The show breathed freshness from the word go. Asianet Star Singers Vs Vijay TV Super Singers claimed the billboards. But it was complete camaraderie among them. The equal mix of Malayalam and Tamil film numbers went down well with the crowd. Another notable aspect was the choice of numbers -- melodies dominated the evening. The proceeds of Ram Surendar’s 7 Swarangal show titled ‘Gaanamae … Iniya Raagamae’ and presented by Shree Kaaligambal Fine Arts, at Kamarajar Hall, Teynampet, Chennai, went to mentally challenged destitute children. And as ‘Super Singer’ Krishnamoorthy said, despite it being an IPL match evening, the crowd was sizeable.

Actor Sarathkumar MLA was the chief guest and joining him on stage were prominent small screen faces, Thiruchelvam, the director of ‘Kolangal’ and ‘Madhavi,’ actor Bhavna Prakash of ‘Madhavi’ fame, and veteran stage and playback singer, S. N. Surendar . “This is the first function I’m attending after the elections and I’m glad that it is for a worthy social cause. Sentimentally too it is significant to me because when the organisers invited me for the event more than a month ago they said I would be an MLA when I came on the dais,” he said. And as a special honour to him a popular piece from his Malayalam hit, ‘Pazhassi Raja,’ was sung.

Thiruchelvam, who spoke later, commended Ram Surendar’s idea of building an artistic bridge between Malayalam and Tamil through music.

Asianet singer Somadas’s opening song from the album, ‘Vishwa Vinayaka,’ was a brilliant choice that had the audience hooked. SPB and Shankar Mahadevan, the singers of the original, have made the song – ‘Gananaayakaaya …’ – memorable, and Somadas sang it pretty well, the initial hiccoughs notwithstanding.

When the talented Krishnamoorthy embellished the ‘Mudhan Mudhalil Paarthaen …’ piece with improvisations S. N. Surendar raised his hands in appreciation.

And who can forget Vidhya Shankar’s inimitable ‘Neeye Unakku Endrum …’ as he alternated TMS’s voice with M.R. Radha’s? The enjoyable Mellisai Mannar composition found many takers mainly because Vidhya did a good job of it. The others -- Preethi Warrier, Pooja and Priyanka -- also bolstered up the show.

The cause and the concept appealed even more than the concert, and the crowd found it all worthwhile.

At a time when minus one tracks have become part of most light music shows, the enthusiasm of conductors could wane. But not Ram Surendar’s -- his zest from beginning to end revved up the spirits of the young team of singers as he kept encouraging them, even as he mouthed the lines and conducted the orchestra!

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Arts, Entertainment & EventsMay 14, 2012