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Monday, March 01, 2010

SPB Mumbai Concert Review



The much awaited program of S P Balasubrahmanyam at Mumbai took place on 27th Febrauary at the famous Shanmukhananda Hall at Sion.



Ragalaya – A cultural organisation which conducts/encourages lot of programmes on Music this year decided to felicitate the Legendary Singer S P Balasubrahmanyam after felicitation S Janaki Previously. The award of Lifetime achievement was presented to S P Balasubrahmanya in a traditional way i.e through Music. A couple of upcoming talented singers showcased their talent by singing few songs and then it was announced that S P Balasubrahmanyam would be presented with the Life Time Achievement Award.

The programme started at 6.45 pm and the Legend entered the Hall exactly at 7.15 Pm. He handed over awards to those who won singing competitions conducted by Ragalaya. The kids who received the awards from the hands of Legend were elated and the joy was evident from their expressions.


It was time to celebrate, Clad in Shining Black outfit, the legend was presented with the Life time achievement award, with the anchor praising the legend for all his achievements. It was now time to Balu to speak a few words and balu fondly remembered about his association with Shanmukhananda Hall where he performed for the first time in the year 1971. He recollected that he used to rehearse with legendary Lata mangeshkar whenever there were any foreign concerts.(in HIS own words - I had the previlage of working on the stage as a part of a attorny with Bharatratna Lata mangeshkar. And everytime we were abroad she used to call me all the way from chennai for rehearsals here in mumbai. I was very much afraid of asking her but one day I took my heart into hand and asked here "Didi, why are we singing the same numbers again and again and you are spending a lots of money on me by asking me all the way to come from chennai for rehearsals. then Didi told that Baluji with these rehearsals we can make mistakes with confidence".


He candidly admitted that "I am bound to make mistakes...and its my right and you have every right to excuse me. Dont calculate the numbers or language we are singing, Think about the music as a language”

The pure magic then started to flow, first with the evergreen Ilaya Nila from the film Payanangal Mudivathillai(1982) exactly at 7.30 pm.

The auditorium was full and the melody started raining. Whenever Balu sings songs of Ilayaraja he seems to enjoy them more and more as the time passes, same was the case with this song.

As it was a programme organised by Ragalaya which I think is basically is a Kerala based group, it was apt to sing the first song of his career in Malayalam – Ee Kadalum Maru kadalum from Kadal palum(1970), which was brilliantly composed by the great Devarajan. SPB recollected how he came into picture of singing this song which was supposed to be sung by K J Yesudas. SPB also recollected about the man who made this song his meal- Mr M Sekhar, the most popular arranger for almost all the music directors at that time and father of a prodigial song who now is known as Alla Rakha Rahman. It was a rare thing in his concerts, as SPB usually doesn’t sing full song in Malyalam, and here he sang the full song with the same emotion he sang almost 40years ago.



Next was the eternal/immortal number from his quiver, no guesses for it, it was the song which made public stand and take notice of this man from konetammapeta. Yes it is from the film sankarabharanam and the song Shankara naada sareera para.. This one song whenever SPB sings he never forgets to mention that after this film people started respecting him. It was the same magical voice which sang that song almost 31 years ago and it was the same magic again



Nilave Vaa from the film Mounaraagam was the song which followed Shankara naadasareera para which received a tremendous applause.

It was now time to sing a hindi song and we all were very curious to know which song he would select. The moment humming started entire audience started humming the song, It was again an Ilayaraja composition in the original, Saathiya Toone kya kiya from the film Love.


The co Singer was a relatively young and new girl, who was so nervous singing with the legend and erred while singing, Balu being the seniormost singer with a mind boggling 30000+ songs carried on with the song with great aplomb and at the same time motivating the little girl who was visibly shaken.
It was a time to take a small break by the legend and upcoming singers …. upcoming singers sang some melodious songs and masakali from Delhi6 was among them which received the maximum applause.

Baalu came again with another raja number Maanguyile Poonguyile from the film Karakatta karan which was again a show stealer. With the percussionist getting a special mention. After this song SPB told the main person of orchestra to make a habit of introducing all the musicians, He then asked him to get al l the musicians names.

We were eagerly waiting for a rahman number and very curious/eager and desparate to hear from SPB. Hold your breath we were surprised by the selection of the song. If surprise was a smaller word then rendering of the song was something else (absolutely out of the world). Yes it was the great melody from the wizard of music, Alla rakha rahman from the film Duet. Anjali Anjali pushpanjali.

It was the same co-singer who earlier erred, but this time Balu himself was guiding her in every note. You might be wondering which version of the song he sang,(Duet was made in telugu, hindi also and spb has sung the song in all the languages), He started in pallavi in Tamil and then charanams(antras) in Telugu and Hindi and again finished the Mukhda in tamil. Who else can do this with the same ease. The musician who played Saxophone was given a standing ovation.

There was one more surprise waiting for us. AS soon as the song was over, it was announced that another legend is coming, everyone were on their toes as to see who it would be and mind you it was a total surprise of lifetime when we saw a stout man with yellow shirt and while dhoti with a cloth band on his head, coming , removing his chappals and prostrating on the feet of SPB. It was SIVAMANI, the greatest drummer india has ever produced

.


He spoke a few words about SPB saying that he is my guru, god and everything, for which Balu who is known to be a very humble man said that it is SivaMani who had made internation fame, with sheer hard work.


It was an affectionate union of two legends in their own fields


There were a few kannada people and spb again decided to give a treat for those kannada fans who were present there with yet another Raja number from the film Geeta – jothe Jotheyali . As usual it was the vintage balu with all those hummings and sangathis….



Then a vintage song was to be sung, the very first song of spb Ayiram nilava vee from the film shantinilayam. The co-singer was a maharashtrian who doesn’t understand a single word of tamil, yet she gave a good company to balu.



Sundari Kannal Oru was the song followed by Aayiram Nilave Vaa. Before this song the anchor asked about the speciality of the song to the legend and He replied that this song was recorded in Mumbai with the orchestra of R D Burman by Ilayaraja. The moment the starting bit was over everyone in the studio stood up to give a standing ovation to Ilayaraja.



Then came the song of the show- No guesses – The eternal emotional song from the magic box of Lakshmikant Pyarelal- Tere mere beech mein kaisa hai ye bandhan- It was simply SuPerB. It was the song which received greatest applause.




Finally admitting that he is not comfortable in singing medley, he did sing a medley starting with the song which is very close to his heart – Ye divilo virisina parijaatamo from Kannevayasu and continued with takita tadhimi, sangeetha jathi mullai, Unakenna Mele …..Engeyam eppadum, sangeetha megam

We had to leave the show half hearted as we were not fully satisfied, it was like a thirsty person getting only one glass of water…….



mail me at vikaas.k@gmail.com

6 comments:

Covai Ravee said...

Hai Vikas...

Wow... what yaa.?..? nice very nice and an excellent narration about Mumbai concert. SuPerByaa keep it up. All the best Vikas.

Anonymous said...

That was a great & detailed write-up. I think this is the first time youhav written a detailed review. GREAT

regards.

Dasaradhi

zakaas4u said...

thnx anna & dasarathi....vikaas

Chaitanya said...

Helloo....that was a wonderfulllll writeup!!!! I definetly missed the show!! Thanks a loooott for the detailed writeup....

Regards,
Chaitanya

Anonymous said...

3 Kudos to Rasika who got SPB to Portland. SPB has Godly voice, he is unbelievable good, just to hear his one alapane was saintly, his co-singers and his son are all superb singers and his orchestra is amazing and versatile. As a man SPB is a superior class gentleman and once again I would like to remove my hats off to him and his entourage. HOWEVER I SHALL NEVER AGAIN GO TO HIS CONCERT UNLESS he does justice to the title of the show(Bollywood), to the country(Hindustan) which gave him Padmavibhshana. He sang some 95% non-Hindi song and in that 90% Telugu + Tamil and in that 90% Telugu. I am not against the Telugu and he is from Andhra and is affinity to that language is very much appreciable but what he has forgotten are:
1. He is an Indian, Hindustani first.
2. The main language to rule the concert should be Hindi
3. People like SPB are national property that is the very reason they are given the award.
4. For atheists and non-believers personage of SPB’s caliber are the God's on earth and sorry Shri SPB if you are reading my blog you have lost the freedom to serve people of one language. You have to serve the mass and that is Hindi.
5. Lastly the language barrier music is applicable to classical not for Bollywood. 99% of us to come to hear the song we can relate to. If that connection is not made the whole concert is a flop.
The title of his concert program should be changed to Telugu movie songs then none of the majority crowd would have come and this blog would not have been written.
I am sure every person like me when they left the concert hall went away with this bitter feeling that ONLY IF HE HAD SUNG HINDI!!
Shri SPB, I and the rest who went out with the bitter feeling still respect you, adore you and still consider you as a living legend no hard feelings but next time when you come unless the organizers make it very specifically that it is indeed Bollywood none of us are going to come.
Once again thanks to Rasika for getting this concert to Portland, OR. I had tears in my eyes when they sang Jana Gana Mana and my throat constricted and I could not sing along.

Anonymous said...

3 Kudos to Rasika who got SPB to Portland. SPB has Godly voice, he is unbelievable good, just to hear his one alapane was saintly, his co-singers and his son are all superb singers and his orchestra is amazing and versatile. As a man SPB is a superior class gentleman and once again I would like to remove my hats off to him and his entourage. HOWEVER I SHALL NEVER AGAIN GO TO HIS CONCERT UNLESS he does justice to the title of the show(Bollywood), to the country(Hindustan) which gave him Padmavibhshana. He sang some 95% non-Hindi song and in that 90% Telugu + Tamil and in that 90% Telugu. I am not against the Telugu and he is from Andhra and is affinity to that language is very much appreciable but what he has forgotten are:
1. He is an Indian, Hindustani first.
2. The main language to rule the concert should be Hindi
3. People like SPB are national property that is the very reason they are given the award.
4. For atheists and non-believers personage of SPB’s caliber are the God's on earth and sorry Shri SPB if you are reading my blog you have lost the freedom to serve people of one language. You have to serve the mass and that is Hindi.
5. Lastly the language barrier music is applicable to classical not for Bollywood. 99% of us to come to hear the song we can relate to. If that connection is not made the whole concert is a flop.
The title of his concert program should be changed to Telugu movie songs then none of the majority crowd would have come and this blog would not have been written.
I am sure every person like me when they left the concert hall went away with this bitter feeling that ONLY IF HE HAD SUNG HINDI!!
Shri SPB, I and the rest who went out with the bitter feeling still respect you, adore you and still consider you as a living legend no hard feelings but next time when you come unless the organizers make it very specifically that it is indeed Bollywood none of us are going to come.
Once again thanks to Rasika for getting this concert to Portland, OR. I had tears in my eyes when they sang Jana Gana Mana and my throat constricted and I could not sing along.