Okay, so Ravi Shankar was really great, just as I expected.
I can't believe he's 91 and still puts on such a wonderful show. He might not be as lightning-fast as he used to be, but he was an absolute sight to behold. It felt like a spiritual guru had just walked into the room when he came onstage, led arm in arm by someone. He appeared very frail, almost like he should be using a wheelchair instead, but they sat him down and the whole place went silent. Someone had to pass his sitar to him and physically put it into his hands, and he gave a short speech about Indian classical and folk styles, and what they were going to perform. Then suddenly the drone filled the air and BAM! The magic happened. He just completely came to life, improvising the most wonderful lines with considerable speed for his age, and conducting his group very jauntily, waving his arms with a lively flourish and a smile every time a particularly good sound happened. The music just transformed him from a frail old man into a passionate, youthful and capable musician, and it was wonderful to see. The music itself was very good, and one of the tabla players was astonishingly fast! Ravi even injected humour into it, even though it's not the kind of show you'd expect to hear it, at one point explaining that a lot of his early training revolved around dancing, but adding "don't worry, I won't actually get up and dance!" He was inspiring to watch, and I count myself extremely lucky that I've managed to see him perform live, despite the fact that our lifetimes are quite badly spaced for it.