Musical rapture

Artists performing at ''You, Me, and Him’ - a gospel concert.  

Admittedly, Chennai doesn't get its fair share of praise music. And judging by the turnout at a recent show, the audience is not lacking. “You, Me, and Him” is a gospel concert that aims at being part of the city's event calendar. Its second instalment at Kamraj Arangam last Saturday was a treat simply because we're starved of home-grown gospel musicians.

Great line up

Hosted by Joel Thomasraj, it featured a line-up of great singers and pro musicians. The chorus was provided jointly by the groups Friends in Faith and Yadah, conducted by Cynthia Carol. The concert opened with an absolute energy-filled performance of “Shout to the Lord”, followed by “You are Good”. While most in the crowd got up and swayed in time, a few others seemed quite uncomfortable, standing more out of obligation.

Pr. Chadwick Samuel made a guest appearance for “I will worship with all of my heart”.

With Keba Jeremaiah on acoustic and Joshua Mark Raj on lead guitars showing the way, “I love you Lord” was rightly soulful. “Be my magnification” by Rohith Fernandes had all the verve you could ask for, as did Timmy Madhukar's “I want to fly again”. In contrast, Maxyn Kingston's rendition of “I don't wanna go somewhere” was gentler and oozing style. She's evidently got natural élan for worship music.

The duet “He lives” saw mellow tones and effectively restrained performances by both Timmy and Ramya N.S.

But the pick of the evening was undoubtedly the other duet by Maxyn and Ramya. The two did full justice to the much-loved, all-time favourite “There can be miracles” from the animation movie “The Prince of Egypt”. Their amazing vocal ranges gave the song an almost ethereal effect.

In a reprise from last year's concert, this one also featured a face-off (read boxing match) between the Devil (John Philip) and Joel. The addition here was Jesus (Enock). The act was rather gimmicky and reminiscent of school plays. Joel's testimony however was nice to listen to. The music continued with “Draw me close”; this time, everybody joined in without invitation. Joel worked his magic on the keyboard for an improvised version of “Every move I make”.

Instrumentalists rocked

A little into the concert and the instrumentalists became crowd favourites; especially Keith Peters on bass, Aben Jotham on key flute and soprano sax and Allwyn on percussion. The audience cheered them on, and were left asking for more of their riffs between songs.

The vocalists were obviously having fun on stage, and that showed in the music. It's difficult to go through a whopping 17 songs if you're not enjoying it.

On the down side, all of those were covers (Lakewood Church, Hillsong, Don Moen etc). You'd wish for more original compositions in such a concert. Also, the instruments were often overpowering and the lyrics lost. The screens displaying the lyrics were out of sight and by the time you strained your neck to locate one, it goes blank as if on cue.

Except for the few technical hiccups, there was nothing even remotely amateur here. And they promise to bring in self compositions for the subsequent editions. You might want to catch them next year. It's the only gospel concert we get anyway.

Tanya is a II Year B.Com. student at Stella Maris College.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 12:41:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/nxg/Musical-rapture/article16560508.ece

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