Wednesday, 25 June 2008

The Unforgettable Tour 2008 with Preity Zinta & what to expect from the O2 Arena in London

Exclusive by Devansh Patel

We all know the hype surrounding the Bachchan's is as always colossal. And if you thought that after their bare footed walk to the Siddhivinayak, their IIFA Bangkok premiere of Sarkar Raj and their grand Yatra Tour across India all three would need that desperate break....think again! and this time around, they are not alone. Bollywood Hungama and Harrow Observer's Devansh Patel finds out the hype and the excitement surrounding the Unforgettable Tour in London and has a quick five minute chat with dimpled beauty Preity Zinta who is a part of this world wide extravaganza.

The O2 Arena is like a place from another planet when you first see it! This is a huge entertainment district which includes an indoor arena, a music club, cinema, exhibition space, bars and restaurants. All inside the former huge dome-shaped Millenium Dome, O2 Arena, popularly known as the 'Dome's Canopy' was designed for all kinds of different events and one such event is going to take place in this arena on August 24 when the Unforgettable Tour unleashes its magic for all the Bollywood lovers in and around the U.K. Britain is the heart and soul of live music and what better world class facility is Bollywood going to get than to perform in Europe's finest music venue. The £758m Dome was built as a Millennium project and opened in 2000 and has witnessed some of music industries finest talents from across the globe like Bon Jovi, Elton John, Take That, Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Rolling Stones, etc. The names keep on rolling... but there is one name which will make the world of difference when it comes to concerts at the O2, The Unforgettable Tour 2008, which boasts of a star studded line up including the dancing diva of Bollywood, Madhuri Dixit, the sweet and chirpy Preity Zinta, the lovable Ritesh Deshmukh, the hummable duo Vishal & Shekhar, the ultra slim & sexy Shilpa Shetty, the new Kinng of Bollywood Akshay Kumar and for the first time on an international concert together comes the power of three - The Bachchan Trio, Abhishek, Aishwarya and Amitabh. Pheww! Can't get bigger than this!

With perfect sight-lines from every angle, crystal clear acoustics, obscenely comfy seating, wide concourses between aisles and a huge variety of snack and drink options to enjoy throughout the show, the O2 Arena is also fitted with - believe it or not - 548 toilets to avoid the excruciatingly painful and frustrating half an hour queue for the loo. Now that's a.....relief!!! From London, let's now move to Mumbai where all our Bollywood stars are busy rehearsing for their grand tour which flags off on July 18 in Toronto and ends in London on August 24. As you can already see the line up, it will not be surprising to see all your favourite celebs performing dance numbers to the tunes of Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Dhoom and Dhoom 2, Bluffmaster, Guru and not to forget, Kajra Re with all the three Bachchans. Though it will be even more surprising to see the Big B perform on some of his evergreen songs from his 1980's films. I can start feeling the excitement of the crazy and the ever so loyal Bollywood fans who will be the many few to get their hands on the front row seats. But what about those who will have to sit miles away from their favourite stars? Well, they need not worry. I mean, koi toh chahiye na...seete maarne ke liye? I can visualise all the aunties draped in their designer costly chiffon sarees and glittery punjabi dresses, uncles with their Ray Ban goggles trying to see what the aunties can't, young, spiked and hip-hop boys trying to show the slimmest and the fittest babes that they are their ultimate heroes and above all, the unforgettable kids who have to cry on top of their voice to get that extra added attention. All this will be seen outside the arena but the moment all these trend setters start going inside the arena, to hell with the creased saree, the Ray Ban slips in the pocket, the boys change their viewpoint and the girls forget all about their puff and pancake routine. I know I forgot the kids. But they are the first ones to queue up just seconds before the show is about to start. Remember the number 548?

Whether it is the famous Wembley Arena or the O2 Arena, one thing is certain, it will only take seconds to fill it up. And while most of you must be impatiently waiting to see your favourite stars in action, here's something for you to cherish about in the mean time. Last weekend, I caught up with actress Preity Zinta who gave very little away in terms of what's going to be their game plan for the Unforgettable Tour. Though she did mention what made this particular tour better than the rest of the world wide tours she has been a part of. "The fact that there is a completely new star cast who have never been on the world concert before, that's one of the USP's. Different people from different countries are going to get a different taste of the Unforgettable Tour. Canada will have Akshay Kumar as a guest performer, Madhuri Dixit is going to tour America with us and Shilpa Shetty as we all know is a U.K favourite. Plus all the choreography is done by Shiamak Davar who will also be performing. He is par excellence in choreography. There are lots more surprises installed. You'll just have to wait and watch", revealed the zealous Zinta. Preity will also be performing with Abhishek Bachchan on the title track of Jhoom Barabar Jhoom and a romantic number from the same film which goes 'Bol Na Halke Halke'. So on asking her whether I got the tracks right, she laughs and replies, "I am sorry but we are not allowed to disclose out on which numbers we are going to perform and if your guess is as good as mine, you're lucky. Yes, you can predict the songs seeing my pairing with Abhishek. But that's it. There's lot more to look out for". Looking at the home page of the Unforgettable Tour website, the thing which catches your eye are the exclusive red coloured outfits which the stars have put on, symbolising glitz and glamour. So who have designed these outfits? I asked Preity, to which she replied, "Well, many of the outfits are designed by Manish Malhotra and there are other designers too on board." With only three weeks to go before this mega tour kicks off, Zinta sounds elated. "Lot of preparation is going in for the tour as of now. We all are very excited and are rehearsing for three to four hours a day. New things are coming up everyday and so is the entry of guest stars", revealed Preity. The versatile actress has in the past been a part of a world tour couple of years ago called the Temptations Tour with Shahrukh Khan. Be it on the cricket field, big screen or on the stage, this dimpled beauty has impressed on and all, but I still have my sixth sense telling me that the Unforgettable Tour is hiding something quite dark in it's promotions and will pull the rabbit out of the hat only at the right time. What you are seeing is not what you may get. "I think whatever you get is going to be more than what you expect. I can promise you that. There is going to be a lot of everything in this show. I don't want to talk much about it because it's better you all watch and see us", said the talented performer. She further adds, "This is going to be the biggest world tour coming out of the Indian Film Industry and all credit goes to Wizcraft in the way they've put the show up. Not to forget, we too have done our part to push it to another level (laughs)". The Unforgettable Tour also has it's coincidences. The first world tour in which Preity Zinta was a part of had Aishwarya Rai. And this one reunites them. "I have seen all the three Bachchans perform before and I see them all the time as they are my friends but what's good is that the fans haven't seen them together on stage and it's going to be a one off experience for them", Preity told me. Having done about three hundred interviews on the weekend before she spoke to me, Zinta sounded a bit jaded and tired. So before she calls it a day, I fired a couple of last questions to her. I asked her to explain me why she wasn't seen much in the U.K over the past couple of years and was she excited to be coming and performing at the O2 Arena for the first time where famous internatinal celebs have given live performances. She replied, "I was there in Yorkshire IIFA's last year. It's always a pleasure to come to London to perform. Usually I've been to Wembley quite a few times but this is going to be an even bigger and a better experience. Londoners have also been very vocal about how they feel and it's always a place where you get maximum people screaming and shouting and going nuts. I am looking forward to it." So whether you're lucky to get your hands on the tickets or unlucky, one things sure - Bollywood Hungama will try and make sure to keep you updated with all the latest interviews from the star performers and much more. Watch this space! And before Preity Zinta says good bye, a piece of advice from her. "We are coming and I want everyone to be there. I promise we won't let you down because we are going to put up one hell of a great show. So be there".

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