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A splendid evening With A.R. Rahman Photos: Special Arrangement

A splendid evening With A.R. Rahman Photos: Special Arrangement

With people getting together and singing songs as they waited in queues, craning their necks to catch a glimpse of their idol and roadside stalls selling sugarcane juice, popcorn and ice creams, the CODISSIA fair grounds displayed an electrifying thiruvizha spirit. ‘Nenje Ezhu’, A.R. Rahman’s first concert in the city, was on the agenda.

‘Nenje Ezhu’ is an initiative to raise funds for Chennai flood relief and rehabilitation. The song from the movie Maryan , after which the event has been named, fit perfectly, because hearts rose with elation and ecstasy as music filled the air.

“We absolutely love him. From Roja to the latest single from Acham Yenbathu Madamayada we have heard everything. We can’t wait to see him today” says one of a group of six from Pattambi, Kerala, proudly displaying the flex poster and the car that they have decorated with images of the maestro. The crowd echoed with the same adoration and their fatigue from waiting faded into blissful oblivion as A.R. Rahman took centre stage.

With a list of singers that included Hariharan, Shweta Mohan, Haricharan and Neeti Mohan, the evening promised a wide range of music across different genres that each of them excel in. It was an evening of oldies-but-goodies like ‘Vennilave Vennilave’, and brand new blockbusters like ‘Naane Varugiren’. While a folksy ‘Ballelaka’ had the audience grooving, so did the sultry ‘Mayya Mayya’.

Vijay Prakash enthralled with ‘Innum Konjam Neram’ and so did Benny Dayal with his energetic rendition of ‘Maduraikku Pogatha Di’ and his killer dance moves. The young Haripriya held her ground as she performed ‘Soukiyama Kanne, Soukiyama’. She and Hariharan effortlessly performed the classical piece ‘Nila Kaigirathu’. ‘Ennodu Nee Irundhal’ was delivered by Sid Sriram with his characteristic intensity and by Sunitha Sarathy with poise. The rap battle between BlaaZe, Aryan Dinesh and Lady Kash was stunning and they covered numbers right from ‘Pettairap’ to ‘Magudi Magudi’.

While the singers performed with élan, the dancers on stage provided a visual treat as they swayed to the tunes. The background vocalists provided the needed chorus while the elaborate orchestra, which Rahman was part of from time to time, serenading on his piano, was also exceptional. Raghav Sachar stunned the audience with his skills on the Saxophone.

SPB could not make it to the event at Chennai, but he did perform in Coimbatore and proved once again that his voice is simply timeless. He sang ‘Oruvan Oruvan Mudhalali’ with enthusiasm . His simple yet alluring ‘Enai Kaanavillaye Netrodu’ had the audience waving their arms. The highlight was his performance of ‘Ballelaka’ with singer A.R.Reihana, and the song had everybody up on their feet and cheering .

Rahman engaged in friendly banter on stage and the best of these was the ‘love’ pattimandram that Rahman facilitated and SPB, Haricharan, Srinivas, Vijay Prakash and Karthik took part in. They spoke about their experiences of being in love and slowly eased into ‘Pennala Pennala Oodha Poo’.

Another ensemble performance was the quirky take on ‘Porale Ponnuthayi’, performed by Rahman on keytar, Ranjit Barot on percussion, and singers Ishrath, Shweta Mohan and Neeti Mohan. ‘Jana Gana Mana’ from Yuva performed by all the singers was a fitting end to an evening of splendid music.

‘Nenje Ezhu’ heads to Madurai on January 31.

The event was organised by Noise and Grains in association with AKR Events and The Hindu was its associate sponsor.

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Printable version | May 18, 2022 9:49:46 pm |