Just imagine Lata Mangeshkar singing in her inimitable soprano before a jam-packed audience. And, you find out that she isn't actually singing on the stage but pretending to sing along with the live band.
So much for the virtues of a live concert. Most music shows have singers lip-syncing, even when it's supposed to be a ‘live' performance. Why? Isn't it easier to sing rather than synchronise one's lips with the recorded voice from a mixer?
"Lip-syncing sessions at shows are generally for inexperienced singers. Singers with whom we can't take any kind of risk usually use this technique," says Vineet Hans of the event management company Innovative Ideaz. <b1>
So who doesn't need lipsyncing? "Lip-sync sessions happen only with C-grade singers. When it comes to established singers like Shaan and Sonu Nigam, I don't think they need it," says Pankaj Bindal of Showmakerz.
Singers can have their equivalent of bad-hair days - call it their ‘bad-throat days.' They may be fit enough to be on the stage but not fit enough to sing.
Palash Sen of Euphoria emphasises, "Euphoria has never lip-synced till date. Everything has a good and bad side. Every musician should be true to his art and not go the ‘easy way'. After all music is something that connects, be it for the singer or for the ones who are listening to it."
Zubeen Garg of Ya Ali fame, says, "I personally am not for lip-syncing. Yes singers do go for it. But for me performing live and engaging in some kind of connect with the audience is a kick."
The pitfalls are everywhere. You can choose the wrong song. You can forget the words. Or, you can start singing something else altogether.
Which is why it's always wise to pick up that old tip from Rod Stewart - turn your back to the audience if you have to lip-sync. You can't get that wrong.