Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Ilaiyaraaja 75 - நேற்று இல்லை நாளை இல்லை எப்போவும் நீ ராஜா

At the end of Ilayaraja 1000, Raja himself promised to give us a musical treat with his own orchestra and it finally happened. Thanks to Vishal & co for organizing this grand event and successfully executing it with few minor glitches. And, finally after watching many concerts on TV and YouTube videos finally I've attended this, Ilaiyaraaja 75, live and that's off from my bucket list.

Day 1: Actually we were very reluctant to book for the day one since it was just some dance performances by heroines for Raja sir's songs. Since we were able to book only season pass for both the days we went on day one as well. But, oh boy, if at all we skipped, we would have missed one of the most important events of this century. ARR and Raja together on stage. ARR playing "Punnagai Mannan" theme on his phone first then on a keyboard, followed by Raja singing "Mandram Vantha Thendral" and ARR playing keyboard for that. That's it that was worth every penny we have paid for that day. And, whatever else happened on that day was a bonus.

The day started with a formal welcome speech from Vishal, followed by the Governor's where he genuinely surprised when he spoke about some of the records Raja has made. Followed by the first event of performance by "Nattupura Kalaingargal" with Thavil, Thapattam. Nathaswaram, which was a rousing start for the day.

Apart from that, we enjoyed Vijay Yesudas's performance where he sang a few of his father's songs with music director Nivas Prasanna on the keyboard. Also, Ramya Nambeesan and Andrea's singing performances as well. And, Roobini danced for her most famous "Sivarathiri" song, of course, she looked old though. Vedhika, Sayesha, Namitha, Poorna, Manjima, Iniya were the others who performed for Raja sir's songs.

Actor Karthik along with actress Radha was blabbering on and on and on which irritated everybody and fittingly Raja asked him "you are a hero da, why are you trying to speak like a comedian" and switched him off. And, Bhakkiyaraj was trying to talk about to experience with Raja sir and he was cut short by Kasthuri and he was never given time to finish his story.

And, BlackSheep team RJ Vignesh and others presented a skit on what if Sundar C, Shankar, Hari and TR worked with Raja. It was really hilarious. And, the final performances by a band, I think ORFEO, where they presented a medley of an instrumental version of Raja sir's songs starting with Rakamma and few more songs. We were expecting Kamal and Rajni, but they didn't make it.

So, as far as day one is concerned everyone left with the memory of ARR and Raja on stage together.

Day 2: The much awaited day was here. Ilaiyaraaja's live in concert, the only reason for booking the season pass. We were seated almost two hours before the start of the actual event. And, there was some ruckus from people at the Executive lounge for not providing a proper screen for viewing since they were too far at the back. And, everyone ran to the front along with the chairs and finally settled before the event started. So, as promised Raja was ready to give us treat, he even bought the Budapest orchestra from Hungary. They were outstanding throughout the show.

Raja, as usual, started with the "Janani Janani" followed by "Om Shivoham" by Haricharan. Then Mano for "Ilamai Idho Idho" and we were already missing SPB. Wish Vishal and co have done something and made peace between SPB and Raja. Next on stage was Chitra for "Ninnu Kori", followed by "Poove Sempoove" by Madhu Balakrishnan. And, Usha Utup sang "Vegam Vegam", followed by "Anandha Ragam" by Vibhavari, she was so good. Raja told us she's from Pune and doesn't know a single word in Tamil.

Then Raja sang "Idhayam Oru Kovil", and Maniratnam came on stage after that, where Raja kidded "Enna Mani vayasayurucha?".  And, Mani didn't take much time, Raja told a trivia about the song how he ended up writing lyrics for this song when he felt the lyrics given by the lyricist didn't do justice for the situation Mani Ratnam told.

Singer Prasanna and Bhavatharani sang "Oliyile Therivathu", followed by "Poove Ilaya Poove" by Mukesh. I really liked Mukesh much, he was so perfect and wish he had sung a few more songs.
Raja sang

Meanwhile Raja called Rajni on to the stage and he talked about Raja and how he started calling him Swami. Also, Raja told Suhashini there's only one Superstar when she called Raja also as Superstar. Also, Rajni complained he gave better songs to Kamal's films. Raja says Kamal complains the vice versa and Kamal too said the same when he was on stage. And, Raja further added, I don't mind the heroes at all, I have great songs for Ramarajan, Mohan, etc. It was friendly banter went on when Rajni asked about whether he's getting enough money from the copyrights.

Mano, sang "Madai Thiranthu" and Kamal was seen sitting next to Rajni during this song. And, someone gave him a mike when the song was about to end. We were expecting him to speak from his place itself, but he started "Raghupathi Raghav Raja Ram" from Hey Ram and he proceeded towards the stage, it was a fantastic entry and continued the song along with Shruthi Hassan who joined his father. And, Raja made them sing the last part since they made some mistake. They continued "Ninaivo oru Paravai", but both of them really struggled. And, then Chitra joined Kamal for "Onna Vida". It was a pleasant surprise for me, I didn't expect Kamal to sing and that too three songs. Then, he later sang "Kanmani Anbodu", that was legendary. Also, the starting portions of "Vanithamani" then Chitra and Mano continued.

Kamal also said it was Raja, who asked him to join politics, but Raja said I said at a different time :D. And, he expressed his love hugging and kissing him, Raja joked saying, "heroine ku kodukka vendiathu ellam enakku kodukkurar".

Madhu Balakrishnan came back for "Raja Raja Cholan", he was later joined by a group of girls, they continued the song and also "En iniya Pon Nilave" by Raja. Then, they gave an acapella version of "Naan Poranthu Vanthathu" song from Maya Bazaar. Later, Raja told these girls performed well when he visited some colleges like MOP Vaishnav, Ethiraj, Queen Marry's and they were interested in performing with Raja so asked them to join them. Also, he took a dig at Kamal saying they sang perfectly.

And, Raja sang the much awaited "Thendral Vanthu" with Chitra, followed by "Ennulle Ennulle" by Vibhavari. Then Haricharn and Priya Himesh rocked "Rakamma", followed by "Kanmaniye Kadhal Enbathu" by Mano and Vibhavari.

Meanwhile some musicians DSP, Vijay Antony, Mani Sharma, Dheena and actors Karthi, Vijay Sethupathi, Bharath, Vikram, Vivek, Kushboo and directors RK Selvamani, RV Udayakumar, Shankar also Siddique and Satyan Anthikad from Malayalam industry and actors Mohan Babu and Venkatesh from Telugu industry came on stage and a few people talked about Raja. Especially Mohan Babu went on and on in Telugu. Also, Pon Radhakrishnan went on stage and talked about Raja and few more people felicitated  Raja.

Mano and Srinisha sang "Oh Butterfly", which was after Vikram sang a few lines from the song. Karthik Raja sang "Kadhal Oviyam" with Vibhavari and then they called his brother Yuvan on stage and he sang "Hey Unnaithane" with Anitha. And, Mano and Chitra sang another much-awaited song "Sundari Kannal", but still SPB was missed.

Then Usha Utup came back to sing "Rum pum bum" with Mano and Kushboo joined them to dance followed by "Thanni Thotti" with Haricharn and she really got the crowd dancing and clapping along. Madhu sang "Kanne Kalaimane" and Usha continued the song in Hindi and crowd waved their mobile torches along, it was a wonderful sight. And, Mano and Chitra sang "En jodi manja kuruvi", and the crowd was erupting. Raja sang "Kattu Vazhi", "Then Pandi Cheemayile". And, then he introduced his music troupe. TIL that the singer Arunmozhi is none other than the flute player Napoleon. I know he was Napoleon @ Arunmozhi, but didn't know he is the singer Arunmozhi. Also, Raja thanked Vishal and also all others who were against this program.

Then all the male singers performed a medley of "Singari Sarakku", "Adiye Manam", "Aatha Aathorama", followed by the female singers ended with "Pothuvaga En Manasu Thangam".

So, it was almost 35 songs and the time was almost 12:30 and no one wants to leave and we wanted more. The seating arrangement and screens could have arranged properly, actors and directors could have spoken less and SPB should have attended, Valaiyosai and Ilaya Nila were missed. These were the only minor complaints otherwise it was surely an unforgettable day of my life. Thanks to Raja sir, Budapest orchestra and of course Napolean's flute.

                                    "புது ராகம் படைப்பதாலே நீயும் இறைவனே"
                              "நேற்று இல்லை நாளை இல்லை எப்போவும் நீ ராஜா"