OAKLAND, Calif. – It is rare for the Oracle Arena here to witness this kind of roar. Ten thousand adoring fans thronged the stadium here Aug. 13 for the sold-out spectacular concert, billed as “Dream Team,” that featured the current crop of Bollywood stars Katrina Kaif, Varun Dhawan, Siddharth Malhotra, Alia Bhatt, Aditya Roy Kapur and Parineeti Chopra. Filmmaker Karan Johar and rapper Badshah were also part of this concert, which brought the magic of Hindi movies to the San Francisco Bay Area.
The show, replete with all of the Bollywood flair and fashion, was an extravagant mix of choreographed dance numbers, multiple costume changes and high decibel music. Movie buffs lapped up the high-octane performances of Bollywood’s much sought-after stars, which were supported by giant video screens and an avalanche of lasers, bursting pyrotechnics and a legion of background dancers.
Alia Bhatt was the first to take to the stage, which had the screaming Indian American fans clapping, swaying and singing along to the familiar tunes. The actress, who sparkled in a sequin-encrusted blue dress that matched her boots, danced like a dream. She opened the dazzling concert dancing with all her energy and skill to numbers such as “Main Tenu Samjhawan Ki,” “Patakha Guddi” and “Kar Gayi Chul,” setting the tone and tenor of the rest of the three-hour plus show.
Since her super-confident debut in 2012 in Karan Johar’s “Student of the Year,” which saw her share screen space with other debutants Varun Dhawan and Siddharth Malhotra, the 23-year-old actress has gone on to showcase her acting prowess in over eight, mostly successful films, proving all the naysayers wrong who said she would merely be eye candy.
Her high-tempo performance was followed by a more mellowed one featuring Aditya Roy Kapoor, who picked up a guitar to croon “Sunn Raha Hai Na Tu” to mimic his character in “Aashiqui 2.” After slow dancing to more romantic ballads from the film, he later elevated the mood of the crowd with his moves on numbers such as “Balam Pichkari” from the film, “Jawaani Deewani.”
Though the concert was delayed by over an hour, the delay did not dampen the enthusiasm of the audience nor did it deter the enjoyment that followed. With a tightly packed show, the stars more than made up for the lost time by giving the audiences non-stop entertainment.
This audio-visual spectacle was brought to the San Francisco Bay Area by Bikramjeet Singh of Bollywood Events, Ray and Kay Walia, Babita Balamurugan of B&B Entertainments and Akash Sharma and Praveen Singh of Modesto.
“They are all good actors and big stars. We, as Bollywood events, are focused on bringing good shows. We have proven it, we brought the Bachchan family, Shahrukh Khan and now Dream Team, who are the young shining stars. We believed in them and they delivered,” Bikramjeet Singh, CEO of Bollywood Events, told India-West.
Singh added: “On behalf of the Bollywood Events team, I want to thank Bay Area for believing in us and showing us lots of patience when the show started late due to technical reasons. The audience was very helpful and cooperative. We do want to apologize.”
India-West, however, learnt from other sources that the delay was caused by a combination of factors, including flight delays, baggage troubles and an accident on Freeway I-880.
Flanked by background dancers in colorful costumes and decorated props, the actors came in quick succession for their acts amidst flickering lights and bouts of smoke, which complemented the actors’ fervor onstage.
Next to rock the stage was Siddharth Malhotra. The crowd went wild at the sight of the actor, who, in a white and golden mesh shirt and black pants and clinging on to a cable, landed right in the middle of the stage. He danced to songs such as “Vele,” “Kar Gayi Chul” and “Lets Nacho” much to the audience’s collective delight.
Rapper Badshah, known for his crowd rousing dance music, continued the high energy with his hit numbers like “Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai” and “Wakhra Swag,” which saw the music enthusiasts turn the aisles into a dance floor.
Next to rock the stage was Parineeti Chopra. The bubbly and chirpy actress entertained the excited crowd with her peppy dance moves to songs such as “Jigar Da Tukda” and “Jaaneman Aah.” Her energy was incredible and she appeared to be having a ball on the stage.
Varun Dhawan came in next making a rather dramatic entry. Secured into a harness, the actor swooped right in the middle of the giant arena floor. He greeted the crowd with “Bole So Nihal, Sat Shri Akaal,” and added that “this is the best crowd that I have performed for in my whole life,” which saw the crowd exploding in loud cheers and whistles. And those cheers quadrupled when he ripped off his shirt to show off those six-pack abs.
Katrina’s Kaif arrival on the stage created a hysteria of sorts. Dressed to impress in a black shimmery crop top and black leather pants, the 33-year-old actress set the already scorching temperatures soaring. Gyrating to hits such as “Chikni Chameli,” and “Dhoom Machale Dhoom,” Kaif clearly stole the spotlight as the star of the show.
Filmmaker Karan Johar, who is a judge on the dance reality show, “Jhalak Dikhla Ja,” also showed off some of his own special moves. Johar, well known for his oratorial skills, kept the exuberant crowd entertained with his friendly banter, also pulling some audience members up on stage. Joining him in the fun was the Dream Team cast.
The grand finale was like watching back-to-back shows of your favorite Bollywood films. The final moments of the show saw dynamic solo and duet performances by the stars. Notable among them were Siddharth Malhotra teaming up with Alia Bhatt for “Radha” and “Lets Nacho” and with Katrina Kaif to “Kala Chashma.”
The curtains came down and bows were taken amid a blizzard of confetti marking the end of the grand Bollywood show.
This show may be over, but Bollywood Events is already prepping up for their upcoming shows.
“I want to thank the Bollywood Events team, and all those who helped make this show a success,” Bikramjeet Singh told India-West. “We are bringing Anupam Kher’s play, ‘Kuch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai.’ We will also be doing a show called ‘Magik,’ on Oct. 15, a promotional tour for ‘Rock On 2,’ which will include Farhan Akhtar, Prachi Desai, Arjun Rampal, Shraddha Kapoor and Shankar Ehsaan Loy.”
The “Dream Team,” which is spreading Bollywood fever in the U.S., will be performing in Inglewood, Calif., Aug. 20, presented by Super/Dylan Entertainment.