Friday February 4, 2011
The Shankar Ehsaan Loy Unplugged gig at The Leela, Bangalore
When Ehsaan enquired if I was in town on February 3rd, late last week, I had no idea about the unplugged gig they were planning in town. I was indeed in town, things happened quite fast and I got an invite for the Shankar Ehsaan Loy Unplugged gig at The Leela, courtesy Standard Chartered Private Bank. And what a gig it was!! I haven’t seen the trio live so far and for a first time, it was obviously mind-blowing. Shankar Mahadevan’s on-stage energy has to be seen, to be believed. He’s seems like a showman singer, constantly engaging with his audience and making them part of the concert. The trio’s team is fabulous and the show yesterday included Mahalaxmi Iyer (she was incredible in ‘Chup chup ke’ from Bunty Aur Babli) and Raman Mahadevan (who was introduced rather late and was super in ‘Kholo kholo’ from Taare Zameen Par).
One of the best things in the show yesterday was the improvisations and variations to the original tune and music, besides the brilliant blues segment featuring Ehsaan and Loy. Shankar took care of the improvisations in the vocals and he did it with as much panache as someone I really like in this department – Hariharan. Most of the songs wore a new look thanks to the sparkling variations in the rhythm or the basic orchestration one is accustomed to in their filmy versions – this was one of the reasons why some of the songs that I had considered boring (due to listening to them to death) sounded fabulous! The crowd was ecstatic at the more dancy numbers like Jhoom Barabar Jhoom title song and even shouted their way to an extra song – Kajra Re! Kannada composer Gurukiran was in the crowd and Shankar added a special 3 line rendition of Jogi right in between the title song of Jhoom Barabar Jhoom!
After the gig, I managed to speak to Ehsaan and (a bit to) Shankar. Told Ehsaan that I loved Patiala House’s ‘Tumba tumba’, specifically the choice of Hans Raj Hans as singer. Shankar said with a serious face, ‘It’s not copied, you know!’ Also spoke briefly with Raman Mahadevan to tell him that I’m one of the biggest fan of his album ‘Ramanasia’ – he took a few seconds to even comprehend that I was speaking about his album, but then remembered my review and my mail to him.
The best moment? It was the sight of a lady taking her handkerchief out of her handbag and wiping her tears as the trio performed ‘Meri maa’ from Taar Zameen Par! That, besides the obvious other best moment…when Shankar announced about ItwoFS, what it does and that ‘Karthik is with us here today’ just before starting the show!
Here are some random photos from the gig! If you ever get a chance to see the trip performing unplugged and live, don’t miss it!