Ten Day’s After Hurricane Harvey, Capacity Full Crowd at Smart Financial Center with Shreya Ghoshal!!
I am not sure if it was Hurricane Harvey or just me, but deep down I knew it was different this time. The feeling that came with this concert was not regular, it was not the same as previous years, normality would have been frantic excitement, adrenalin & of course the hustle & bustle.
I felt numb & shielding my somber mood at the entrance, I silently watched the attendee’s trickling in, the center of the auditorium was slowly filling up.
As announced the show started on time and the audience was increasing minute by minute, in a calm & harmonious manner.
I still don’t understand “how & why?” the Houston south asian community suddenly chose to be so organized, was is the effect of hurricane Harvey or was it the SmartFinancialCenter?
Even in the Theater District-Downtown Houston, We South Asian’s have our own unique style and our own ways, We are a very social community, We mingle and we are very vocal. Once Shreya Ghosal’s voice was heard through out auditorium I witnessed a sea of change,the audience’s demeanor changed. In fact I personally started to think that Shreya was directly talking & only to me. Maybe it’s all because I adore her & regard her as the goddess of music. I felt as if Shreya had a hypnotizing quality, individually hypnotizing each & every attendee but on a mass scale. She talked about the disaster of Hurricane Harvey and how strong we Houstonians had been and then with hope in her voice and a smile on her face, she said let’s set aside our troubles, escape them for the next few hours and enjoy the show! These words worked wonders and the musical journey with the South Asian Symphony, comprising of 35 musicians & instruments started to take off. At this point the house full.
I always considered Lata Mangeshkar as a flawless vocalist that could effortlessly sing for hours, & that Shreya talent comes very close to Lata ji, at times however Shreya with pure passion & heart excelled even her!.
In the first half most of the songs were hand picked to suit the symphony style
compositions by various music directors from every part of India were meticulously presented with a brief history & explaining how they were great in their own way.
In the second half an exception was made to accommodate popular songs and symphony orchestra incapsulated the audience with those numbers.
During the intermission, Samia Adill spoke about Team Hum FM and especially recognized Rehan Siddiqi & the risk that was involved in holding the concert on a Weekday that too on Wednesday “Rehan went against all odds & went ahead with the decision at the last minute to reschedule & push forward with the concert”. Rehan then took center stage and explained how Team Shreya had to traveled for 18 long hours by road to reach Houston due to Hurricane Irma. Despite such a long journey the orchestra showed no signs of any fatigue & the commitment was admirable.
Rehan also talked about how his Patrons, Samia Adill and his team stood by him and worked so hard to make it a sold out show.
Even at 11:30pm Shreya was in no hurry to conclude the evening and showed the same vigor & energy through out the event.
Shreya expressed her gratitude, respect and praised Rehan for all his efforts, at times she was very emotional & expressed how every time she visited & performed in front Houston, it was all Rehan’s efforts, because of Rehan she proudly announced that she had completed 11 shows in 11 years in Houston.
For the first time ever in Houston history a local promoter, Rehan Siddiqi was given a standing ovation by a house full crowd for what Rehan Siddiqi did during Hurricane Harvey, coordinating meals , providing shelter and helping thousands with groceries and even going shelter to shelter with meals & supplies. It was also history in the making how Rehan Siddiqi & only 10 days after hurricane managed to have a sold out, house full crowd at the smart financial center, to everyone’s amazement, even the artist’s and venue management was overwhelmed & surprised. Rehan is a blessing to all music lovers of Houston.
Rehan thanked the community and everyone that had came together for him especially his presenting partner Parvez Jessani, who Rehan gives major credit for the success and the reason the show happened, along with all sponsors, Agas Restaurant ,Mercedes Benz of Sugar Land ,Sunoco Lp ,Affordable Power,Amir Ali Dodhiya ,Uma Mantravadi ,Omar Syed of Northwestern Mutual , the team of Hum FM and especially Sunny Khurrani of SK Entertainment & Dmms- Arif Memon who put together the excellent sound, Fuad Cochinwala of “one step diagnostic” along with Cinema on stage, Wow went & Sayeeda Kurlawala.
The show was also attended Amir Makhani of Shaks Entertainment who Has been presenting partner with Rehan for over 17 years and has always been his major support along with Raja Khanzada, one of the biggest promotional support when it comes to print media.
Rehan Siddiqi has stated that the show would not have been possible at all, if it was not for the cooperation and support from Shri Balaji Entertainment- Darshan Mehta and Rocky, who stood by us and personally went out of the way to make this show happen, No national promoter in the world would have done what they did for this show, & Shreya Ghoshal gave her best ever performance with the Grand Symphony.