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Monday, May 30, 2011

A DISAPPOINTING AR RAHMAN CONCERT..MAY 29TH, 2011 @BANGALORE

I know I'm gonna get slammed by a lot of Rahmaniacs for this post...But yeah, I have the right to express my views...& that's what I am doing :)...

I am a Rahmaniac too, but this concert of his which happened yesterday disappointed me a lot...
In one-sentence - IT WAS MOST OVER-HYPED !!!

Right from the beginning, where one had to get "passes" but those wouldn't be enough...and those passes had to be exchanged for tickets!!! WHAT LOGIC IS THAT !! RIDICULOUS!!!

Next, this was gonna be a first concert for Rahman without his stalwarts like Hariharan, Shankar Mahadevan, Chitra & others....The ONLY notable singers this time were Remo Fernandes & Vijay Prakash...who are good...but certainly not legends...There was no Blaaze!!!
Well...I knew it was gonna be little of a letdown...but I still thought Rahman would salvage the show...by singing the best of his best ones...

I have been to a lot of concerts in my life...including AR's previous Bangalore concert in 2005...which was SUPER-AWESOME !!! ....and of course...Yuvan's concert in Chennai...which was ONE OF THE BEST MOMENTS IN MY LIFE...I have written about the Yuvan's concert with a lot of passion because I really felt like doing so....

But for this one, I hardly even feel like writing about it ...The MAIN reason for my disappointment was HIS CHOICE OF SONGS....
MOST of the songs were slow and failed to get the audience moving ...unlike Yuvan's...where the crowd was not silent EVEN FOR A MINUTE...

I can be like one of those ultra-strong Rahmaniacs with a Rahman-can-never-be-anything-but-rocking attitude and say "It was TOO GOOD..AWESOME..AR RAHMAN IS GOD..Blah blah" ...But I would be untrue to my own self if I did that ....Well, Rahman IS a legend, no doubt...But the quality of his music HAS seen a significant dip....AND THIS concert...trust me...I've been a Rahmaniac for 2 decades now...& I can CLEARLY say...this was his worst concert ever...Come on ARR, you can do A LOT better than this!

I dunno if I was the only one who felt this way....but I did NOT see any joy on Rahman's face in this concert...as opposed to his previous ones...where he felt so blessed & loved to be there....
In this one, he looked as if he was reluctant & was forced to do it....

Anyways...here's the list ...

1. The concert started off with a medley of ARR's instrumentals - Roja, Bombay theme, Duet Anjali saxophone part...

2. Rahman's entry happened with Mausam & Escape...I was expecting a punch-packed entry ...with "Oh Saaya" or ..like the 2005 concert...where he started with "Fanaa" ..which transformed the drenched crowd into a one struck by a thunderbolt & electrified by a transformer...But then...after humming the "elelo" bit from "Chinna chinna aasai"...he went on to sing "Tere bina" from "Guru"...it really slowed things instead of setting the pace for the evening...

3. Then ushered in a little bit of energy...with "Dil se re"....which was AWESOME....It really had MASTER-CLASS...all over it!

4. Then came "Rangeela re" ..by an unknown singer...It was very average...I can't imagine ANYONE other than Asha ji...singing that song ...This was followed by a remix version of "Tanha Tanha" by Shweta Pandit...which again...really KILLED the original...This was followed by "Spirit of Rangeela" which was good ...

5. Then came a surprise - "If you wanna come along" from the movie "New"...which was OKAY...People in the audience were confused as to which song it was...I, a proud Rahmaniac, could identify it immediately! :D

6. Remo Fernandes made his entry..with "Daud"...again...another song which Rahman's not done before...in concerts...but this failed to get the audience moving...and Remo started overdoing the song as if it were his own concert...by adding his own 2 mins of "thakachiki" stuff !!

7. Then came "Main samajh gayi" from "Taal" ...which was again...OKAY...I mean...the past 3 songs are all good to listen to....BUT DEFINITELY NOT SUITED FOR A CONCERT WITH tens & thousands of people !!!

8. Finally, there was SOME energy seen in the audience...with Javed Ali & another singer singing "Rang De Basanti" ....Then entered Vijay Prakash...with "Masakkali"...he was one of the better performers in the show...and CONNECTED with the audience quite well...by speaking in Kannada...

9. Then came "Poraale ponnuthaaye" in Hindi...sung by Rahman himself....AGAIN, ANYONE would dislike the Hindi verison...if they've heard Late Swarnalatha MASTERFULLY rendering the Tamil version...it comes across as NO surprise that she won the National award for it...

10. THIS WAS ONE OF THE AWESOME PARTS - ARR taking over & singing Yeh Jo Des hai Tera....
TEN THOUSAND PEOPLE SCREAMED THEIR LUNGS OUT ...I'm sure my mum at home would've heard my voice...I SCREAMED THAT LOUD ...when he switched over to Tamil & sang "undhan desathin kural"...THIS WAS ONE OF THE BEST MOMENTS of the concert !!!!

11. Then began the very sad part...with some lady singing "saiyyan"...very sadly...as if someone just passed away....this was followed by a slightly better "Genda Phool" ...

12. FINALLY...THERE WAS A MUCH-NEEDED SPIRIT-RAISER...and this got the audience HOWLING like never before!!!!!! Vijay Prakash started off with "Yen...Idhayam".....EVERYONE WAS WAITING IN EAGER ANTICIPATION...for this one!!!! Now..this is a song which is known all over the world...even by people who dunno Tamil....It has struck a chord with every heart...
There was a little bit of a letdown with no Blaaze...HOW AWESOME WOULD IT HAVE BEEN...If Blaaze rapped and got 10k people to say "hello" in unison...with him!!! :( :( But still, considering the lackluster display until then...This put a smile on my face! :)

13. Just when we thought that "Hosanna" was the turning point....Things switched back to gloom...with people singing THE SAD version of "Jaane tu ya jaane na"...NOW WHY ON EARTH WOULD THEY SELECT THAT SONG...from the movie...WHEN THERE'S KABHI KABHI ADITI...& PAPPU CAN'T DANCE ???

14. Then came Lukka Chuppi...with Lata ji's projection on the screen...which was AWESOME...This was a REAL AWESOME performance...esp. Rahman's high notes & the swaras...HE STAMPED HIS MASTERCLASS...YET AGAIN!! This was something to smile about :)

15. The slowness of things continued with "Tu Muskura"...this was a good one...I was remember Bharath Sriram & his Monica Seles-like addiction to this song...as it was being performed....Vijay Prakash's notes were also very good !!

16. Then came "Anjaana anjaani" from Yuva...which was OKAY ...It would've been A LOT better in Tamil !! :) ...WHERE WERE THE SONGS WITH THE PUNCH?? ...like Fanaa & Jana Gana Mana ???!!

17. Then Rahman did something which he usually does in his concerts...ditching the orchestra...& just using the grand piano....which is usually AN AWESOME part...after all the high-voltage action...which is usually there in his concerts....BUT WAS TOTALLY LACKING...in this one!!! :(
But still...THEN CAME THE 3RD BEST PART OF THE CONCERT -
He played "Meherbaan" from Ada...on the grand piano...IT WAS MAGICAL !!!!!!!
NO ONE WAS ABLE TO INDENTIFY THE SONG...

I was THE ONLY RAHMANIAC in my section...who identified it ..& started singing along ....everyone looked at me with a "how does he know this song?" look !!! YAY!! :)...I'M QUITE A BIT OF A RAHMANIAC !! :) :)...I FELT VERY GOOD !! :) :)..

He continued with "Rehna tu" & "Jaage" from Guru...It surprised me!! Was Rahman not feeling well ???? WHERE WAS THE ENERGY ??? Why were there just slow, sad, gloomy songs?!!
This was NOT an Illayaraja concert!!!!! WHERE WAS THE PULSATING, HIGH-VOLTAGE ENERGY??!! ...which was there EVERY SECOND...in Yuvan's concert!!!!

18. The slow, dreary & dull feeling continued with "how many stars have to shine?" ....followed by "ishq bina" ...which was decent...BUT ...ISHQ BINA...IS NOT ISHQ BINA....WITHOUT ALKA YAGNIK singing it....You were missed, Alka ji !!!!!! ...and badly!!

19. FINALLY....CAME THE 2ND BEST PART OF THE CONCERT - A high-intensity bass & beat...& suddenly .."Chikku bukku raile" burst on to the stage....THIS WAS ABSOLUTE AWESOMENESS !!!!!!!! THIS CREATED HYSTERIA...IN THE CROWD...THIS IS WHAT I WAS WAITING FOR !!!!! ....& THE SUDDEN SWITCH TO "PETTA RAP" ...WAS OUT OF THE WORLD......I was remembering our jamming sessions with Arun CS muttering every syllable of this song even in his sleep!!! ...THIS LEFT THE CROWD GASPING FOR BREATH...& ASKING FOR MORE...

20. Then came Rahman's EARTH-SHATTERING chartbuster - "Jai Ho"....10k folks sang "Jai Ho" along with him...It was a nice moment :) ...I thought this would come at the finale...but it came much earlier than expected...

21. Then came ARR's song from "Raavan" - "ud jaaye"....another slow song...people in the crowd began to get restless...

22. This was followed by Rahman and his singers wearing the white cap...and sitting down in front of the harmonium....I knew it was gonna be "Khwaja mere khwaja"....but before it was "Arziyaan"...this was slow as well...BUT IT WAS GOOD...One could REALLY FEEL THE DEVOTION TO GOD...when he/she saw ARR singing "Khwaja mere khwaja"...

23. Then ..."Latika's theme" was played ...and on the screen, one could see the credits rolling....

24. A foreign singer sang "Kahin toh" from "jaane tu ya jaane na"...again...good song...but ...I re-iterate...this was an ARR concert...It was supposed to be ROCKING...Crowds were supposed to be dancing uncontrollably...WHERE WAS ALL THAT?!!!!!
People in the standing areas ...just sat down on the grass...and watched the "3D screen" ...which really didn't work half the time...& when it worked...it DID NOT show any 3D effect !!!!
HUGE WASTE!!!!!!!

25. Remo re-appeared again...& sang "Mukkala"...this WOKE UP the audience...and they were on their feet..jumping up & down....but ...one REALLY cannot think of anyone else...other than MANO ..& Swarnalatha..doing justice to this song !!!!!!! :) ..

This song is a LOT MORE SUPER-AWESOME in Tamil...than in Hindi ....

26. Then began a jugal-bandi between ARR & Sivamani ...before "tok de gilli" from "Raavan" began...a song which I don't & didn't like...

27. There was a saxophone instrumental before "Humma humma" began..with Remo taking over....the crowd got moving ...BUT...after having seen Blaaze & AR do this song in many concerts...& in TAMIL....this was disappointing again!! ...& Remo spoiled it by overdoing his "chak-chak-tak" stuff....

28. FINALLY..FINALLY..FINALLY CAME THE BEST PART OF THE CONCERT.......
SOMETHING I VERY BADLY WANTED...SOMETHING I VERY BADLY WAITED FOR..
SOMETHING WHICH MADE THE CONCERT WORTH THE MONEY I PAID ....
SOMETHING WHICH GAVE ME IMMENSE IMMENSE HAPPINESS....I WAS OVERJOYED !!!!!!!!!! :) :) :)

THIS WAS THE BEST PART OF THE CONCERT - ARR & a new singer...BELTING OUT "IRUMBILE ORU IRUDHAYAM" :) :) :) :) :) .....I COULD NOT STOP JUMING UP & DOWN...& SINGING EVERY LINE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :)

IT WAS SUPER-AWESOME.....NOWWWWWWW IT FINALLY FELT LIKE A RAHMAN CONCERT !!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :)...

After this ...Rahman said "that's it..it's time to go"...it was just 10.10 pm...THE AUDIENCE WAS SHOCKED !!!!!!!!!...WHAT !!!!!!!!! SO EARLY?!!!!!!!
The same thing happened in Sonu Nigam's concert....in 2005...

THINGS WERE JUST BEGINNING TO FEEL AWEEEEESOMEE....N IT WAS THE END??!!!!
WAAAH! :'(

29. It ended with Rahman dedicating "Roobaroo" ..as a part of India's crusade against corruption & ended with 2 lines of Vande Mataram...just in time not to disappoint the audience...

Well...lemme end by saying that....IT WAS A GOOD CONCERT.....BUT A BAD AR RAHMAN CONCERT !! It was over-hyped...& in the end...fell short of MY expectations at least !!!!

But definitely...moments like Meherbaan & Irumbile will make me smile :) :)....

21 comments:

MY PAGE said...

Dude, Alka Yagnik and Ishq Bina???
And you missed the Chikku Bukku Rock Version too..

Ashwin S Kumar said...

Oh yeah!! I'm very sorry...

MY BAD !!! Alka Yagnik sang "Taal se taal" ...not Ishq bina...sorry sorry...I got confused !! :)

and I've mentioned Chikku bukku raile...in point #19..:)

Raknahsivar said...

noI think there was tremendous pressure on Rahman...He didn't have any established performers...So most of the time he had to perform the songs(whether instrument/voice).I think that the pressure was on him and he was also straining to sing some of his songs...Also you didn't mention about the sound system...The levels were very low for the 1st 1 hour which brought down the impact a bit...I felt the best part of the concert was that of Suresh Peter's and Rahman's Sufi renditions...esp the 3d effect was only notable in the Khwaja Mere Khwaja song...

Ashwin S Kumar said...

^^ Yeah..you're probably right...
& the sound effects left a lot to be desired :)

JL said...

You're absolutely right! Couldn't agree with you more about the concert and the lack of joy in ARR and the extremely slow songs :-(. I'm sure each and every one of us are BIG TIME RAHAMANIANS, but this was a let down especially after such rocking performances earlier, in the same place :-(

Rakesh said...

Dude, dont brag so much about being a huge Rahmaniac!! U called Gurus of piece the hindi version of Porale Ponnuthaayi??? :D Thats Gurus of peace from Vande mataram rendered by AR and Nusrat Fateh ali khan in the original!! And it was a perfect choice of singers i would say. Of course we missed the original singers but then all the singers used were a perfect choice, Neeti muhan, Shweta, Natalie, Javed ali and all of them were perfect. And how could u miss the best part of the concert, the Violin-flute rendition of the Raaga's dance?? I'm sure you sisnt know that was an ARR's composition!
And not a mention of the stage, lighting and the animations in the background. The song selection was the best part. A perfect mix of slow melodies and fast paced numbers interspersed with instrumentals and stuff. better part was the improvisation of the songs by ARR, eg. Yeh jo des where he so well improvidsed the tune. Also the humming for Roobaro..
U should get your facts right before posting a review. :)

Ashwin S Kumar said...

^^^
I might not be as much a Rahmaniac as you are...but I AM one...If I wasn't one...I wouldn't have attended his concert...& I wouldn't've attended his 2005 concert either..if that were the case...

You have your views...I have mine...:)...It has the same tune as "Poraley ponnuthaayey" ...

Well, yes...I missed out on Raaga's dance...it might've been the best part of the concert for you...but it wasn't...for me!

Well..if you think you can write a much better review with proper facts, as u claim..please go ahead !! who is stopping you?! :)

This is what I felt about the concert...and I have every right to write about it! :)

Malathi said...

You are talking like a typical "Tamil" not a Rahman fan.. Be more Indian, more Bangalorean to understand that music has no language..

Ashwin S Kumar said...

^^ Sure!! I am a huge fan of Tamil music...agreed ..

BUT...that doesn't mean I'm not open to songs from other languages...I'm a fan of good music, no matter what language it is in...you are right..music has no language...

The point I'm trying to make is ...some of the songs which he did...like Mukkaala, Humma Humma...etc sound much better in Tamil...I'm not saying they sucked...it's just that those songs are better in Tamil...

I would've said the same thing if he sang "Dil se re" in Tamil...cos...Dil se re obviously sounds a LOT better in Hindi than in Tamil..:)

vijay said...

Hi ashwin. this is vijay,a RAHMANIAC. i enjoyed reading ur arr concert blog and it was absolutely true that it was the worst arr concert.every words u have mentioned is really true coz, me too felt the same.. it was not at all an ARR concert..

shahpraneel said...

You are criticising because you have not seen any other concert. People die to see rahman, listen to his music. He is not just the brand name, he is A R Rahman - the music legend. Most humble person and down to earth as sachin.

Though he has lost his sound engineer H.Sridhar who was big daddy of sound engineering but the person who is doing it now is also a big name and never leaves imperfection. Every song and melodies of him is like a slow poison.

You will realise the effect of this concert after you will see somebody else's concert. Remember me and you will again go to watch rahman's concert.

Ashwin S Kumar said...

^^ I guess you've not read my post properly ...

"I have been to a lot of concerts in my life...including AR's previous Bangalore concert in 2005...which was SUPER-AWESOME !!! ....and of course...Yuvan's concert in Chennai...which was ONE OF THE BEST MOMENTS IN MY LIFE...I have written about the Yuvan's concert with a lot of passion because I really felt like doing so...."

I have been to ARR's previous concert in Bangalore...which was REALLY AWESOME & SIMPLY BRILLIANT....the recent one was very bad compared to his previous concert & Yuvan's recent concert in Chennai ...

Mahabubnagar said...

Very Best Review on A R Rahman Concert... Song By Song!!!

Thank You!!!

Ashwin S Kumar said...

Thank you!! :)

me said...

i was at the concert and completely agree.it was a huge disappointment.i also think the fault was partly from the oraganisers' side.the sound effects werent good enough and like you mentioned the 3D was just a futile extravanganza.
#epic fail

hitwicked said...

Oh. Someone didn't like that show that well.

I have been to 2 Rahman's concert now and this was my second.

I actually like it, it being a Rahman concert after all. And I also agree that without the actual singers, it sounds little fake and imperfect.

True that, it was a good concert but not the best AR Rahman can deliver. Not disappointing though.

hitwicked said...

Also, the best part was Chikku Bukku.

ALTHAF said...

concert was great in part wise...without naresh iyer , benny dayal , blaze and chinmayi event became flat in many stage...withou them doing a huge event is big risk...overall i feel proud to be part of a r rahman show...pls next time include all ur main pillars
(singers);;;

Swarna Surya said...

i know its tooo late to comment(exactly one month)...this was my first ARR concert... i was excited to the core....:).well i m a die hard ARR fan...and the way u have written is the same way i felt..when i identified songs like meherbaan from ada,chanda suraj &jaage hain instantly...i felt the same way as u felt!! PROUD!!.for me it was good but not TOOOOO good!!..but i m highly satisfied with all ARR performances...seroiusly i expected to see legends like hariharan sadna sargam..BLAAZEEEE..but my fate:(...i just hope my next CONCERT will be MAGICAL!!!

Unknown said...

I neither attend the event, not am the biggest Rahman fan. But, Buddy-i loved reading the details of this blog. You are a true fan. May god bless you a SNAP with Rahman, something which you would cherish all your life :-)

Ashwin S Kumar said...

thanks :)