This is starting to become a pattern.
For the third time in a row I followed up a rock concert with a classical one. This time the contrast was probably greater than ever before , the rock act being Iron Maiden.
Frankly I went to Vasantotsav just for 2 performances. Mini-Shakti and Dr. L Subramanium.
Mini-Shakti: When one hears Zakir Hussain , U. Srinivas , Sivamani and Shankar Mahadevan are peforming on the same stage , the first thought that comes to mind is ‘Damn! If only McLaughlin was here’. So i was obviously very excited for this performance since I had never seen U. Srinivas perform. Sadly for me though the two people I hadn’t come to see got the most amount of stage time. Sivamani had a 30 minute , mostly pointless solo. I hated the use of synthesized sound in his work . Shankar M wasn’t bad really ut the cameraman kept focusing on him …all the time. About halfway through their performance ,all the people who had come to see Shankar M sing ‘ Dil Chahta Hai’ walked off. U . Srinivas seemed bored and didn’t show off at all. He was brilliant in parts , but we didn’t see it as the cameraman was showing us how Shankar M was looking at Srinivas’s Mandolin. Zakir played a mindblowing solo and they all together played a piece which was brilliant. What really killed the night for me was people leaving the show saying ‘Sivamani kay bhari ahey!’
Dr. L Subramanium: What can I say? The man’s a genius. Simply awesome. His entourage was awesome too . He played some amazing stuff and there was some great jamming going on between the percussioists. Very entertaining. What struck me and made me applaud the man’s greatness was his humility . He apologised profusely for coming half an hour late, applauded the audience and his co-performers and Kishori Amonkar (who was in the audience) and actually didn’t give a cheesy speech about how Vasantrao Deshpande has been like a father to him , or how he is what he is because of Vasantrao Deshpande , or how he is such a great soul of Indian Classical music. He just came out played his stuff and went off.
The sound guy sucked. He didn’t know what he was doing and kept screwing up the monitors and speakers.
The cameraman sucked as explained before.
The crowd on the first day had come just to watch Shankar M and created too much confusion and restricted our seating place.
Nan Patekar’s compering was terrible. He was very disrespectful and cracked very stupid jokes. He talked too much, acted like an idiot and the worst part: had the best damn seat in the house.
Crowd was ignorant. I heard people laughing at Sivamani’s Jazz brushes (which cost 2 grand a pair) and saying stuff like ‘what next? a toothbrush?’
Zakir pointing out to the sound guy thatabout a 400 Hz frequency feedback was heard on the monitors.
Zakir giving up on Sound Guy and asking him to just put off monotors .
The crowd Applauded when L Subramanium walked on stage. Nana Patekar thought the applause was for him and gave a stupid grin for about 30 full seconds till he realised that the great man was standing behind him.