A.R. Rahman was “chilling” an hour before his scheduled sound check on June 19 at the Pontiac Silverdome when he received word about an accident involving the stage at the venue.
But he was not aware of the severity of the damage, a scaffolding collapse that sent several workers to the hospital and knocked his “A.R. Rahman Jai Ho Concert: The Journey Home World Tour” off the rails.
“Little did we expect it was going to cancel the whole tour, almost and take months to bring it back,” says the Indian composer, best known for his film work and particularly his Academy Award-winning music for 2009’s “Slumdog Millionaire.” “I thought, ‘OK, we’ll cancel tonight and tomorrow we’ll do the next show in Toronto’ and all that. “Then we found out all the stuff that had happened.”
Rahman, 44, says there was talk about simply walking away from the tour, which had drawn rave reviews for its spectacular staging, extensive visuals and opulent production numbers. But he never wavered from his intent to make good on his June promise to reschedule the dates.
“For me, I have to keep my word to the fans, to the promoters who put in money,” Rahman explains. “So we moved mountains and did many things to make it happen. It’s the philosophy of our life, you know? The show has to go on. Now we’re all back and happy ... and we hope the stage is stronger this time.”
Alongside his touring schedule, Rahman is busy with several other projects. He has no less than 16 films on his docket for this year and next, including the Hindi film “Rock Star” and “Slumdog Millionaire” director Danny Boyle’s new “127 Hours,” for which Rahman collaborated with Dido on a song called “If I Rise.” And while he had to put a more straightforward song album “on hold” because of the tour, Rahman has “four or five songs that I’m happy with” and hopes to write another five, in both English and Hindi, before starting to record it.
“All the ideas I’ve done are there,” he says, “and I want to get with some collaborators as well. The direction is really, really youth-friendly but at the same time having kind of a sublime undertone in it, spiritual things but not preachy. It’s really a dance album.”
The A.R. Rahman Jai Ho Concert: The Journey Home World Tour plays at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, at the Pontiac Silverdome. Tickets are $87. Tickets for the original June 19 date will be honored. Call 248-338-2500 or visit www.silverdomeevents.com.
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