Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Jai Ho, Live concert, Stadium got euphoric

Oscar winner A.R Rehman conducted his first live musical concert at Kozhikode for the welfare of HIV positive children on Sunday. This is the first and the only show in India in the series, which follows 39 stage shows in the next five years all over the world. Thousands of audience arrived to watch the programme in the corporation stadium at Calicut. The function was delayed by a couple of hours as Rehman was rehearsing for the show at the stadium till early on the Sunday morning. The gathering patiently waited for his arrival. In the interim, Muhammed Shakeel, a singer and composer led a concert of Muhammed Rafi's immortal songs.

Midway through the concert, Rehman arrived to the loud applause of the audience. First, the lights went on. The sounds boomed soon. Then, he came. And the crowd, nearly 50,000 of them, perhaps, inside the packed Corporation Stadium, got euphoric. It was a dramatic entry for A.R. Rahman to his 'Jai Ho' concert stage, with which he kicked off his world tour following two Oscars.
He came on to the stage singing O Saya..., his Oscar-nominated song from Slumdog Millionaire. And the composer proved, yet again, that he was no less a singer. After the song, he said he was pleased to come to Kerala. "I have been wanting to come here for the past 15 years," he said. The songs were mixed with jazz, pop, rock, African folk music, Kawali and Sufi. He conducted this programme after two weeks rehearsal at Chennai. K.S Chitra, Hariharan, Sayanora Philip, Muhammed Aslam, Sadana Sargam, Blessy, Benny Dayal, Rashid Ali, Javed Ali, Neethi Mohan, Susain D. Mellow, Raja Hassan, George Peter, Rehman's sisters Israth and Raihanath came on with haunting melodies. Ten children who were suffering from HIV virus were given money aid by A.R Rehman.
Malayali singer Sayanora joined Rahman to sing Athiradee and both were in top form. Rahman also improvised his song ``Padakaali...'' from the Malayalam film `Yodha', which was rendered by Benny Dayal and George Peter.
The show went on for another couple of hours, delighting the huge crowd that had been waiting patiently for several hours before it all began shortly before 8 p.m.

There were some who wondered if the tickets were not priced a bit too high. But all those doubts vanished by about 6 p.m., when one hour was still left for the scheduled beginning of the show. The stadium was full, with people coming to venue as early as 3 p.m. The gallery was the first to fill up and the spectators there gave the loudest cheers, from the moment they got in. Chants of Jai Ho and Rahman and thunderous applause could be heard almost from the moment they entered the stadium.

And once again, the people of Kozhikode showed the world that they would not let the organisers down, be it football or music.Congratulations are pouring in through phone calls and SMSs for managing spectators who had reached the city from various parts of the State. More than 2,000 policemen from Kasaragod, Kannur, Wayanad, Malappuram and Palakkad districts were deployed.