A. R. Rahman & The Intimate Concert in NYC

An A. R. Rahman concert in New York City! It was indeed a dream-come-true goosebump-inducing moment, one of those rare opportunities to witness the music legend weave his magic right in front of you performing to a varied set of songs spanning a variety of genres, right from Roja to O Kadhal Kanmani, and one of those nights I will cherish forever, first and foremost as a music lover and then as a fan of his music.

Starting the evening with a mellow sufi prayer Arziyan from Delhi-6, the two-hour intimate concert had the immensely talented and versatile Haricharan Seshadri and Jonita Gandhi keeping the audiences entertained, belting out one hit after the other. With Ranjit Barot on the percussion, Keba Jeremiah on the guitars and Ann Marie Simpson on the violin, it was, needless to say, a sumptuous orchestral treat!

In fact Jonita Gandhi was a complete revelation to me, the inflection in her voice evident as she sang Chinna Chinna Aasai/Chhoti Si Asha, Munbe Vaa, Naane VarugirenNenjukkule, Tere Bina, Ishq Bina, Jiya Re and Mayya Mayya. Haricharan wasn't far behind either, his vocal range too brilliantly morphing as required, be it in the pathos-soaked Uyire Uyire, or the peppy O Humdum Soniyo Re/Endendrum Punnagai, or the melodious numbers Saathiya and Pookkalae Sattru Oyivedungal. His rendition of Ennodu Nee Irundhaal from the movie I was mind-blowingly impressive to say the least.

Rahman for his part put on his singing cap for Dil Se Re, If I Rise, Maahi VePatakha Guddi, and Naadaan Parindey, before joining the other singers for an exuberant medley consisting of Chaiyya Chaiyya, Mental Manadhil, Khalifa and Jai Ho! The surprise of the night however turned out to be the jazzy Tu Bole Main BoloonKadhal Rojave's flute version, Solange Merdinian's stunning performance of My Mind Is a Stranger Without You and Caroline's whispery rendition of Thee Thee from Thiruda Thiruda.