Rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh had the crowd on its feet at a concert in the city recently

Frantic voices ask, “Extra passes? Do you have an extra?” as we make our way to the Yo Yo Honey Singh concert. The show is clearly a sell-out and the piercing screams of the enthusiastic audience at the YMCA are loud enough to drown the sound of snarling traffic on the busy road.

The evening starts with DJ Hussy playing a mix of Bollywood chartbusters followed by a dance performance by the Loyola Dream Team. With the young crowd hooting and dancing it could have been mistaken for a frat party. It only gets louder when Honey Singh bounds on to the stage followed by two bodyguards in black suits.

“This has been a dream — to perform in front of such a crowd in Chennai,” says the rapper as he greets the crowd in trademark rapper gear — dark shades, cap, over-sized T-shirt and a thick gold chain. Many from the audience flock to the front of the stage feverishly clicking pictures and waving at the singer.

Calling upon singers Alfaaz and Gippy Grewal, he sings ‘Hai mera dil’ and the immensely-popular ‘Brown Rang’. Meanwhile a little child in the audience is the source of much attention. He’s dressed like Honey Singh in his latest video ‘Blue Eyes’ — black waistcoat, trousers and a fedora with a red feather. The singer spots him and calls him on stage. The child sings, matches steps with Singh and lasts the entire course of the song. His antics leave the singer and the audience in awe and there’s not a hint of nervousness or stage fright. One wonders if the act is impromptu or rehearsed.

More songs follow ‘Main Sofiyo Da Raja,’ ‘Angrezi Beat’ and then the much-awaited ‘Lungi Dance.’ “I want everyone to salute Thalaiva. He is my inspiration,” bellows the singer. The crowd which mostly comprises teenagers and young adults goes berserk. They clamber onto their seats and jump along the aisles as they dance. The barricades separating the front-row seats from the rest of the audience possibly suffer the most with boys and girls jumping over them or squeezing through. The audience are on their feet dancing, the cops are on their feet too monitoring and reprimanding a few here and there. “Oh police anna. Kuch nahi hoga. All are my brothers. Acha police keh rahe hai toh thoda peche ho jao,” he says as the cops try to manage fans that’ve got too close to the stage.

Other popular numbers included ‘Tik Tok’, ‘Main Sharabi’, ‘Bebo’ and ‘Party All Night’ that summed up the mood at the concert. The show also ranks high on gimmicks as Singh clicks videos of the audience and posts them on Facebook. “I’ll only sing ‘Blue Eyes’ if you share it on Facebook,” he says and promptly the obedient fans do so. “Anirudh (Ravichander) ke saath main ek Tamil song karne walla hu. We are gonna show the world how we do Tamil song baby!” he announcesand there’s loud applause. Pretty much everything he utters draws that kind of a response.

Young parents take turns to watch over their infants as they too join the dancing crowd. The few older members too can’t resist the music and give in to it. Truly the night belonged to the singer from Hoshiarpur.