Bollywood puts on a rocking show for Abu Dhabi on the first night of the IIFA Awards

It was truly a rocking night at IIFA Rocks and it set the tone for what is to come on Saturday – even bigger performances, bigger awards and bigger stars

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IIFA Awards 2022 live: Salman Khan joins Bollywood stars for IIFA Rocks in Abu Dhabi

You know a show is truly successful when the audience starts dancing in their seats and in the aisles — and this was the case halfway through the IIFA Rocks show, part of the IIFA Awards weekend on Friday night.

The show started about two hours late on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi and did not get off to a very strong start, but it picked up pretty soon.

The hosts for the evening — Farah Khan Kunder and Aparshakti Khurana — tried hard to get momentum going, especially in the beginning, but things really started looking up when South Indian composer and singer Devi Sri Prasad took to the stage to belt out some of his popular hits, including the viral hit Srivalli from the film Pushpa.

He also performed other songs such as Seeti Maar and Dhinka Chika from Bollywood star Salman Khan’s films.

DSP, as the composer is popularly known, also created a special mix for his Abu Dhabi performance — blending another one of his hits, OO Antava Mawa with Arabic beats and the Punjabi dhol.

The performance, which included belly dancers and a bright and colourful background resembling a Bollywood film set, was one of the highlights of the night.

But it was Guru Randhawa who got the audiences out of their seats and moving to his most popular hits such as Lagdi Lahore Di, High Rated Gabru, Suit Suit and Dance Meri Rani.

His act was followed by the most in-demand artist of the night, Honey Singh, who kept the tempo going with Blue Eyes, Desi Kalaakar and Love Dose.

Bollywood stars at IIFA Rocks, the first night of IIFA Awards 2022 - in pictures

The two popular rappers also debuted their new collaborative single, Designer, which after the very upbeat set they both performed, seemed a tad dull.

Tanishk Bagchi, Asees Kaur, Ash King and Zahrah Khan took to the stage to perform a mix of their own hits such as Raata Lambiyan, Dholna and Har Funn Maula, as well as remixes of older songs including Dilbar Dilbar and Humma Humma.

The night was not only about the performances, though: several technical awards were handed out as well, with Sardar Udham the biggest winner of the night, picking up gongs for Best Cinematography, Editing and Special Effects.

Atrangi Re won Oscar-winning composer A R Rahman the prize for Background Score, while Vijay Ganguly picked up the award for choreography for the popular track Chaka Chak — which Sara Ali Khan will perform on the awards night on Saturday.

Popular duo Falguni & Shane Peacock, whose designs are often spotted on red carpets in Bollywood and Hollywood, debuted a special collection, with Jacqueline Fernandez and Ananya Panday modelling some very sparkly dresses.

The closing act of the night was singer Neha Kakkar, who performed a mix of some of her own and other popular songs, and proved yet again why she is one of the most popular playback singers today.

It was truly a rocking night at IIFA Rocks and it set the tone for what is to come on Saturday — even bigger performances, bigger awards and bigger stars.

Stay tuned for our coverage from the second day of the IIFA weekend in Abu Dhabi

Updated: June 04, 2022, 6:33 AM