November 21, 2022

Orlando saw why Shreya Ghoshal is fast becoming a Bollywood legend this weekend

As with everything else associated with live music, it's been a while since promoter Krish Patel has brought a Bollywood star into Addition Financial Arena arena for a concert over the weekend.

The last show (at the then-CFE Arena) was a "Throwback ’90s" show featuring Udit Narayan, Sanu Kumar and Alka Yagnik, back in November 2019. A June 2020 "Icons" concert was understandably scuttled, and although there have been a couple of performances from lower-tier acts at other venues as the pandemic has subsided, Patel clearly decided that, for his first show back at the arena, he should go big. And you don't get much bigger in contemporary Bollywood than singer Shreya Ghoshal.

It's been years since Ghoshal last performed in Orlando, and since then, she's evolved from playback mainstay into one of the genre's iconic legends. With 20 years of legendary performances to pull from, her set on this cool Friday evening was generous and warm, running nearly three hours with only a brief interval in the middle.

While Ghoshal isn't the most charismatic of performers (her crowd interactions were pleasant and plentiful, if a little stilted), her voice was in incomparable form. It's always a bit disorienting to hear performances from Indian film soundtracks rendered live, as the studio sheen is replaced by the vigor and rigor of highly skilled musicians. In this case it took a clutch of nearly a dozen backing players to bring many of these songs to life, but Ghoshal's voice was (understandably) the center of the attention, and she did not disappoint.

Whether on older classics ("Silsila Ye Chahat Ka" from Devdas, Ghoshal's playback debut), newer ones (2019's "Ghar More Pardesiya" from Kalank), or from somewhere along the way ("Teri Ore" from 2008's Singh Is King), Ghoshal rendered all of the songs with note-perfect clarity that was far more awe-inspiring than the pyro that occasionally flared from the stage.

A sweet tribute to Lata Mangeshkar after the interval was touching, but also was something of an unsubtle way for Ghoshal to stake her claim among the firmament.

For the crowd — a few of whom were dancing so vigorously they were lovingly called out by Ghoshal — they needed no such convincing; everyone in the building was well aware they were all in the presence of greatness. 
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Orlando audience sees why playback singer Shreya Ghoshal is on the way to becoming a Bollywood legend
Gabby Macogay
Orlando audience sees why playback singer Shreya Ghoshal is on the way to becoming a Bollywood legend
Gabby Macogay
Orlando audience sees why playback singer Shreya Ghoshal is on the way to becoming a Bollywood legend
Gabby Macogay
Orlando audience sees why playback singer Shreya Ghoshal is on the way to becoming a Bollywood legend
Gabby Macogay
Orlando audience sees why playback singer Shreya Ghoshal is on the way to becoming a Bollywood legend
Gabby Macogay
Orlando audience sees why playback singer Shreya Ghoshal is on the way to becoming a Bollywood legend
Gabby Macogay
Orlando audience sees why playback singer Shreya Ghoshal is on the way to becoming a Bollywood legend
Gabby Macogay
Orlando audience sees why playback singer Shreya Ghoshal is on the way to becoming a Bollywood legend
Gabby Macogay
Orlando audience sees why playback singer Shreya Ghoshal is on the way to becoming a Bollywood legend
Gabby Macogay
Orlando audience sees why playback singer Shreya Ghoshal is on the way to becoming a Bollywood legend
Gabby Macogay