Oscar and Grammy winner A.R. Rahman, who shot to global visibility on the back of the film SlumDog Millionaire, was to arrive at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood (Los Angeles) on Sunday. My prized pair of tickets had just been delivered yesterday. Alas it won’t happen.
Rahmans special effects enhanced Jai Ho Concert: The Journey Home World Tour successfully dazzled audiences in New York and Chicago. Disaster struck in Detroit— a heavy piece of lighting equipment proved too much for the Pontiac Silverdomewhich collapsed during the setup for last weekend’s show.
“It’s a miracle my team escaped with minor injuries,” Rahman said Monday on Twitter. After initially postponing dates in Detroit and Toronto, Rahman made the agonizing decision Tuesday evening to cancel his remaining North American tour stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver and Houston while sets were rebuilt and producers scrambled to ascertain which elements of the current show could be salvaged.
The predicament represents a significant setback for Rahman – who was named to Time magazine’s list of the world’s most influential people last year – in his quest to connect with Western audiences like no South Asian pop star before him while still relatively hot off his “Slumdog” success.
Combining Bollywood, Broadway and a rock circus, “Jai Ho Concert” was intended as a gateway into the American mainstream. The plan to cross over with non-Indian audiences also includes continuing soundtrack work in Hollywood (after “Slumdog,” Rahman was hired to score the 2009 comedy Couples Retreat) and a deal with Interscope Records.