• Rants of a Rasika.

Ilayaraja Concert in Bay Area

Neththu Rathiri, Yamma -

A Tamil only concert, adhuvum, “Raja live in concert” right here in San Jose.

Group reservations made several months in advance - miss panna mudiyuma Raja experience’a?

“Andha paattu paaduvara? Indha paattu yaaru paada porangalo?,” - manasula kelvigal, tavippu, excitement’nu… expectations skyrocketing’a, we reached the SJSU Event center. Enga paathalum tamil pechu, terinda mugangal, arinda mozhi - appaaa! enna oru feeling teriyuma? Candy shop’kulla nuzhainda oru kutty ponnu madiri ore eelippu, idhula paatha friend’oda ellaam oru selfie vera! - had to document the full experience right?

The show started 30 minutes later than the scheduled time - but that did not dampen our spirits - it just gave us more time to document more on our iPhones(err…….& droids).

That adrenaline rush when the maestro opened the show with the magical “Janani Janani”!! What followed that was a power packed performance by the very good looking rockstar Kartik, belting out “Om Shivogam..”.

Whattey beginning?! What next? ….. Chinna kuyil’s annakili- could sense the strain in her voice - paavam bad throat day’vaam!

Song#4 was from Raja’s 1000th movie - no comments!!!. I don’t want to hurt the sentiments of the people who loved it. I don’t want to mention about the unfortunate tabla player who was subjected to unfair outbursts for going off beat - enna poruththa varaila, concert setting’kku yetha paatu illa adhu . What followed that was, padu "saadhaarna sargam"… I think it was song#7 from Ninaivellam Nithya that brought my attention back on the concert - “Roja’vai thallatum thendral”. Idukku apparam adutha sila paattu, failed to keep me interested - it was either way too far from the original or just not the right choice for a live concert (imho).

Appo enga paathalum, people were in transit & I too decided to go grab something to bite, Indha paattellaam velila irundhu ketta podhada'nu.

That’s when “Valai oosai” pinned me back to my seat, all intrigued - manasu kulla oru Kamal-Amala range’kku scene ottiya padi .

“Nila kayudhu” was a total surprise! A very beautifully rendered midnight masala, Kudos to the very expressive singers.

Yetho Mogam yennavo senchudu yen manasa - but still oru high, oru feeling of getting drenched in pure raja magic was missing.

Next couple of songs were bio break candidates madiri, oru namuththa appalaam pondra alatchiyam ennakku.

Thendral Vandu theendum bodhu, ennoda kadhula oliththado only the original track - Thankfully!!

Again pala sila mokka numbers & then Raja Raja cholan steered us back into moment.

Nalla pesikittu iundavaru, dhideernu stage vittu oru unannounced exit - oru vela idha pattellaam ulla irundhu ketta podhum'nu nenachcharo?!

I think I would have waited for 20+ songs to hear that all time favorite of mine- the opening bgm, the violin interludes brought me to the edge of my seat, manasula oru kaadhal sequence’ku script ready’a - Sundari Kannal Oru - Ooooo..Myyyyy…Godddd moment started - Appo, naasamapona oru tadangalukku varundugirom madiri imsai - I totally get Raja’s intention when he requested silence & focus on the instruments but, avarukku enga point puriyalaye!!!!!- peelings were interrupted! - I had to rewind & replay the romance sequence, manasula!!! It was just this song that made it a worthwhile evening for me - This composition does something to me, every single time I listen to it - be it on the radio, tv, or yen, naane when I own the song & sing it in the privacy of me being my only audience.

Ippadi oru build up’kku appaala, again sila mokkaigal, sodhapals’nu konja neram pochchu. Naduvula konjam disturb pannuvom range’kku Senthil’s brilliant performance was remarkable. Oorambo Rukkumani was probably better off left oru oorama. Isainyani shruti serkka aarambichcharu, appo out of the blue, oru comedy’aana vote of thanks ceremony- Mike Mohan range’kku yaarum mike’a vida maatengaraanga'nu tension enakku .

“Ey.. Aatha” brought some folks on to the dance floor - Seri shruti yethi, tempo build pannaraanga, Aaahaaa….. inime kuthu thaan'nu yosikkaratukkulla pussukkunu, “Thank you San Jose”nu Kartik solla, show mudinje pochu!.

Next, the only thing on my mind was how to exit the concert hall without anyone stepping on my finely manicured feet, locate my car & drive back home. Northbound on 280, we were driving back home and naan ketten, “Raja concert maiyalume over’a? Did the concert meet your expectations?”. She said, “Song choices were not great”.

“Look Ramya, there’s definitely a need & market for tamil concerts in bay area, enna koottam illa?”’appadinu naan solla, “aamaam PrakashRaj emcee’nu market pannittu, chellatha kannula seriya kuda kaattala!. Ennaya presentation pannaanga? Naan idha vida better'a panni irupen” appadi'nu ava feel panna… rendu perum, chorus’la, “May be the next time will be better than this”'nu sonnadhum... we just totally cracked up(idhaiye sollikittudhaan, we walked out of SAP center, last time Raja was here in Bayarea :)).

Mothathula, neththu rathiri........yemmma!!!

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