A.R.Rahman’s ‘The Live Life Concert’ – When dream came true!!!!

February 10th, 2007 – Till then, the only dream that we (my sister and I) had was just to get a glimpse of the man whose music meant the most to us. On that day, it got fulfilled!!! We are yet to believe that it wasn’t a dream after all! πŸ™‚

February 9th, 2008 – Little did we expect that exactly a year later, we will get to see A.R.Rahman again and that too see him perform live in a concert!

Seeing the ad on the newspaper on the 7th morning, my father told my sister and she immediately registered on the website. We checked our e-mails only yesterday morning and saw that we had got an e-mail from Marg group that we had won a pass for the concert! We couldn’t believe it! We immediately went to Marg’s office in Old Mahabalipuram Road and collected our passes.

We reached the venue (YMCA Ground, Nandanam) at around 5:45 pm for the concert that was supposed to start at 7 pm. A queue, not that long, had already formed outside the entrance to the closed enclosure of the ground, doubled up as auditorium. But as more and more people started coming, the security folks asked people to form a queue outside another entrance. We ran to the other entrance and joined the queue, there with only a few people being in front of us. We could hear the sounds of the mike testing that was in progress at that time. It wasn’t until 6:15 pm that we were let in. The first few rows were reserved for the VIPs, then a large number of rows for the employees of Marg. We managed to get chairs in the second row after all the reserved rows. With all the sound checks getting over by 6:30 pm, the next one hour turned out to be a long wait with the excitement building up with each passing moment.

Finally at around 7:40 pm, Rakshanda Khan came on stage and announced that A.R.Rahman’s concert will start after a short concert by Guitar Prasanna! Guitar Prasanna, along with Haridwaramangalam A.K.Pazhanivel (Tavil), S.Karthick (Ghatam), B.S.Purushottaman (Khanjira), R.Raman (Morsing) and Keith Peters (Bass Guitar), performed Taaye tirupurasundari (raaga Suddha Saveri), Peaceful (a composition of Prasanna himself that happens to be my favourite as well), Alaipayuthey (raaga Kanada) and 31 (again Prasanna’s composition). Before playing Alaipayuthey, Prasanna said that on the occasion of Rahman’s concert, he felt it appropriate to play a Carnatic song popularized by Rahman. As usual, Prasanna’s concert was superb!

After Prasanna’s concert, Mr. Reddy, the chairman & MD of Marg group, and his wife lighted the kutthuviLakku. Then Mr. Reddy invited A.R.Rahman and one more person onto the stage! There was excitement everywhere and a huge round of applause followed when Rahman came on stage! They all spoke for a few minutes and then, a presentation on Marg’s project was shown twice while there was a wonderful display of fireworks on the sky.

After this, finally at around 8:40 pm, A.R.Rahman’s concert started and the next two hours that followed will be etched in my memory forever! πŸ™‚

Blaaze first came on stage and said that this was a special show since this happens to be the first concert of Rahman’s in 2008. He also said that Hariharan, Chinmayee, Chitra, Benny, Ujjaynee, Neeti, Naresh Iyer and Aslam will be performing in the concert. The concert then started with Jaage Hain.

1. Jaage Hain – A.R.Rahman & Chitra
As Chitra’s sweet voice greeted us with the words ‘Jaage Hain’, our eyes were busy searching for Rahman and then he came and the crowd went mad! Listening to Rahman sing the song live was such an amazing experience! Open-air audi, cool breeze surprisingly blowing in Madras, Rahman singing Jaage Hain right in front of my eyes – if this is not bliss, then what else is?! My eyes refused to believe that it was really Rahman who was singing in front of me πŸ˜‰

2. Khalbhali – A.R.Rahman
As the soft Jaage Hain concluded, Khalbhali started with electrifying beats! Singing the two completely contrast songs back to back with perfection, Rahman seemed to be in top form! When Rahman sang ‘Ziddi ziddi’, the crowd went mad and the way he concluded the song with ziddi ziddi was superb! Naveen played some awesome flute interludes in the song and those were just the beginning of the many more wonderful flute interludes to come in the concert.

3. Kadhal Rojave – Chinmayee & Hariharan
I first couldn’t guess from the voice that it was Chinmayee who was humming. Hariharan’s voice along with Naveen’s flute, that was making an appearance throughout the song here and there, made the whole song all the more wonderful!

4. Barso Re – Neeti
Naveen’s flute was so beautiful for this song that it made me wish that Neeti would stop singing and Naveen alone could play! Anyway Neeti’s singing didn’t appeal to me much.

5. Lose Control (Be a Rebel) – Naresh Iyer & Blaaze
Super beats, Blaaze’ Rap and Naresh’s Apni to paathshaala!

6. Marilyn Monroe – Ujjaynee & Benny
This song has not been among my favourite songs of Rahman’s. But after watching Ujjaynee & Benny sing with so much energy levels, Ujjaynee going ooh oooh ooh, saturday night partykku pogalaam variya, all of a sudden this song has become my favourite!

7. Roobaroo – Naresh Iyer & A.R.Rahman

8. Dil Se Re – A.R.Rahman
Rahman’s voice and some wonderful flute interludes that you won’t find in the original recording! He didn’t sing the second para of the song πŸ™ Wish he had sung it fully.

9. Jash E Bahaara – Aslam
Aslam didn’t sing it well. There was a lapse in shruti in some places. Again Naveen’s flute for this song was superb! In the end, Naveen alone played the song for a few seconds – Wow! Wished they had played the instrumental version alone.

10. Maduraikku – Chinmayee & Benny
When the chorus started ‘Karpoora’, Rahman with a smile on his face was shown on close-up on the screens. In the midst of the song, Rahman sat down for sometime. It was great seeing the man who makes all of us tap our feet to his music, sitting and tapping his feet to his own music. πŸ˜‰ Chinmayee and Benny sang the song so well! I know I am repeating the same thing for almost each song but this song too had some wonderful flute interludes!

11. Azeem-O-Shaan (Marhabha) + Rukkumani + Veerapandi (medley?) – A.R.Rahman & Chorus
So many percussionists playing their drums (or whatever the percussion instruments were) rhythmically, grand beats and A.R.Rahman and a group of singers singing Azeem-O-Shaan was amazing! The transition from Marhabha to the Oh Oh Oh part of Rukkumani (Naveen too playing it along) to Veerapandi Koattayile (just the first few lines were sung) was simply mind-blowing!

Rakshanda Khan came back on stage and introduced the chorus singers – Tanvi, Rehana, Ishrath, Sayanora, Benny Dayal, Dr.Narayanan – and the instrumentalists – Kalyan – violin, Naveen Kumar- flute, Sekhar – Cello, Sivakumar, Ravishankar, Ketan – Keyboard, Keith Peters – Bass Guitar, Thomas – Trumpet, Babu – Trombone, Pat, Jeff, Tirupati Raja, Kumar – Drums, Sivamani, Srinivasa Murthy. (I forgot many of the names. If you remember, please do let me know)

12. Tamizha Tamizha – Hariharan & Chorus
Was superb!

What followed next was the unplugged session with the singers singing along with just A.R.Rahman’s piano alone. As Hariharan, Chitra and Chinmayee sat before A.R.Rahman, A.R.Rahman asked Hariharan if he remembered that Tamizha Tamizha was the first song that he had recorded with him. He said the song that says ‘Tomorrow will be better’ and today (now) is that tomorrow and he asked Hariharan isn’t it better now. πŸ™‚ Hariharan also said that that song proved to be lucky to him. That was one nice moment of the concert πŸ™‚

While there was some technical problem with Rahman’s keyboard, Hariharan asked the audience to repeat whatever he sang and kept us occupied while the technical problem was resolved.

13. Uyire (unplugged) – Hariharan & Chitra
14. Anjali (unplugged) – Chitra
15. Sahana (unplugged) – Chinmayee

It was a real treat to hear the singers sing along with just Rahman’s piano. Naveen too played the flute once in a while.

16. Vennilave – Hariharan & Chinmayee

17. Mayya Mayya – Neeti
It was excellent! The beats and the music got the atmosphere electrified. Neeti and Aslam, who sang the Walida part in the song, sang it so well.

18. KaNNaaLane – Chitra
It has been a long time since I listened to this song. I absolutely enjoyed listening to it live yesterday. This is the song for which Rahman sang swaras for the first time. After that he has sung swaras in many more songs. But this one has always been one of my favourites. It was nice hearing Rahman sing it yesterday.

19. Tere Bina – A.R.Rahman & Chinmayee
I was thinking about Rahman’s swaras while listening to kaNNalane and Tere Bina was one of the songs that came to my mind. When the very next song that was sung turned out to be Tere Bina, I felt so happy. The last para of this song too was not performed. Rahman missed the starting of the para Na jaa chaakri in the song and since he just hummed the whole para without singing the words, I guess he forgot the lines after that.

20. Style (Sivaji) – Naresh Iyer, Blaaze and Benny

21. Vaaji Vaaji – Hariharan & Chinmayee
This too had nice flute interludes. Hariharan was brilliant. I felt Chinmayee was trying to sound like Madhushree.

22. Athiradee – A.R.Rahman & Tanvi

It was at this point of time that Rahman asked the audience if they were sleeping and he asked if they wanted more. And what followed next was a short Rap by Blaaze followed by Humma Humma!

23. Andha Arabic/Humma Humma – A.R.Rahman
Again Rahman! I couldn’t believe it!

I have often wondered how much Rahman has grown as a singer since Andha Arabic. From Jaage Hain to Athiradee to Tere Bina to Dil Se – each being a song of a different kind and seeing/hearing Rahman sing it with perfection was amazing! I couldn’t have asked for more.

24. Maa Tujhe Salaam/thaai maNNe vaNakkam – A.R.Rahman
What a great finale it was to an excellent concert! Didn’t I tell in the beginning itself that there were too many wonderful flute interludes throughout the concert? This song too had lots of beautiful flute interludes!

24 songs in 2 hrs! Not a single minute was wasted in between and it was 2 hours of non-stop A.R.Rahman’s music. We are so happy that we got to attend an excellent concert of Rahman’s! We still can’t believe that our dream of seeing A.R.Rahman perform live has indeed come true! I should really say a big thanks to Marg Group for giving away free passes to A.R.Rahman’s concert.

P.S.: Taking photos/videos was not allowed. But when have rules not been broken? πŸ˜‰ So if you are one among those who took photos/video, please upload it and give me the link.

34 thoughts on “A.R.Rahman’s ‘The Live Life Concert’ – When dream came true!!!!

  1. f e r r a r i

    Very nice. Almost same set of songs they sang in delhi. The thrill of seeing him live is unbelievable πŸ™‚ Did any tv channel cover this program?

  2. SK

    Hey this is similar to the set of songs ARR performed here at the concert in Oakland last year, except this has ATM and other new songs as well. :–)
    Grass itching experience I am sure. :–))

  3. Sriram

    its truly a sad day when Prasanna has to do the opening act for Rahman! both are musicians of great calibre & to be fair to Rahman, Prasanna himself probably doesn’t mind it but somehow doesn’t seem right – maybe t was reddygaru’s brainwave!

  4. sreekrishnanv

    oh my god !! .. why on earth when i was in India Rahman performed in Bay Area … Now am in the Bay Area and he is in Chennai … anyaythukku vilayadaraangale..why why

    I read your post with a bit of Vaytherichal !! .. sorry for that – couldnt help it !!

    I cannot imagine how muich it would be when he sang Athiradee !!

    Cha !! .. waiting for Rahman to perform in Bay area

  5. Girish

    Wow Wow Wow…

    Imagining the things that you have written itself makes hair stand out of my skin…I can guess how you could have felt…I am still longing for the day to watch him perform live….Lucky you!!!

  6. Ranjhith

    > we had got an e-mail from Marg group that we
    > had won a pass for the concert!

    Wow! How many coincidences? I cud see 4 of them. “We”, “won a pass”, “concert” (ARR’s) & 3 coincidences occurring at the same time! Well & good. πŸ™‚

    > when have rules not been broken?
    > So if you are one among those who took photos/video …

    Oh! You don’t misbehave but wud encourage to do it? πŸ˜›

  7. Jaskirat

    A couple of my friends went for the show, I had to leave town because of certain circumstances but I guess i dint miss the show after all πŸ™‚
    Thanks for the writeup.
    Amazing that you remember so much detail, I don’t think i can do that πŸ™‚

  8. Anil

    Good write-up Aparna. and congrats. Yes – the feeling of just getting a glimpse of this man is special and seeing him sing …even more.


  9. Aparna

    F e r r a r i,
    πŸ™‚ Unbelievable indeed! I don’t think any TV channel recorded it.

    πŸ™‚ I loved the whole concert. Each song was best in its own way πŸ˜‰

    > part of your life is fulfilled eh?
    Yes! Thank you! πŸ™‚

    Thank you πŸ™‚

    Oh. Never knew you had been to ARR’s concert too πŸ™‚

    Being someone who enjoys Prasanna’s playing a lot, I for one, didn’t mind getting to listen to Prasanna play on that day. I wished he had played July Madham (in case you are not aware, he is the one who played the guitar for the song). Would have been great if he had played

    I know how you must be feeling! Hope you get to attend a Rahman’s concert soon! All the best!

  10. Aparna

    πŸ™‚ Hope you get to watch him perform soon! All the best!

    I know! There were too many coincidences! It was a lucky day for us!
    > You don’t misbehave but wud encourage to do it?
    They don’t need my encouragement to break the rules coz they were already doing it. πŸ˜›

    Hope your number comes soon! No idea about ARR’s upcoming concerts.

    Yes I do have a pen and paper with my most of the times πŸ™‚

    Welcome to my blog πŸ™‚ Thank you!

    Thanks! LOL we are only gifted to be fans of Rahman πŸ™‚

    Welcome to my blog πŸ™‚ Thank you.

    Welcome to my blog πŸ™‚ Thank you.

    Thank you!

  11. Aparna

    Welcome to my blog! Are you sure that he is performing here again?


    Welcome to my blog! Thanks for the links πŸ™‚

    Welcome to my blog! Thanks for including my post & thanks for the video and photos. Will download it soon

  12. Bharath

    I had passes for the concert but missed it as I had to go to Bangalore that day (the other first love in my life ha ha ha)

    Ive been for a Rahman concert once before and it left me high for about 2 weeks… The man may be amazing in his albums and his concerts on TV, but a live concert is something to die for!!! The man is truly amazing, and whats even more amazing is his humility in letting the junior singers take centrestage while he just comes and sings a couple of songs… He may not appear to have the same charisma as a Shah Rukh Khan in entertaining a crowd, but believe me he does an equally good if not better job, in his own trademark style! That was a four and a half hour concert and we just wanted more and more and more, and he ended it with Maa Tujhe Salaam…

    I counted the number of Mani Rathnam songs in that concert – He had about 20% of the songs as Mani Rathnams, which was high considering he’s worked with other directors as well! Looks like he’s beaten that number in this concert – 10 out of 24! Not surprising since his best work is for Mani Rathnam…

    Yep he also did the Blaaze – Humma Humma rap in that concert – The audience just went wild with that song, but Im sure he had the same effect with Athiradhee in this concert!

    Ive seen a couple of VCDs of his live concerts in Dubai and USA, and his perennial favourites are songs from Roja and Bombay.. Of course, nothing to beat the live concert!

  13. Aparna

    Oh. You had attended a 4 and a half hour concert of Rahman?? Lucky you! πŸ™‚
    >but a live concert is something to die for!!! The man is truly amazing, and whats even more amazing is his humility in letting the junior singers take centrestage while he just comes and sings a couple of songs…
    >10 out of 24!
    I didn’t realize that!
    Athiradee was the one that received the loudest applause if I remember correctly.
    I have seen those VCDs too. A Rahman’s concert would be incomplete without Kadhal Rojave or Chinna chinna aasai, Uyire or Humma Humma πŸ˜‰

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  15. Sadique


    Boss is performing again on April 20th. How would it be for you know that I got this message from the Boss itself… Yes, he sms’ed me the date of the next concert.

    I watched both the concert’s Feb 21st 2003 and Feb 9th 2008.. waiting for the hat-trick.

    I pray that I get to meet the genius this time around & take some photos with him…


  16. manasa

    hey .. i think neeti sang really well !
    yes, i was there for the concert as well, and experienced all those jolts when they didnt let us in πŸ˜›
    and hey ,, Aslam ji sang it really well.. jashn -e- bahara i mean.. i think he surpassed javed’s..but then that’s my opinion !
    and.. you have skipped description for songs by naresh iyer ! why ?????
    also.. hey .. if you noticed any slip (if any) is Aslam ji’s rendition of jashn , then how did you miss on chinmayee’s total lack of shruthi knowledge during the concert ?? i agree she was scared coz she started the concert..with a mistake … but how you failed to put it in your write up amazes me !
    well… liked reading it though !
    it was my first ever Rahman Sir’s concert !
    cheers to Him

  17. Aparna

    Welcome to my blog!

    Welcome to my blog! Oh that’s great! Hope you do get to meet him.

    Welcome to my blog!
    I just wrote for all those songs for which I felt like writing something. It’s just a coincidence that most of the songs for which I didn’t write anything turned out to be Naresh’s πŸ™‚
    >>if you noticed any slip (if any) is Aslam ji’s rendition of jashn
    Well there were indeed, many slips
    >>but how you failed to put it in your write up amazes me !
    If you notice, I haven’t written anything great about Chinmayee’s singing either. Among all that she sang, Maduraikku pogadhadee was the one that I liked the most in the concert and I have mentioned that.

    Hope you get to attend more and more concerts of Rahman! πŸ™‚

  18. Pingback: Aparna’s Blog » The year that was!

  19. Mohamed Jafarulla

    Hi Aparna

    I am also a very big fan of the Oscar hero A.R.Rahman

    i got your blog when i am searching the videos of ARR live concerts. I didnt get the chance to watch Rehmans live concert but you got congrats..

    I got the feeling that i am watching ARR,s live concert while reading your explanation about the concert

    I need the video of ARR if you have send me at any cost i will pay you.

    Best Regards.

    J. Mohamed Jafarulla
    Information Technology Dept
    ETA MNE Head Office
    Al-Quoz-Dubai- U.A.E
    Phone : (+971)4 – 3185198, 184
    Mobile : (+971)50 – 1760252 / (+971)55 – 4522780
    Fax : (+971)4 – 3386301
    Email : jafar@etamne.com


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