The newer movie releases in SDM, Delhi 6, & Jaane Tu... were best represented on the concert listing. But the classics got their share of voice too. Hariharan & Sadhna Sargam sang "Roja..." with the versatile Hariharan doing his bag of improvisational tricks. One of the two highlights of the evening was listening to Hariharan & Roopkumar Rathod sing Dheemi Dheemi, Tu Hi Re & Khaamosh Raat, with Rahman's superb piano playing. An album with alternative variations to such melodies would be a great idea. This semi-unplugged detour got better with them performing one of my personal favourites: Sarfaroshi ki Tamanna.
The other highlight was Neeti Mohan's Mayya Mayya. She sang, she danced, she blew everyone's mind. An astonishing performance, it's worth going a distance to watch. Phew.
A lady (very Puneri in her cynicism) kept saying Rahman's only going to sing three-four songs, oh, what a ripoff. Well, he's a music director who occasionally sings, doesn't he? Plus he isn't the best singer going around, but he can evoke sincerity & passion. Which is what he did with the likes of Khwaja mere Khwaja, Humma Humma, Dil Se, and Rehna Tu. Though I was mighty disappointed not to see the fingerboard out on show.
The female singers (Tanvi, Neeti Mohan, the lady who sung Dreams on Fire, and more) were good. Sadly, none of them were introduced, as was the case with the terrific instrumentalists. Was hoping for a Naveen solo, especially given his superb interludes. Stephan Devassy's playing for Masakalli was wonderful too. But the man on the harmonium and piano was terrific - would have loved to have seen more Rahman playing than Rahman singing.
The only blots on the evening were a couple of pestilential RJs from Radio Mirchi (the male one was in danger of being lynched, some unnecessary speech-making, and some poor camerawork & online editing. Hardly any instrumental close-ups or energy there. The show did feature local group The Wandering Souls during Aziim-o-shaan.
Great production values and with no unnecessary gimmicks, the show closed out with Jai Ho! and Vande Mataram (now the Rahman Bhairavi/mangalam, I suppose).