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Third time lucky?

This article speaks about the experience of an avid Bryan Adams fan when he visited the “Third Time Lucky” concert at Mumbai’s BK Complex on 4th Feb 2006. He also benchmarks the concert against the “Best of Me” tour concert held in April 2001. This article is divided in to two parts: The Down Side & The I-don’t-know-which side

The Down-side:
20th Jan – 3rd Feb 2006
What is conspicuous by its absence this time is the system of pre-concert promo. In 2001, I distinctly remember the organizers moved on to different parts of the city in a mobile van giving away free passes to those who sing/ perform a bryan number. Apart from this, there were contests galore on most media channels. Even Jam was giving away backstage passes. That was the time when I wanted to kill myself for not winning them. Also wanted to kill those who didn’t let me get to meet him! I am the biggest fan. Don’t you see!?

The last B.A. concert in Mumbai was on 7th April 2001 and, then, of course happened the most recent concert on 4th Feb 2006. As far as the concert was concerned, core fans and followers would conclude that not much has changed except for the price of the tickets which went up from Rs. 300 (& Rs. 500) to Rs. 800 (& Rs. 1200).

I still don’t understand the logic behind the steep hike in ticket prices when the target audience seems to have grown on an average by only about 4/ 5 years. This time unlike last time there is no concept of ‘passes’. The show is completely predictable. Except for an addition/ subtraction of few songs

4th Feb 2006
The venue is as rocky and dusty as the previous one. Nobody is allowed backstage. At all! If you thought you had enough of the same new ‘old’ antics. He did the same ole trick of bringing a gal on stage to sing with him. This is becoming some sort of B.A. show trademark. A gal from Chembur who came on stage found herself uttering “oh shit I cant believe this” for like a while. Everything seemed quite predictable from then on.
Those who had ‘been there done that’ would have been thoroughly disappointed by the lack of any novelty in the show’s orchestration.

The crowd rightfully chanted “Once more” for almost like 3 times to get the darkened stage illuminated yet again. So if you attended the 2001 NSE grounds concert then you didn’t miss anything.

The I-don’t-know-which side
Cut to BKC: the venue….
It is a typical fine Saturday evening in the city of Mumbai. The Bryan Adams “Third time lucky” concert is scheduled at 7pm. It is a part of his promotional tour itinerary for the new album “Anthology”. Alongwith friend(s); I have planned to go for the concert come what may. I made this decision when I first heard of it sometime in November. We expect some local band to open the show. That show is for me. Fans like me! We decide to reach by about 7.45 pm. Upon reaching the venue, we find much to our surprise the show has begun on time. Sans any opening act! We are late! And there are long queues at all the entrances! We aren’t the only folk late!

When we reach the venue, the band fellows are already through with at least 3 songs. After the check-out-the-chicks routine *wink*, we enter the VIP entrance. From that point on it is 2 hours of pure unadulterated B. A. Boy Stuff.

The unmistakable throaty voice never does fail in stirring up the nostalgia within. Memories of my school days make my eyes moist. Summer of 69 has the crowd jumping with joy. The longest all time hit love ballad Everything I do (I do it for you) has many a couple hugging each other. Some singletons like yours truly are green. Bryan points out to the crowd The only thing that looks good on me is YOU. The crowd screams back “YOU!”

He wants the crowd chorus to complete the line “Everywhere I go ….” with “… kids wanna rock” Some oblige.

Throats are parched with the screaming. Limited beverage outlets don’t help. Cuts like a knife just seems apt. Mumbai has come a long way since Bombay/ Boombai. This time Bryan gets it right when he says “Mumbai!” when Bombay might seem like a synonym. Bomba Blues is the song of the moment. He jokes “Its very important that you know the name of the singer tonight”. Anything for you dude! So don’t say Please Forgive Me.

The show is halfway through when Bryan spots that someone has passed out in the crowd! Then there are more of his songs. There is the band introduction. Keith enthralls with his guitars. Mr.Scott on drums shows who completes the band. The usual ritual follows. The show is over. Mickey Curry throws his drum sticks. Bryan and Keith unplug their guitars. The band says goodbye. And suddenly Bryan returns and screams into the mike “You got It …Sometimes words are…..Best of me”Bryan relates what he feels This time (…I’m gonna make you mine)

To sing the song Baby When You’re Gone he needs a female voice. The (feminine) crowd goes berserk. A bubbling Chembur gal is picked to do the honors. He takes the fans to Heaven. Many discover tears in their (respective) eyes. I’m ready (.. to hold you) works magic on the lovey-dovey steady going. Others realize they need a break. All For One is a song comprising of 3 or maybe 4 male voices. Bryan wants to perform this. Would need help. Some like this writer are eager to oblige. But, bad boy has different ideas. He seeks the crowd chorus.

There are two more planned or may be unplanned show-is-over-goodbye sequences. The crowd chants “Once More” in well-synchronized chorus. The show goes on.

The cops don’t know what the heck is going on. Amongst others some of the support staff who are too desi are seen wondering what the hell is this thing that has this crowd of twenty-something youngsters in a state of frenzy. “Hey kai challai ithe?” some pandus are spotted asking.

– Nilesh Kosambi

14 Feb 06

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