Regular readers will know that I have always been a bit of a music buff and have thoroughly enjoyed the concerts that I have had the fortune of attending over the past few years. So when I heard that the very talented screenwriter, director, actor, producer, lyricist, television host and singer (phew, that's quite the resume!) Farhan Akhtar had a concert in Bangalore, I wasted no time in reaching out to all and sundry to see if they wanted to join me for the event at one of India's premier B schools.
As luck would have it, none of my friends were able to make it for the show but I decided to go alone as I am a big fan of his music and was on a music performance attending spree. I didn’t realize it at that time but flying solo also meant that I had the added advantage of being able to observe the rest of the audience (without the distraction of my charming / talkative friends) that fell into the familiar pattern that I was used to seeing at similar concerts. So what people can you expect to find if you attend a concert in India, you ask?
1. The Party Poopers
There are always a few such groups that want to prove that they don’t need to attend a concert to have a good time (hey, I haven’t understood it either…). They are usually the college going people who think that starting a random chant in between songs is cool or that cracking lame jokes loudly, much to the chagrin of everyone else, makes them the most happening people around. I would recommend you maintain more than an arm's length distance.
2. The Section Jumpers
There are always a whole lot of people who think that because they have paid for entry into a particular section, they are entitled to jump the fence into the more expensive (and poorly cordoned off) areas to move closer to the stage. Those who saw it will never forget the Nehru Cup international football match in Cochin where people kept jumping sections until they were all crowded on the boundary lines of the pitch and did not give the players room to kick the ball in for corners.
3. The Crazy Dancers
OK, so you find crazy dancers everywhere but something makes people go bonkers at concerts. A top Indian DJ was playing before Farhan came on stage (seriously, who ever heard of a DJ spinning tracks before a rock concert?!) and the crowd went bananas as they pulled off crazy dance moves that would put a person having a fit to shame. Maybe it’s the anonymity that a starry sky offers you. Maybe they were just crazy. Who knows?
4. The What The Hell Am I Doing Here People
I often feel bad for this section of the audience. You have elderly folk who just stand there wondering how they can locate a seat cause their legs hurt. You have young mothers wondering how they let their husbands talk them into attending a rock concert that has left their kid bawling continuously. You have people who haven’t heard a single song from the artist but have been dragged to the event by their friends who were keen on making it there and could lip sync to every single track. All of them sport the eyes wide open and spaced out look though.
5. The I’m No Waiting In Line-ers
Despite most people reaching much before the supposed start time of 18:00, the organizers finally opened the gates at around 19:30. The chart below shows you what actually happens when Indians have to wait in line along with the time stamps. The green dots represent the people who came on time and were in line along with me. The purple dots are those who came in later and crept into the line and created offshoots of the four queues. The grey dots are those who were fashionably late and started taking up any empty spot they could take at the end of the queues by around 19:00. After the gates opened, it was mayhem and it's a miracle that I made it through the gates unscathed. Oh and I’m the red dot who moved forward 20 feet in an hour and forty minutes!