Thursday, April 26, 2012

What an Evening...Red Baraat Rocks!

Last week I had blogged about the band Red Baraat coming to the ECC Arts Center on April 20th. Our family had the opportunity of going for the same and what a whale of a time we had. First of all, I would like to say the band is phenomenal. It wouldn' be an exaggeration to say we had the best time in the last one year we have been here. Before I write anything further, if you are reading this, checkout if they are going to be close to you and just go and dance and have fun and enjoy!

Red Baraat melds North Indian rhythm Bhangra with a host of sounds including brass, funk, go-go, Latin, and jazz to create a wildly exciting musical experience. They are becoming increasingly popular and rightly so. They kicked off their Spring Tour this year by playing at the White House on April 2!
'Baraat' is a term used for the procession in a North Indian Wedding where the groom is made to sit on a ornamented horse as his entire extended family and friends dance to the venue of the wedding amidst lots of lights (some people move holding lanterns and chandeliers on their shoulders or heads), lots of loud music - primarily dhol - that's a double sided barrel shaped drum which is what the lead Sunny Jain plays in the band and sousaphones; and also amidst fireworks. Sounds crazy?! Well it is! But the fun is just dancing to the high energy beats with all your friends and family besides you. Its hard to be just a bystander. You dance till you sweat and you almost drop! And all this is in finery befitting a wedding :) Well, Red Baraat created the whole mood and set everyone dancing. The leader Sunny Jain called the audience to the front to dance in four easy steps. Step 1: Put your hands in the air. Step 2: Shrug your shoulders. Step 3: Twist your wrists. Step 4: Shake your hips. All were too eager to comply. And for the whole time! The group members often danced themselves adding to the fun! The boundaries between the band and the audience seemed to diminish with every passing music piece as they kept going closer and closer to stage to just revel in the funky, super fun, high energy music that played. They played typical North Indian Wedding songs like 'Aaj mere yaar ki shaadi hai'; dance numbers like 'Tunak, tunak' and 'Dama dam must kalandar' and fun festive numbers like 'Rang Barse'.

I leave you with a couple of videos to enjoy. The videos seem to black out for a few seconds because I tried to capture the absolutely excited dancing audience too but couldn't because of low light. Also check out Elgin Community College Arts Center website for the very interesting variety of events they offer ranging from music concerts to stand up comedy shows to kids programs.


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