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A.R. Rahman

All Access: North American Tour 2022

A.R. Rahman steps out from behind his DJ booth to perform with the band (Shannon Flack)

The sights and sounds of Bollywood combined with state of the art projections and light shows left the attendees in awe of the spectacle onstage.

The night began with a 12-minute video promoting A.R. Rahman's film experience "Le Musk" followed by another promotional video displaying his numerous awards and accomplishments. Both were well produced, visually appealing, and informative. However the close to 20 minute delay to the start of the show developed into a wave of nervous anticipation falling over the crowd. As time went on the energy in the crowd dropped. With each passing minute it was clear the audience was ready for what they came for--the music.

A.R. Rahman at Wolf Trap (Shannon Flack)

The Performance

A.R. Rahman opened with the song "Jai Ho!" which was notably featured in the film "Slumdog Millionaire." The entire set consisted of high energy dance music. Rahman stayed behind the DJ booth for the majority of the show but the accompanying artists kept the audience engaged with their dancing and communication with the front rows. A.R. Rahman's other performers stole the show. Although Rahman was the glue that held the music together the other performers were what created an engaging experience for the audience. I truly enjoyed the performance that was put onstage but the combination of the films at the top of the show and A.R. Rahman seemingly having very little enthusiasm and interaction with the crowd who paid to see him was unsettling.

The audience was there to see Rahman and I cannot stress enough how excited they were to see him onstage. There was no sense that his lack of stage presence changed their feeling towards the show.

A.R. Rahman's team interacting with the audience (Shannon Flack)

The tour will continue on August 14th in Durham, NC at the Durham Performing Arts Center.


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