Live at the Paryaya Mahotsava
It all happened so quick that we are still trying to figure it all out. The show got confirmed in the wee hours of the morning on the day before we actually played! After some serious last minute co-ordination between us, friends in Mangalore and the organisers in the Shiroor Math in Udupi, we booked flights in the afternoon and started leaving in batches to Udupi to start sorting out the show!
It all came together finally with a LOT of help from the members of the organizing committee and a surprise that awaited us on the day of the show! The sound system that we found there would just not work for us and out of nowhere, we found the boys from Shantala Sound (one of our favourite sound vendors in Bangalore) waiting for their equipment to arrive. Another quick round of negotiations and we had them setting up sound a couple of hours before the show.
The function was supposed to start at 7 PM with the felicitation of various dignitaries that had arrived. The sound rig went up by 6.30 PM and between 6.40 and 6.50, we did one of the fastest sound checks in the history of our soundchecks and with much thanks to Niranjan (our sound engineer for the first time!) and the boys from Shantala Sound, we were sorted!
Raghu was awarded the Krishna Vittala Anugraha Prashasti for outstanding contribution in his field before we went on stage to start!
The show itself was unbelievably spectacular! with such a last minute set up, we were fearing the worst when we went on stage, but it all came together quite nicely. We quickly ran through Hey Bhagwan and Mysore se Aayi and then went into an extended Kannada set much to the delight of the close to 10,000 people gathered there.
This was the first show where we played the “Just Maat Maathalli” title track with the whole band and I must say it sounds quite cool live Incidentally, when I was waiting for the stage to be set up, a shop nearby was blasting the entire CD through his monitors and it was a nice feeling to see that happen when the entire multitude that had gathered was being fed!
The final surprise of the night was of course when the Swamiji himself, Shri Lakshmivara Thirtha Swamiji who just ascended the Paryaya throne that morning came up on stage, asked Raghu to modify the lyrics of “Ninna Poojege Bande Mahadeshwara” to a song about Lord Krishna which in a moment of inspiration, Raghu actually did and in a move which surprised all of Udupi, the Swamiji himself joined us and sang along and even broke into a small step!
In all, this was most unexpected for us and it was one of the best shows we’ve played in some time! we fully loved it and would love to do it again