Sep 24, 2019

Experience of a live AR Rahman concert

I had checked off one of the items from my bucket list in Aug. Such an important thing, yet it has taken me nearly 2 months to record my experience here on my blog. Better late than never!!

Long time readers of my blog might know how madly I'm in love with AR Rahman's music. His music came into my ears on the most tragic day of my life. Till date, I'm not able to listen to Kaadhal Rojave without a tear lingering in the corner of my eyes. Apart from that one sad emotion, his music has brought in so much happiness and memories to cherish, right from childhood. Every album of his has a memory, a feeling that takes you back to the simpler times of 90s. When I started earning (back in 2002), one of my dreams was to experience a live ARR concert. Now seriously I don't know why it took me 17 years to make my dream come true.

I accidentally stumbled upon the details of his concert to be held in Chennai on Aug 10th. Though my daughter loves music, she doesn't like loud sounds or crowded places. I knew if I decided to go as a family, it would inconvenience her and I wouldn't be able to enjoy the concert as well. So on a whim, I just booked a single ticket for myself one fine afternoon. Husband suggested that I should check with some of my friends in Chennai who might be interested to join. I reached out to a few friends but no one was free to join (or as crazy a Rahmaniac like me!). The day dawned, we left from Bangalore early morning, reached Chennai around noon and headed straight to the venue to pick up my ticket. What a happy feeling it was! After having lunch at home, I relaxed for a bit and prepared my daughter that mommy would be gone for a few hours. I took an Uber, reached the venue by 5:30PM and took a proper seat with a good view in the Silver category. I'm not sure if I was the ONLY girl who wore FullyFilmy's Rahmaniac (since 1992) t-shirt ;-) There were many guys wearing the same t-shirts.

The next 90 minutes was a patient wait, admiring the setting sun and counting the number of airplanes flying above. The concert began with ThalaivARR's rocking entry. I let go of any inhibitions, screamed and hooted along with the crowd. Those 3 hours proved to be one of my most memorable fun evenings of my life. There was hardly any breathing space for the fans to recover 😉 The songs came one after another, a perfect mix of old and new. I didn't want to be distracted with my phone by recording the performances. So I planned to record the first 10-15 seconds of each song, keep the phone in my bag and sing along with the crowd.

Singappenne in ARR's voice was so uplifting and energizing. I got so excited when he sang Dil Se Re. It's one of my favorite songs in ARR's voice. Jonita Gandhi is clearly a multitalented performer - singing Jiya Jale and Kannaalane, dancing with such grace. The energy of Madhuraikku pogadhadi, Veerapaandi Kottayile and Top Tucker is so infectious that the crowd automatically danced and swayed. Then entered one of my favorite singers, Sid Sriram. Endhira logathu sundariye, Adiye and ofcourse, Thalli pogadhey - just amazing to hear him live.

The highlight of the evening was ARR's performance towards the end, singing Musthafa. I just can't put the feeling into words, so exhilarating! Instead of candles, it was our mobile phone torches that replicated the feel. Oh wow! I could feel the goosebumps even now as I type this out.

I didn't move an inch away from my chair in those 3 hours to buy food or water (glad I didn't contribute to the pile of disposable plastic waste). Music kept my soul happy and content. This day - I'll never forget in my life!

After returning home, my daughter was hooked onto those 15 second videos of the songs I had recorded. She has now added many of the songs to her playlist, with Kalla Kalavaani being her top favorite. Another Rahmaniac in the making! :-)

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