(Continued from part 2)

Rehersal Continued...

ARR started singing Aazadi from Bose. It was wonderful! During the first rehersal of this song, the chorus was not perfect... They lost their shruthi and gradually their pitch reduced!!!! ARR did not interrupt them... But, once the choir was over, ARR raised the volume of his keyboard, and played an abaswaram - indicating the dropping shruthi and making fun of the singers.... Everyone, including the harmony singers enjoyed ARR's sense of humour!

ARR also made Sukhwinder and Sadhna Sargam work really hard for Aayo Re, the song from the yet-unreleased movie Water. Some parts of this song were practiced quite a number of times. This was understandable as this must have been probably the first or second time, they were singing this song, after the recording!!!

All through the rehersal, we kept applauding each and every movement of ARR on stage. We were holding out a big banner showing ARRAHMANFANS.COM. ARR knew we were there and he was acknowledging our applause now and then, by waving at us.. This got us even more excited!!!!

There was a small break during the reharsal and we met Blaaze during this time... He was delighted to meet us when we told him that we are from ARRAHMANFANS.COM. He apparently is also a member of the group (with a anonymous id, of course) and has been following the discussions on the group. We were astonished when he identified us by our mail-ids and also talked about some of the discussions going on in the group! He spoke to ARR and arranged for a private meeting with ARR for us. This was when we took photos with ARR, about which I have already written in my earlier post.

The Montage
During the meeting, we presented ARR with a montage - it contained the images of CD/Cassette covers of each and every ablum that ARR had composed till now! Kudos to Gopal Srinivasan for scanning all those 93 CD covers and compiling them!

Sadhna Sargam
I met Sadhna ji during lunch on the day of the concert. Spoke to her for a few minutes, first congratulating her on her wonderful performance during the rehersals. I quizzed whether she had learnt Thamizh ('coz her pronunciation in Thee Thee was perfect - and she was singing without looking at the lyrics). Her reply - "no" - with a beautiful smile! She sadi that she just listens to what ARR says - just remembers them and works on it so that she got right! And of course, ARR would correct her if there is a mistake. She told me that she would be really careful not to make the mistake again!

Later that afternoon, I spent some time with bass guitarist Keith Peters and the male harmony singers (Mayiliragae fame Naresh Iyer was one of them). Then of course, the concert happened in the evening.

Thus, had a great experience on the two days. A big thanks to Gopal Srinivasan (moderator, ARRAHMANFANS), Arun KB Ganesh and all others who made all this possible. Also, thanx to Mugilan and RadhaKrishnan for the fotos - some of the fotos were from their cams as there were restrictions on the use of cams and we restricted to only 2-3 cams!

The End
By Aravind on Monday, October 31, 2005 at 7:25 PM Post Categories: , ,
(continued from Part 1)

On the day before the concert, we met many artistes, but could not interact for long...Met H.Sridhar and took his autograph, but he was way too busy that day and could not talk with him for long. They were doing a rigorous sound-test, to assure that everything was perfect on the final day.

An enthusiastic team from ARRAHMANFANS getting autograph from H.Sridhar.
The one on the left in yellowish t-shirt, is none other than your's truly!

Also met Alma, the Bosnian Singer. We were all waiting for ARR to come to the venue. I was at the food court, when someone came and informed that ARR was on stage... I ran from back-stage to front stage... ARR was there in full-black in front of his keyboards... The Rehersal was about to start!

The rehersal
The rehersal was great - it showed us ARR's way of working, his perfection etc. The way they practiced the harmony part for "Kannalane" was great. The female and male harmony had some problems and were not in sync. Then, separate practice sessions for the male harmony and the female harmony were done. When this was perfected, they were made to sing together... And it sounded awesome.

Sadhna Sargam sang Thee thee (from Thiruda Thiruda)... This was one of the very few songs in which there was no break in the middle and full song rehersal was done. Sadhna's tamil pronunciation was perfect! And, Naveen (flute) was at his best! It is a pity this song had to be dropped during the actual show due to lack of time.

(to be continued)
By Aravind on Wednesday, October 19, 2005 at 5:40 PM Post Categories: , ,
I and my friends from ARRahmanFans Yahoo! Group worked for this concert for more than 1 month, organising Road-shows and contests at malls etc. to promote the show.
This foto is from one such program at Planet M, Bangalore. These were so exciting - listening about ARR from so many people - what they think, how much they know etc...

And for the last 2 days (the day of the concert and the day before) we worked at the venue. That is when we got to meet ARR and other artistes.

Shivmani was the first artist I met for this concert. I had gone to the Air-port to recieve him - this was 2 days before the concert. Shivmani and two of his assistants (Sukumar and Biju) had landed in B'lore that day. Shivmani was very very friendly! I welcomed him, and spoke in thamizh. And he put his hand over my shoulder and said "Thamizh-aa... Sollu thalaiva" - as though we were long-time-friends!!! I then asked him for a foto, and he responded "onnu enna, nooru photo eduthukkalaam". ("why just one photo.. I am ready for 100 fotos!").
Me with Shivmani, at the Airport.
Damn that guy, who just put his head in front of the camera! grrrrrr

When he met me again the next day, at the food-court in the concert venue, he recognised me and asked me "thalaiva... eppdi irukkae?" ("how are u") much to the surprise of my friends with me at that time, who did not know that I had met him the previous day!

The Stage
On the day of the rehersals, we just went up the stage to have a peek of the equipments. Managed to get a photo of me with that sophisticated sound mixing equipments.

Also had a close look at ARR's keyboards.
(to be continued)
By Aravind on Friday, October 14, 2005 at 10:36 PM Post Categories: , ,
(Continued from part 2)

This concert coverage would be incomplete without the mention of Shivamani's unbilevable solo show... There was a 10 minute break - that was when Shivamani took over... wowwww.... It was incredible...
How does this man manage to move his hands so fast? Incredible... Earlier, Shivamani presented a trailor - one more solo show- before the concert started - this was wonderful too...

ARR started to sing Aazadi at around 12 Midnight. I felt that the beats were different - not the actual beats used in the song... 2 minutes later I realised why it was so... There was a beautiful transition from Aazadi to Vande Mataram...The beats were different to enable the transition... And when ARR started VM (the last song), the downpour started again - this time very very heavily....Thanks to Rain God for being kind enough to have postponed the next spell by 3-4 hours!!! We walked out of Palace grounds with utmost satisfaction of having watched the concert of a lifetime.

Ok.. I think I will conclude my concert coverage here..I am not mentioning about all songs here as I would go on and on if I write about everything that happened there! Also, the concert details are covered in many blogs. Since I was also at the backstage for two days and for the rehersals and interacted with the artistes, I would write about those in my future posts - this is something which you will not find in most blogs..

Working for the concert, I got the privilege of checking out the songs list well before the concert - Now, I know which songs were not performed due to the delayed start. Here is the list:

1. Warriors in Peace - Alma (from Bosnia)
2. Thee Thee - Sadhna Sargam / Raja
3. Jiya Jale - Chitra
4. Yeh Haseen Vadiyaan - Hariharan / Chitra
5. Yun Hi Chala Chal - Hariharan/Kailash Kher/Aslam
6. Varugirai - Hariharan/Chitra

Unplugged version:
1. O Re Chori - Alka Yagnik
2. Yeh Jo Zindagi - Sukhwinder Singh
3. Sabaq Aisa - Madhushree
4. Tu Hi Re - Hariharan/Chitra
5. Anjali - Chitra

(End of concert coverage. Will take you all through the interesting incidents from Backstage, over the next few days).
By Aravind on Thursday, October 13, 2005 at 3:36 PM Post Categories: , ,
contintued from part 1

Two unreleased songs were performed in the concert
  • one was Aayo Re from Water - Sukwinder Singh and Sadhna Sargam sang this beautiful song.. It was wonderful!
  • the other was The Poverty Anthem (Pray for me) - beautifully rendered by ARR and Blaaze.. The English pronunciation of ARR in this song was too good!
Shankar Mahadevan sang Ghanan Ghanan, with a slight change of lyrics...
"kaale megha, kaale megha.. paani mat barsao" instead of "paani to barsao"
- a change made to suit the situtaion on that day, asking the clouds to stop pouring!
At the end of the song, he made some beautiful improvisations - he showed us how ARR would have composed the song if the situation in the movie was different - that is, if there was rain in the movie after the song... It was brilliant... Hats off to Shankar for that!
Chithra mesmerised us with her ever sweet voice to sing Kannalane (Kehna hi kya) in Kannada - the Kannada lyrics were written specially for this concert by Mr. P.B. Shrinivas, the veteran playback singer. Kailash Kher was a energy packet!!! He sang Mangal Mangal from The Rising - he was dancing all through the song. Blaaze who performed BABA RAP was impressive. Ishq Bina/Love's Never Easy was a real treat. The english part was sung by Alma from Bosnia and the hindi part by MadhuShree. It was a beautiful mix of the Bombay Dreams version and the Taal version.... Wonderful!!!

ARR sang a total of 8 songs (not including his humming in Kabhi neem neem) - the songs being Fanaa, Chale Chalo, Poverty Anthem, Secret of Success, Mustafa, Humma Humma, Aazadi, Vande Mataram.

Apart from ARR, Sadhna Sargam and Sukwinder Singh performed the most number of songs.
Sadhna Sargam:
Aayo Re, Chupke se (Snegithane), Telephone Dhun, Roja Janeman, Chanda Re(Vennilave)

Aayo Re (Water), Chaiyya Chaiyaa, Chinnamma Chilakkamma, and Pagdi Sambhal Jatta!
Sukwinder sometimes has this habit of improvising too much to the irritation of the listeners... But, that day, he was all perfect... All his on-stage improvisations were thoroughly enjoyable.

(to be continued)
By Aravind on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 at 11:02 PM Post Categories: , ,
I had mentioned in my previous post that no one will ever forget this concert. The reason: The audience waited for 2 hours in the heavy downpour. ARR himself came on stage at least thrice during this period and asked "Do you want the show on now?". And the response was positive each time. It is the magic of ARR, which made us all brave the heavy rain -- wanting to stay there in the rain not knowing when it will stop, is not a joke. ARR and his entire crew was moved by the spirit of the crowd.

The concert was supposed to start at 7:00 pm but started at around 8:45 pm. There was no 3D effects as the screens were damaged. The Pyro-effects which were planned for some songs could not be done, due to the rain. Rain took its toll on most of the decorations on stage too. What we got was pure ARR's Music. This was what kept the entire crowd stay there for more than 7 hours, despite being drenched completely. Nothing else was necessary!

41 songs were planned, but only 29 songs could be performed due to the delay. When ARR started the show with his awesome rendition of Fanaaaa, the crowd became so lively and this excitement stayed on for the entire concert. Madhushree (aka Sujata Bhattacharya) sang Kabhi Neem Neem (Sandai Kozhi) alternatively in Tamil and Hindi. Her Tamil pronunciation was wonderful - she must have put in lots of effort into this.

ARR and Shankar Mahadevan came front on the stage and Shankar announced "We are bored of singing all hit numbers. We are now going to perform a flop song." The audience started shouting and howling at this point. Shankar added "This flop song is from the movie Bombay. And, we are bored of singing this song in its same old tune, so we are trying something different". Then ARR andShankar started singing Humma Humma in a slow, new, carnatic- based tune... This left the audience in splits. We could not control our laughter. Then suddenly we heard a voice asking them to stop. It was Blaaze (the Rap-guy who has become a constant part in all ARR's tours). He was running on to the stage from the audience side (Donno when and how he got in there!). And he started doing a RAP version of the same song...this was awesommmme. This went on for about a minute, when suddenly the beats for the actual Humma started playing and ARR Started singing "andha arabic kadaloram". The entire crowd started dancing. Shankar sang a few parts of this song in Hindi... This was wonderful...

(to be continued)
By Aravind on Tuesday, October 11, 2005 at 10:52 PM Post Categories: , ,
Still to recover from the excitement!!!! I met ARR... Though I have already met him 2-3 years back, this meeting was more and more exciting - Because for 2 days I was seeing him!!!!!

Photo with GOD (me on the extreme right)

And of course, the concert rocked. This is one concert which neither ARR and his team, nor the audience will forget!

More concert related stuff:
Reports of the concert

By Aravind on Monday, October 10, 2005 at 11:27 AM Post Categories: , ,