Wednesday, September 15, 2010

One for Lord Ganesha - JR at Bharati Temple, PA

Just to give a new flavor every time, I have been getting different team members to write up the blog every time... so here it is - reviews about our Bharati Temple Show by Payal....
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If you read through our previous blog posts you will realize that there is a common line in all the posts : ‘another great show by JR’. And that is not because it’s a JR member that usually writes the blog. We have had guests write to us and the theme is usually the same. Matter of pride no? J Yes but at the same time its humbling too and brings with it a sense of responsibility. At any JR show you will see children and adults sing, dance, laugh, forget the everyday pressures and stress and just bathe in the beauty that is music – what better way to spend an evening??? That we are successful in this attempt can be attested by a fact that we had about 150+ people turn out on a Sunday night at 8pm at the Bharatiya Temple to be part of the musical evening with JR – so let me say it one more time GO JR GO!!!

We are not strangers to the Bharatiya Temple audience – we performed here last year too.  The show was arranged in a sequence so as to kindle audience's memories and slowly lead them to a high energy, foot-tapping, 'let themselves loose' numbers... The show had several highlights.  Sharmi switching her rendition of “Kehna hi Kya” from Tamil to Hindi 5 minutes before she was to go on stage and was rewarded by a thunderous applause – clearly this was the song of the evening! The audience was thrilled to hear a Hindi song and Sharmi was totally in her element. Anita floored the crowd with her melodious “Munbe vaa” – one of my personal favorite numbers and also introduced a new language to the crowd in “Omohghozian woo hi yaara” J.  Swarna showed her versatility by singing in 3 languages – Tamil, Telegu and Teleg-hindi J Thuluvudo illamai, Bhalle Bhalle, Nachave...all awesome! Rukku is finally back from her baby break and it was so good to hear her sing ‘Yendhu paranyalum’. Her expressions in this song are so genuine, you can almost feel the love and visualize her singing this song for her own daughter Nikita J All of us sorely missed Durga who couldn’t be part of this show. And I also sang a few songs too this past Sunday and hopefully did justice to them J

Srivats, our very own ‘Guruji’, as usual showed his mastery by wowing the audience with “Paatum Naane” and “Uppukaravadu” among other songs and switching between microphone and Mridamgam with ease. Chenthil once again wowed with “Yengeyum Eppodhum”, making the audience and instrumentalists join in with his singing and all of backstage dancing nonstop for the song J. Shiva made his debut with JR on Sunday rendering “Pani Vizhum” in  complete SPB style.  And he has already begun multitasking in the Band by becoming our resident Videographer and finally giving us our much needed HD videos!! And what should I say about Vaidi? At the risk of sounding biased (he is my husband afterall J) I have to admit that Vaidi was in top form this Sunday inspite of still recovering from the flu. You could never tell from his singing that he had 101 deg fever the previous night. Munbe vaa was flawless, Jai Ho was classic and he made us all laugh yet again with “I don’t know whaat you saayyy” J

Its so common for us singers to get all the limelight. Its actually a pity that the audience cannot see the instrumentalists actually work their wonders. Someday hopefully we will be able to have video cameras do close-ups of the instrumentalists and project them on a widescreen for the audience to see and appreciate!

It’s a delight to watch Venky as his fingers fly through and switch between 2 keyboards. I watched him play the opening piece of “Munbe Vaa” – it was enchanting. Rajkanth rocked “Aadiradee kaaran” and “Nachhaave” with some pretty intricate chord work. John was amazing as usual on all the songs but his awesome work on Yengeyum is really what makes that song such a big hit. Ram was classic on Anjali Anjali. Shiva switched effortlessly between Tabla, Mridangam and Pads..i’m sure I missed a few hand percussions - he plays so many!! Harish has settled in so quickly in the Band it did not feel like his 2nd show. He showed us the  magic he can weave during sound check – awesome!! After all the hard work Raj Manian puts in to get our shows organized and managing the logistics for such a large group he decided to step back and enjoy the show this past Sunday but as soon as it was time for” Yengeyum”, he was back in full form – back on stage on the pads. All of us backstage enjoyed his performance totally J. Arul, our JR CEO juggles so many hats, from chief drummer to singer to deciding song lists…its not an easy job by any  standards! And as if that was not enough his sticks decided they wanted more attention than they were getting this Sunday and so decided to slip off in the middle of a song as if to make a point!!  But I think the audience and Band Members alike loved his work this Sunday on the mic as well as drums – way to go!!! DJ our silent sound engineer did wonders for this show. We were without our usual Strike Sound folks but DJ, with help from a few of the organizers,  was so much in control of the sound board that we barely had any feedback or bad sound moments. He magic with the sound is one of the main reasons why this show was such a success!!

So yes, it was one more very successful show for JR – most of the audience stayed up and danced till 11pm in spite of having work / school the next day. The Audience and Organizers of the Bharatiya Temple really deserve special  mention. We had quite a few non Tamil / Telegu speaking people in the audience and even though they wanted to hear Hindi songs, the way they were enjoying, responding and reacting to the Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam numbers was so commendable. It really goes to show that a genuine and true music lover will appreciate music in any language and form. Good Music really knows no language and can touch hearts anywhere irrespective of the language you speak

There are plenty of Music bands in the US now. But in all honesty, I think what separates our Band from almost all others is that we are truly bound by a mutual love for music. We enjoy our own shows and that is contagious – it makes the audience enjoy us more. We sing, we dance, we laugh, we debate, we talk…we CONNECT. And that’s really what makes us successful as a Music Band

So keep watching this space – we have a busy fall / winter ahead. 2 more shows coming up very soon!! Hope to see you all there!

Payal for JR - Go JR Go

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