Sunday, 13 May 2018

Time Travel back to the Golden Era with Mojo Project’s Madras: An 80’s Musical

By, Tharanie Rajendran 
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At any given day, a perfect evening for me would consist of hanging out with a bunch of close friends, sipping on our favourite drink and going back in time to relive the beauty of Ilayaraja’s music. You know, the kinda music that was made without a template from a musical software or auto tune to help balance it all of. And that is exactly what “Madras: An 80’s Musical” by Mojo Project gave me, last Saturday on 5th May 2018.

It was no doubt that the set of singers who flew in from India for this concert were big names in the playback industry, but I was skeptical on their ability to revive the 80’s musical simple because I, an ardent fan of live music, have not heard some of these names performing an old song on stage.  But, since the very first song, till the last bit, I was repeatedly proven wrong, by literally everyone who went up on stage.

Before entering the ballroom, I was also curious on why was there a place setting involved in the naming of the concert, and the choices of songs performed answered my question. Madras, before being renamed to Chennai, was also known as South India’s Movie capital and it oozes out of pure talent for the performing arts industry.
(From left: Rahul Nambiar, Ranjith, Saindhavi, Aaalap Raju)

Madras: An 80’s Musical did feel like taking a time travel back through music, and I loved the fact that it was not Ilayaraja centred. It was indeed an evening reliving the moments from the era of timeless music, from all music directors that made the decade a golden one for the Tamil music industry.

(Singer Aalaap Raju)

There are some songs that makes this golden era, golden. Songs like Raja Raja Cholan, Vaa Vennilla, En Iniya Pon Nilave, Vaa Vaa Pakkam Vaa, Kannukul Nooru Nilava, Madai Thiranthu. The special craftsmanship that is put in for each and every of this song makes it a timeless piece. Aalaap Raju, Ranjith, Rahul Nambiar and Saindhavi performed all this songs to perfection during the Madras: An 80’s Musical and it was magical!

(Singer Ranjith)

I believe one of the reason this show was a success is the crowd. They were very responsive and cheerful to every song, every backstory, every interaction the singers tried to include in their preforming period.

(Singer Saindhavi)

But the cheerful and loud crowd became silent and we could feel the sudden gloom when tribute to Sri Devi and Malaysia Vasudevan started. The unfortunate passing of these two souls definitely created an impact in the Tamil cinema industry, and caused a grievous moment in the show. Trust me when I say I definitely saw some tears rolling, around me.
(From left: Rahul Nambiar, Ranjith, Saindhavi, Aaalap Raju during the tribute of Sri Devi)

Few hours in the show, I was literally shouting to Sukesh. “WHERE IS SUNDARI FROM THALAPATHY?!” A personal opinion is that an 80’s musical is not complete without this piece from Ilayaraja. I mean, who could not love that song? Sundari from Thalapathy was literally every couple in the early 90’s theme song!

(Violinist Raghav)

Then came the moment where the musicians in the show got a special part, without the singers, where they played a medley of several impactful BGMs from the golden era. Special mention to Raghav on violin and Karthik Devaraj on keyboards. The BGMs started with Sundari, and made it’s way to Punnagai Mannan and ended with Nayagan, which made the whole ballroom sing along. It was too beautiful for me to word it (trust me, I tried).

(Keyboardist Karthik Devaraj)

When I drafted this write up, I thought of mentioning the singers Aalaap Raju, Ranjith, Rahul Nambiar and Saindhavi separately but then I realized, this concert was made beautiful because of the entire team and there is no I in a team. Every singer added a piece of their expertise with their magical voice and the concert was wholesome because of everyone. But, putting everything aside, I just want to say, “I LOVE YOU RAHUL!” (yes, I was the annoying voice everytime Rahul finished performing and I am sure that Rahul knows that by now).

(BAE Rahul <3 )

Talking about how much I fell in love with Rahul (more in person than just through my Spotify and YouTube), I am still VERY JEALOUS that Sukesh got a chance to spend some time with Rahul (and all the other singers). He got an interview session with all the singers, one-to-one and it is coming on Boggler Blogger’s page this week, so stay tuned, people!

All in all, Madras: An 80’s musical was a great show and Mojo Project has definitely set the bar high for the event they run, and I am being informed that the 3 more upcoming shows are set equally or even higher! I don’t know about you, but I am purchasing the tickets for the remaining three shows already!

Season Pass to all Three Concerts:

Here are the links to purchase the tickets for Mojo project’s upcoming concert, individually:

Triple Treat (9th June 2018):
Rahman Retro- A Tribute (7th July 2018):
MILFF 2018 Mainstage (8th Sept 2018):

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