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Thursday October 3, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Thursday October 3, 2013 MYT 8:03:04 AM
by sharmilla ganesan
The Firebrand Of Indian Music concert featuring Bollywood composing trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, had Shankar Mahadevan (right) on lead vocals and Ehsaan Noorani on guitar.
Indian composers Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy brought the house down with a stellar showcase of their hits.
IF you were at the Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy concert last week in Kuala Lumpur and you remained seated throughout, you would have been very much in the minority. By the end of the night filled with catchy Bollywood songs, almost every audience member – from giddy teenagers to stoic aunties – were on their feet singing and moving along to the trio’s fantastic compositions.
The Firebrand Of Indian Music concert, presented by DML Live, featuring Shankar Mahadevan on vocals, Ehsaan Noorani on guitar and Loy Mendonsa on keyboards, was a breathtaking journey into the composing team’s work over the years, as they performed everything from their first bona fide hit in 2001 to their latest chartbusters. And with the multitude of influences they infuse into their music, there was something in the concert for every type of music lover to enjoy.
After beginning the night with a hymn to Lord Ganesha, they kicked things off on an energetic note with one of their early hits, the techno-based youth anthem Koi Kahe Kehta Rahe from Dil Chahta Hai, performed by Shankar and singer Raman Mahadevan. This was followed by a whole slew of infectious hit tunes that demonstrated the sheer diversity of their music: from the bhangra beats of Jhoom Barabar Jhoom to the rock stylings of Rock On to the bubblegum pop-bhangra mix of Pretty Woman. These songs had many of the fans up on their feet dancing in no time at all.
The star of the evening was undeniably the award-winning singer-composer Shankar, who held the show together with his rich, versatile voice and endearing stage presence. Yet, despite all the accolades to his name, he was also the picture of graciousness, ensuring his composing partners, the other singers and the excellent band got their share of the limelight.
A percussion jam by the band, for instance, juxtaposing modern drums, congas, dhol and dholki, with Shankar accompanying with kunnakol (voice percussion) was one of the night’s highlights, as was an electrifying blues jam between Ehsaan and Loy on the guitar and keyboard respectively.
Such spontaneity was part of the thrill of watching Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy live, as familiar songs were given interesting twists; Mitwa from Kal Ho Na Ho, for instance, originally sung with a distinct Qawwali flavour by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, was performed that night by Shankar, who gave it a Carnatic spin.
He would also often belt out several lines of favourite numbers as and when the crowd asked for them, earning him many enthusiastic cheers.
Of course, any fan of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy will know that the trio is equally adept at playing with melodies as they are rocking the house, and they proved it yet again with some beautiful renditions. Shankar’s stirring performance of Kal Ho Na Ho had the crowd spellbound, while his duet with Rasika Chandrashekhar, of Sajda from My Name Is Khan, was a lovely combination of melodious voices and classical rhythms. Shankar, Raman, Rasika and Yashita Sharma also presented an unplugged medley of numbers that included many crowd favourites.
Some of the biggest cheers, however, were reserved for Shankar’s early hits, which included the Tamil number Yenna Solla Pogirai composed by A.R. Rahman, and Breathless from his 1998 solo album, which he sings without apparently taking a breath throughout the whole song.
Shankar, Ehsan and Loy brought the night to a close with a non-stop barrage of fast numbers, but not before insisting that everyone get on their feet to dance – not a tall order for a crowd that was already raring to go. Where’s The Party Tonight? (from Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna) and Uff Teri Ada (Karthik Calling Karthik) got everyone in the mood, and they ended with the flamenco beats of Senorita from Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.
Giving the musicians a standing ovation, the crowd did not let them go so easily, cheering them back on for an encore, where they performed the rousing Hindustani. As the show closed, it was almost a shock to realise three hours had passed by; we could have easily spent another three lost in Shankar’s mesmerising voice and the three composers’ dynamic music.
Tags / Keywords:
Lifestyle, Concert, Review, Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani, Loy Mendonsa, Bollywood
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