A.R. Rahman Ready to Return to Los Angeles, Bay Area

By August 13, 2010 No Comments

Oscar- and Grammy-winning musician A.R. Rahman led a press conference at the Renaissance Hotel Aug. 8 to discuss the rescheduling of the California stops of his “Jai Ho Concert: The Journey Home” tour. According to the musician and his promotion team, Rahman will appear in Southern California Sept. 11, while the Northern California show will take place Sept. 12.

Rahman was originally scheduled to appear in Southern California June 27, which was one day after he was supposed to appear at Oakland’s Oracle Arena. However, both dates were rescheduled after a stage accident prior to his scheduled show on June 19 at the Pontiac Silverdome just outside Detroit, Mich., caused a delay in the remainder of Rahman’s North American tour dates (I-W, July 2).

There is good news, though. Rahman’s rescheduled tour will feature new songs and performances that were not part of the tour prior to the incident in Detroit.

“It was an unfortunate incident in Detroit,” said Rahman, who led the press conference announcing the new tour dates for Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. “The whole idea is to finish the commitment, finish the U.S. tour.”

Rahman expressed empathy for the delayed schedule, as shows prior to his scheduled performance in Detroit were apparently well-received by audiences. However, Rahman pointed out that one hour prior to his show in Detroit, a lighting rig installed above the stage collapsed. Accordingly, a portion of the stage was destroyed and the sets and equipment designed specifically for the tour were deemed irreparable. No one was seriously injured as a result of the accident.

Instead of continuing with the scheduled tour dates with makeshift equipment and lighting, the Rahman camp decided to reschedule the performances after Detroit, including his shows in California, in order to build new sets and stages.

Rahman thinks the newer version of his show will make the wait worth it, as it will give audiences affected by the delay a fresh look at his tour, as they will see newer stage designs and lighting effects that his fans in New York City and London, among other cities, were not able to experience.

“The shows are focusing on music,” Rahman said of what audiences can expect of the rescheduled performances. “I have a lot of offers to collaborate with others. The focus is on music, not on who to collaborate with. We will be doing (songs from) English, Tamil and Hindi films.”

Bigger than the actual show itself, Rahman said, he hopes his music is uplifting enough to overcome both the stage accident in Detroit and many other obstacles life may throw in front of people.

“Life is full of conflicts,” Rahman observed, and opined: “Take a larger view of the composition, then you can overcome the conflict.”

The award-winning composer is apparently following his own advice. Despite the incident in Detroit, Rahman has decided to move forward with the dates of the “Jai Ho Concert” without accepting an appearance fee.

“I have to sacrifice my fee,” Rahman humbly said, adding that he wants to ensure his fans are not deprived of seeing him perform because of the unfortunate incident last month. “But it is for the people. I want this show to happen. I want to come and perform. When people want something, you want to give it to them.”

On Sept. 11, Rahman intends to carry through with his wishes to perform in Southern California, as his show will be held that day at The Forum in Inglewood, presented by Mehta Entertainment. The following evening, Rahman will arrive in Oakland to perform for Northern California audiences at Oakland’s Oracle Arena, under the auspices of Singh Entertainment.

With reportedly 350 million record sales under his belt, Rahman has won Academy, Grammy and Filmfare awards for his musical works on film soundtracks such as “Slumdog Millionaire,” “Couples Retreat,” “Dil Se,” “Taal” and “Jodhaa Akbar,” among others.

His “Jai Ho” concert tour took him through several cities in Europe and North America. Well-known choreographer-director Amy Tinkham, who has worked on the concerts of the likes of Paul McCartney, Madonna and Britney Spears, among others, has led the set design and creative direction of the multi-city musical tour.