Sounds like Shiva and Vishnu, the holy trinity missed Brahma that night. Drummer Shivamani with Madolin U Srinivas rocked the night with rhythm and beats scaling the seventh crest of highest mountain of Titan, the second largest moon of the Solar System. (just kidding). Awesome is an understatement. The rhythm was totally mind blowing, how the hell does this guy play so many instruments? How did he master so many instruments? Totally unbelievable and at the same time tremendous entertainment.
The build up to get Shivamani on stage was a bit too much I thought. This is the first time I saw the leading string musician given lesser importance than the drum player. U Srinivas is no stranger to greatness. He was a child prodigy. Has now made madolin his life. I have seen U Srinivas at my school once when I was a kid. He looked a little mature this time around. But the sounds coming from his madolin still sounds the same, like magic!!
The Ever graceful U Srinivas
Build up for Shivamani to come on stage:
"Times of India" organized this event as a part of "Pongal Kondattam" (Pongal is the harvest festival) and also gave free passes for this event, which I got as soon as I saw an advt. on the newspaper. Understandably it was fully crowded and people were queuing up and standing all the way. The event was at "Bandra Fort", just near the Taj Land's End. The decorations for the event was impressive. Though I did not take lot of picture of it, I was quiet impressed by the decorations. The audio quality was really an icing on the cake, baring the incident were Shivamani flinched his eyebrows and looked at the audio guy while he was in the groove playing.
Lock Stock and barrel!!
I must be very rude, if I don't mention the support artist on the piano, Loy. Yes, you are right, he is the guy from "Shankar-Essan-Loy" bandwagon. He gave some rock notes in support to the music of U Srinivas. High Base notes when U Srinivas was playing the low notes. These guys I tell you are too fast. At one instant, during jugalbandi, infact there were three of them so trigalbandi, there was a moment where it was Loy's turn to play, he just threw his arm up signifying I give up, these guys are too quick for me. Yet another incident where all three of them just stopped and did not know who will play. It was just that second of silence, but no complains, U Srinivas like always took it away and impressed the audience who did not know him that well.
After the Trigalbandi, it was time for solo act of Shiva. He kept the audience enthralled by his gift of rhythm. There were atleast 30 different drums he played, just during his solo. In between the fast beats, there would be a popular bollywood flick just to keep the audience in sync. Rhythmic hand moments, twisting the drum stick as he pounded on his drums, the characteristic black flick as he plays, his symbolic head moments as per the rhythm he plays, totally awesome and majestic to watch. As an audience and a person who is interested in drums what more can you hope for. He pulled out every trick up his sleeve. Suddenly out of no where he pulled out a Mineral water can, the big one. Then it was a stainless steel vessel. He did not leave spoon as well. If it would have been a cook show, I think you don't have to look any further than his drums for vessels. :) Empty vessels does make lot of noise :P
Shivamani with a spoon
Shivamani with a Mineral Water Can
Shivamani with a Stainless stell vessel
I was late for the show, so I did race to the place with nothing to loose. But the show started good 1 hour after we reached there. If we would have been early, then we would have been standing in a line biting our nails. So nothing wrong in going late for something which starts late :P All is well that ends well. The last song "Raghupati ragava Raja Ram"; is still echoing in my hears and haunting me. That is the success story of this event. Three cheers to Times of India for organizing this event. Hip Hip hooray, hip hip Hooray, Hip Hip hooray~~Happy Pongal to one and all!!