The concert was a story of how I'd forgotten life-before-I-had-kids! I've attended my fair share of outdoor concerts - mostly the rock legends who occasionally stop by in India - Waters, Knopfler, Bryan Adams etc. (and I confess, once even Venga Boys!) and some Indian biggies (Parikrama, Indian Ocean, Euphoria et al).
Cutting back to the present, I arrived half hour before the concert (earlier than the security and policemen), was drinking ONLY water (yeah, the H2O variety!) and had a handbag the size of my husband's luggage for a week. The ushers had a ball going through my bag and trying to understand what breast pads or mobile toys or wet wipes or lanolin cream was! Anyway, they let us in.
Once the concert began, I got my groove back. At least a bit. Esp when S belted out "Pretty Woman" (the dance song of several drunken nights!). The crowds were mostly 10 years younger and had a blast dancing away, singing loudly with the music and smoking up quietly! S was a treat. He is a performer. He knew how to entertain the crowds and did it section by section. Given that he speaks Tamil, he lapsed into the local lingo and Telugu (the lingua franca of most of the crowd, it seemed), he was able to garner tremendous audience reaction. The jazz-jamming was outstanding as was Ehsaan's rock guitaring at one point. His background singers (esp Anusha Mani) were good, but their voices jarred in the higher octaves and seemed to miss the shruti.
Candles are out, as are cigarette lighters, its mobile phones that light up to appreciate 'Taare Zameen Par' and others! Amazingly, there were no serious rowdy elements in the audience (though there were pick pockets and they managed to rid my sis of 10K that night). I remember attending Saarang in 2000 and 2001. The campus is the same, but the scale of the programs significantly bigger. Sponsors were giving away Wildstone perfume bottles and Lee T shirts! A far cry from 1L Coke bottles and coupons for a dosa in the past! The campus still follows a jhola-chappals-cycle code still and the deer still roam about with nary a worry.
All in all, a lovely night and a great experience!