps me going”.

A firm believer in the Almighty, he said, “If you look up and ask God, He will answer always”.

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