Rahat Fateh Ali Khan in Atlanta

Written By: Sarah Ansari
On the 10th of April 2010, classical singing sensation, and the nephew of the renowned (Late) Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan performed and entertained a sold out show in Atlanta, GA. The concert took place at Georgia World Congress Center in the Sidney Marcus Auditorium. This beautiful and entertaining evening was put together by Paracha Entertainment. Other sponsors included BB&T, Ashiana Restaurant, Mumtaz Fashions, Coca-Cola, Bhindi Jewelers, Patel Brothers and other local businesses of Atlanta to name a few.
Thinking that it was a “desi” concert and won’t start on time, we got there an hour late to find out that it had already started promptly at 8pm. Rahat Fateh Ali was singing Jiya Dharak Dharak Jaye and people were enjoying along. More people came in behind us and were surprised at the promptness of the show. It was very well organized with super tight security. Outside the auditorium there was a small area where snacks and soda was being sold. This was my first time attending his concert and I was absolutely blown away by his live performance.
Our seats were located at the top left corner of the balcony area. The view of the stage and performance was perfect! From then till midnight everyone in the auditorium swayed, clapped, danced (yes, there were those as well), whistled (my dad included), and sang along with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. The stage was decently set in gold, off-white and green lace curtained background with a couple potted plants; this also included a main stage for Rahat Fateh Ali, a small stage for the backup singers on right side and another small stage for the tabla and dhol people.
Rahat Fateh Ali Khan gave an absolutely brilliant performance which included a couple of his old songs like Teri Ore, O re piya, Naina thug lain gaye, and new songs like Sajda, Surili Ankhion wale, Dil toh bachha hai jee, and also ghazals of the legendary Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, like Aafreen Aafreen, Sanu ik pal chain na aavay, Dholna, Dum mast Qalander. His superb vocals and the live music played by his musicians electrified the whole event. The finale was Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s Dum Mast Qalander which drove the people to frenzy and at the end there was a standing ovation for the excellent performance.
Now after this I have to mention some of the ‘overly excited’ people who I saw in the auditorium. Women and young girls dressed like they were at a wedding; men dressed in two or three piece suits; small children hollering and screaming amidst the music and singing; and of course the people (specifically this one lady) who couldn’t restrain herself and just had to get in front of the entire audience and let lose her dance moves. And I do commend her for the courage to do such a thing, but she was quite horrible at it, poor lady. I wish someone had told her to stay put in her seat (haha). Then there were those who’d yell “I love you Rahat” or shout out their requests and other remarks. All in all, it was one entertaining night. And he’s off to Detroit from here. Good luck to him on a yet another successful tour in the US (at least in the Atlanta it was).
Stay Pink!

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