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Dr R N Srilatha , Sankranthi Music Festival, SRLK Mandira, 08-Jan-2016

Vocal : Dr R N Srilatha

Violin : Mathur Srinidhi

Mrudangam : C Cheluvaraju

Ganjira : ASN Swamy

List:

01. sarasUDA ( varNam) – sAvEri – Kothavasal Venkatarama Iyer

02. mahAganapatim bhajEham – amritavAhini – Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar ( O,S )

03. mIna lOchanA brOva – dhanyAsi – Shyama Shasthri ( N,S )

neraval & swara @’ambA- gAna vinOdini  nI samAnamu jAgAna gAnanamma’

04. manasA shrI rAmuni – mAraranjani – Thyagaraja ( A,S )

05. parama puruSa jagadIshvara – vasanta – Swathi Thirunal

06. mAmava mInAkSi rAjamAtangi – varALi – Dikshitar ( A,N,S )

neraval & Swara @ ‘ shyAmE shankari digvijaya pratApini’

07.  RTP – sAvEri – chaturashra jhumpa x 2 kaLai +1/2 eduppu

pallavi line ‘navanIta chOra shrIkrSNa mAm pAhi’

rAgamAlika swaras in sudhasAvEri , karNAtaka sudha sAvEri ??

tani Avartanam

08. pUrvajanmadinda nA mAdita  – madhuvanti- Purandara Dasa

09.  sAramaina mAtalenda (jAvaLi) – behAg- Swathi Thirunal

10.  thillAna ( tAm tAm tAm udani tOm tananam) – khamAs – PAtnam Subramanya Iyer

11. mangaLam – saurAStram / madhyamAvati – Thyagaraja

Music from the Rudrapatnam lineage is always very pleasing,more over I wanted listen to her live concert for a while after hearing a few radio concerts. Fearing the friday evening traffic, I left office early only to reach the venue well in advance to be the first person in the audience, which gradually build up as the concert progressed. As expected very soothing music, few rare pieces and some impressive display of her caliber.

Amritavahini kriti of JCW was the first surprise for me, hearing for the first time in a concert. Few rounds of impressive swaras followed. Shyama Shasthri’s dhanyasi kriti was ok, but she did a commendable job with the neraval. Largely hovering around gAna vinOdini -ambA, with a few stretch of the complete line, was very good and fairly well treated. Good round of kalpana swaras too.  First alapana of the day was for mAraranjani. I was fairly convinced it to be sarasAngi and Patnam kriti was lingering in mind, but it was one mELa lower at mAraranjani. Srinidhi’s alapana was beautiful.  The kriti and the swaras were very well rendered. A short vasanta kriti of Swathi Thirunal came in as a filler.

Varali alapana was just ok, good but not anything to rave about. IT was done in detail by both the artists. Mamava meenakshi was a good choice and it picked up from here very well. Neraval for the short line was impeccable, and so was the two speed swara prasthana continued.

Saveri was back as the main as is the old practice. Very good alapana in two phases. Tanam was even better, both Srilatha and Srinidhi playing some exquisite phrases, very moving. Nothing great about the tala or the pallavi line, except that she had a rather funny but very cute way of pronouncing krSNA. Well executed trikalam before the swaras. Ragamalika swaras were sung in only two which I guess were sudhasaveri and karnataka shudhasaveri.

Newly coveted ‘gAna kala bhUSaNa’ Cheluvaraju was in his usual self. He and ASN Swamy played a good tani avartanam. Post felicitation were reduced to a devarnama, a jAvali and a thillana before mangalam.  Devarnama in madhuvanti(?), was very good.

Very good concert. Mararanjani made my day.

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Posted by on January 9, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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Abhishek Raghuram , RLKM Spring Festival @ Gayana Samaja 06 Feb 2015

Vocal : Abhishek Raghuram

Violin : Charulatha Ramanujam

Mrudangam : Anantha R Krishnan

Ganjira : Guruprasanna

List :

01  karuNimpa ( varNam ) – sahAna – Thiruvottiyur Thyagayya ( O )

02  duDukugala – gauLa – thyagaraja ( O )

03 entarANi tanakenta pOni – harikAmbOji – Thyagaraja ( A )

neraval & swara @ ‘ shESuDu shivuniki bhUsuDu lakSmaNa’

04  aparAdhamula nOrva samayamu – rasAli – Thyagaraja ( A,S )

05  sogasu jUDa taramA – kannaDagauLa – ThyagarAja ( S )

06 talli ninnu nera – kalyANi – Shyama Shasthri ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @  ‘shyAmakrSNa paripAlini shUlini ‘

07  jAnakI ramaNa dasharatha nandana – kApi – Vanamali Jeeyar ( A )

08  sakhi prANA (jAvaLi)- chenchurutti – Dharmapuri Subbaiyer

09  vishvEsvar darshan kar – sindhubhairavi – Swathi Thirunal ( A )

This man apparently told the organisers that he may not be able to sing beyond two and half hours as he had to take the train back the same night. But, the music that out poured yesterday carried ‘itself’ ( and him) to  more than 3 and half hours, made him cancel his train ticket and decide to fly back the next morning. That to me sums up the concert.

Some exquisite harikamboji, path setting rasali alapana, and new realms of kalyani and the culminating sindhubhairavi were made the Friday evening effort through the traffic and the early departure from office, worthwhile. Raising to the occasion the supporting artists made their immense contribution to the overall effectiveness of the concert. Charulatha deserves a special mention.

Slow start with the sahana varnam was quickly compensated with some brilliant display of his usual self in the gaula pancharatna kriti. Dudukugala is the only pancharatna kriti I like to listen to in a concert. Probably too much of ‘goshti gana’ mulled my enthusiasm towards pancharatna kritis. MDRs Nata and Sri singings are definitely an exception. Back to Gaula, I had been requesting few artists to sing a longer version of the gaula kriti with 7-8 mins of alapana and some rounds of fitting kalpana swaras. A wish, pending to be fulfilled.

He sang a short alapana of harikamboji, did not give time for violin to replay, but started a couple of ‘enta rANi’ lines in the right wordsplit before expanding to the full pallavi line. The alapana and the kriti has not much to talk about, but the neraval that followed was shear brilliance. Very very long with all that one can ask for in hari kamboji came in during the fantastic neraval with the rest of the crew chipping in to match his exuberance. A similar feat extended to the kalpana swaras. Pure blitz.

A pleasant rasAli alapana came next. Being not too familiar with this ragam, we had to wait until he started the kriti to close in on rasali. Heard Rudrapatnam Brothers siging it in detail once, and TVS in another occasion. Both the vocal and violin alapana was impressive. Few rounds of kalpana swaras were added. A fast filler in kannada gaula with a super fast swaras came in before the main.

Kalyani alapana started off in an unfamiliar terrain to me. A typical fair from Abhishek, extending and exploring the possibilities with in the raga and his voice range. Because it is kalyani, It is all the same to me :-). However, Charulata in her turn played much more sedate kalyani. More traditional, or should I say familiar, phrases and movements. Very impressive indeed. There was a short commotion before she started her turn. A few in the audience raised to leave and a momentary displeasure could be scanned in her face. This did not impact the overall crowd situation as more were standing out to get in and occupy the vacant seats.

Yesterday, being the remembrance day of Shyama Shasthri ( died on the 6th Feb, 1827), it was nice on his part to select one of his masterpieces as the main kriti on the concert ( having sang only Thyagaraja kriti until then). Another classy neraval came in at the predictable line. However, I was a bit uncomfortable with the word splits at times, when he sang ‘Shya – makr – SNapa -ripA-lini shoo – lini. He ‘shoo’ed away this soon with some imaginative phrases. On a lighter vein, the ‘shoo’ he did before repeating ‘shUlini’  looking towards Anantha brought some smile. The kalpana swaras, if I may use some adjectives, out of the world. Awesome and one of the best I’ve listened for a long time. He did a clever ‘graha bheda’ during the kalpana swaras.

There is always an unspoken understanding and reading of the mind between Abhishek and Anantha. There is always the right anticipation on the percussionists part on what the main singer is going to do and he seems to be ready for the same. Guruprasanna was as always in his best self. The tani avartanam started a bit low key, but got the attention with the second phase onwards.

A short , nice alapana in kApi gave pleasant jitters through the spine. It was 9:10 and the singer had just announced his cancellation of train ticket. He probably is planning to sing a pallavi. But, it did not last long. He started immediately the ‘Janaki ramana’ kriti without the violin return. Melodious Chenchurutti Javali came in before another gem of a sindhu bhairavi. He sang a 3-4 min alapana before singing the Swathi kriti with some fabulous treatment. One of the best rendition of this , in my listening experience. There was bit of confusion and hesitation as he decided to conclude. There was no mangalam and audience for a while was looking perplexed, before realising it was over.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Sanjay Subrahmanyan , RLKM Spring Festival at Gayana Samaja 03 Feb 2015

Vocal : Sanjay Subrahmanyan

Violin : Mysore Nagaraj

Mrudangam : K U Jayachandra Rao

Morsing : B Rajasekhar

List:

01 satura kAmini dEva (pv) – kalyANi – Swathi Thirunal

02 gitichakra ratha sthitAyAi – kannaDa – Dikshitar  ( A,S )

03 vanadurgE vanaspati – vanaspati – Muthaiah Bhagavathar ( A,S )

04 kAlai tUkki ninrADum daivamE – yadukulakAmbOji – Marimuthu Pillai

05 koluvamArE gadA – thODi – Thyagaraja ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @ ‘  tambura jEkoni guNamula jeluvonda bADacu

06  manEyoLagAdO gOvinda – abhOgi/shrIranjani – Purandara Dasa

07  RTP – kEdAragauLa – khaNDa Eka x 2 kaLai x 2 avartanam for complete pallavi

pallavi line  “tANDavam ADum tillai naTarAjan, tajam takajam takitajam enru -”

rAgamalika svaras in ‘Anandabhairavi , pantuvarALi , kadanakutUhalam

08 nirupamAna sAmi nI – behAg – Ramanathapuram Srinivasa Iyengar

09  ennamO vaghayAi varugudE – khamAs – Ghanam Krishna Iyer ( O )

10  palukutE nelatalli – AbhEri – Annamacharya

11 rAmanai bhajitAl – mAND – Papanasam Sivan

12 mangaLam – saurAshtram – Thyagaraja

vAzhiya sentamizh – madhyamAvati – Subramanya Bharathi

It had been a long time. Almost two months since I attended a concert. First time in last 10 years or so, where I haven’t attended a concert for an entire calendar month. Hence the expectations were high and so was the anxiety. Despite early departure from office and maneuvering the traffice, we could only find a place in the balcony. Sanjay, always begins his concert on time, and yesterday was no difference. But I was there to witness the entire concert unfold from the beginning. And what a spellbinding concert it was. Having used to see the same accompaniment for Sanjay, this sight of Mysore Nagaraj and K U Jayachandra Rao was a welcome surprise.

Sanjay, probably the only leading artist who brings a lot of variety to singing varnams. It is laudable in the days when singing varnam is becoming a taboo and whole lot of discussions for and against are being circulated in the community. I personally prefer a varnam at the beginning of the concert and not going to add my reasons to why, here. Every concert of Sanjay these days begin with a different varnam and some of them are real masterly compositions. The Kalyani varnam he sang yesterday was another gem of a composition. While there are available versions in the ‘youtube’ including one sung by Sanjay, this is for the first time, I am hearing this. I am amazed at the depth as well as the length of this pada varnam. This alone lasted nearly 16 minutes. Fantastic start.

Kannada alapana came soon with another not often heard composition to follow. Gitichakra ratha sthitAyai was very good, so was the kalpana swaras that followed. Vanaspati alapana came in immediately. He came to the rescue of people scratching the identiy of their brains, announcing it vanaspati. Pariyachakama was playing in my mind, but he chose to sing the Muthaiah Bhagavathar’s composition, which has a beautiful start with the rAgamudra’ embedded in it. The was after an eloquent return by Nagaraj. Kalpana swaras were sung at madhyamakala at ‘vanaspati’ with some mesperising patterns, largely through short ones, before returning to the song and completing the remainder of the charanam. A moving yadukula kamboji came in as a filler before the main.

Thodi alapana was weaved carefully through series of short phrases and quick bhriga laden akaram singing. Few instances of Mani Iyer influence during the alapana was nice to hear. In the middle, he took us to a different terrain with some different take, little folkish ( for want of better word as I am unable to explain it in technical terms) sounding slow phrases. This seems to have gone well with the listeners as he received a lot of applause for his efforts. A similar pattern he continued during the neraval. Great alapana from the singer was aptly complimented by a majestic return from Nagaraj. He did some fast moving phrases in his typical style. KoluvamarE gadA was a fabulous choice for the evening after the grand build up. The team played a brilliant neraval. To me, the morsing was a little inadequate at these stages, and I saw Jayachandra Rao chipping in more often even during the violin returns. There was equally enaborate kalpana swaras in typical two speed variation.

The percussion duo, played a good tani avartanam post the main. Jayachandra Rao was involved from the varnam playing some exquisite takes. Morsing left me for wanting most of the first half, improved much better towards the second part of the evening. A devarnama came in before the pallavi.

Kedaragaula alapana was very good, played even better by Nagaraj, barring a few jarring sound at high speeds. As usual an elaborate tanam between both the vocal and violin. A few impressive takes, clever ‘pause and fill’ between them to some great effect. A few ‘tagugugu’ patterns probably wasn’t very appealing. Pallavi was set to an interesting tAla. The entire line was completed in two beat cycle, even in 2 kaLa. Some great variations in the ‘tajam takajam takitajam’ during the pallavi repeats, using different ‘syllables’ were very nice. There was trikalam as well, which isn’;t common in his pallavis. Ragamalika swaras has some great takes too, espacially with pantuvarali. A very different approach to ‘pantuvarali’ svaras got many thinking and that made his comment’ pantuvarALi tAn’ in the middle.

Post pallavi was a few quick songs, with a short khamas sketch for khamas. Again a variety of new kritis, apart from the mAND composition. Surprisingly, there was no viruttam this time and he extended his mangalam by adding vazhiya senthamizh in madhyamavati.

A very refreshing sets of kritis and ragams, outstanding thodi and a classy kedaragaula pallavi. A concert sure to get a lot attention in the connoisseurs and common listeners discussions in the coming days.

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Sanjay Subrahmanyan, Spring Festival Sri Rama Lalitha Kala Mandira @ Gayana Samaja 03 Feb 2014

Vocal : Sanjay Subrahmanyan

Violin : S Varadarajan

Mrudangam : Neyveli Venkatesh

Morsing : Gururaj

List:

01.  dAri teliyaka vaccinAvEmO (varNam) – darbAr – Patnam Subramanya Iyer

02.  viruttam ( pallANDenru padikkirEn) – nATa

pallANDu pallANDu – nATa – Periyalwar

03.  intanuchu varNimpa – guNTakriya – Thyagaraja ( S )

04. marecEDi nyAyamA – hamsadhwani – Patnam Subramanya Iyer ( A,S )

05. srI mAtrubhUtam – kannaDa – Dikshitar

06. SrI vaLLi dEvasEnApatE -nbaTabhairavi – Papanasam Sivan ( A,N,S,T )

neraval & swara @’ mAmava sadASiva kumAra, vImaNi kruta chitta mayUrA’

07.  vidhi chakrAdula – yamunA kalyANi – Thyagaraja

08. RTP – kAmbOji – tiSra tripuTa  , -1 eduppu ( or +6)

pallavi line ‘yAr pOyi solluvAn enakkAga vELayil kANum ??’

rAgamAlika swaras in ‘thODi , nIlAmbari, husEni, tilang

09. rAmakrishNaru manege bandaru – tilang – Purandara Dasa

10. EmandunE muddu bAlAmaNiki – kApi  saindhavi – dharmapuri Subbaraya Iyer

11. viruttam ( mAlOr maruganE mannADi maindanE )  – behAg

solla soll varmam? enayya – behAg – Doraiswamy Kavi

12. mAlAsai kOpam – sindhu bhairavi – Arunagirinathar

13. mangaLam – saurAshtram – Thaygaraja

A typical Sanjay concert will have adjectives like ‘exhilarating, fireworks, cracker’ and so on. They are usually packed with physically charged atmosphere of high energy transpired from the performer to the audience. Here is another kind of Sanjay yesterday at the Gayana Samaja auditorium, equally brilliant if not better. More sedate, less charged, playful at times ( especially during the kalpana swaras of guntakriya and hamsadhwani) yet equally enterprising as a performer. The usual restlessness( not in the negative sense), the shake of the whole body, re-seating himself after a bout of cracking swara pattern, the hand gesture of “pistol pointing” at the percussionist after the culmination of a long electrifying swara singing and so on were largely restrained. It does not mean that the energy was lacking. The connect with audience was constant, but he tried to change the mode of delivery slightly. Look at the list of the kritis sang. A very refreshing list, of many unusual one, across a large variety of composers.

I always maintain that Sanjay sing a large number of different varnams in his concerts and here was another one which I haven’t heard in a concert. A long varnam  ( http://www.karnatik.com/c3231.shtml ) with many charanam and chittaswaras , which took a long time to complete. Pallandu pallandu was probably a new addition during the last season so was guNTakriya kriti that followed. He did not sing an alapana for Guntakriya ( I guess he did it in one of the season 2013 concerts in Chennai) , but the kriti followed with detailed kalpana swaras. It wouldn’t be long before he attempt a pallavi in guntakriya.

Hamsadhwani was the first alapana, and has some interesting phrases which weren’t very common. Merecedi nyayama is a fabulous kriti of Patnam Subramanya Iyer. The pallavi line , especially towards the end 9rAma nIvE) was very appealing. The kriti by itself was sung beautifully with a fitting kalpana swaras starting with some nice sa,ri,ga patterns.

Natabhairavi alapana caused a lot of initial confusion to me( and Srikanth a bad influence from me). From charukesi to shanmukhapriya to begin with before doubting it as natabhairavi. Very detailed alapana for over 15 minutes with an equally eloquent return by Varadarajan, before taking up ( as the only possible choice) Sri Valli Devasenapate. Interestingly, there was no other neraval before the main. Sanjay however, compensated with a fabulous neraval, taking the ‘mAmava sada’ from the second part of the line ‘chittakumara’ with some improvisation to some marvelous effect. Kalpana swaras followed the similar two speed variations as the rest, befitting the main. Percussion, largely unimaginative and non-innovative through out, played out a spirited tani avartanam, as one would see from Neyveli Venkatesh.

Pallavi, definitely was coming and this time, it was a major raga, probably because of the other selection for the day. Sanjay’s kAmbOji alapana is always a pleasure to listen and yesterday was not different. Whole lot of appreciative sounds from the audience, as he played long phrases ending at the higher octaves and easing his way through the fast paced phrases, visibly moving the listeners. So, was the return from Varadarajan, resumed after a brief interruption by the organiser ( some car blocking the way, as usual). I saw at least ten people around me standing up and leaving on this announcement ( probably they all have heard Ritz car and not the registration number being called out or found this as an excuse to leave the concert). Back to the concert, the tanam was again very good, as expected from him. Pallavi was in tisra triputa only 7 counts, with the first word ‘yAr’ starting at the last beat of the cycle, which I found very interesting. ‘pOyi’ was at samam. Ragamalika swara stood out for an outstanding ‘thodi’ ( still gives me goosebumps) which took away the  rest of the sheen from the rest. It ended with tilang swaras progressing to a devarnama in the same raga.

Post main had few tamil kritis in behag, kapi (no saindhavi)  and a tirupugazh lasting almost three and half hours. Another inspiring effort, with so many not so regular kritis. Brilliant…

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2014 in Concert songlist

 

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Sanjay Subrahmanian , Spring Festival , Sri Rama Lalita Kala Mandira 06 Feb, 2013 @ Gayana Samaja

Vocal : Sanjay Subrahmanian

Violin : Avaneeswaram Vinu

Mrudangam : Mannargudi Easwaran

Ganjira : Venkataramanan

List:

01  nera nammiti ( varNam) – kAnaDa – Ramanathapuram Srinivasa Iyengar

02  mallAri – gambhIranAtta  ( S )

03  parama pAvani – aThANa – Annasami Sasthri  ( A,S )

04  ennagANu rAmabhajana – pantuvarALi – Bhadrachala Ramadas ( A,N )

neraval @ rAmaciluka nokada penci prEma mATalADanEpa rAma rAma rAmayanucu

05  mAnam vaitharul tA sundari – SankarAbharaNam – Anai Ayya ( A,S,T )

06  ninna nambidE nIrada shAma – mukhAri – Purandara Dasa

07  RTP – kAnaDa – khanda triputa x 2 kaLai , starting at +1/2

rAgamAlika tAnam in kAnaDa, kAmbOji, janaranjani,AbhEri

pallavi line ‘srI rAma ravikulAbdhi sOma, sujana manObhirAma’

swaras in kAnaDa. No ragamalika swaras

08  mODi jEsevELara – khamAs – Pattabhiramayya

09 vaNNa mADangal – rAgamAlika ( mOhanam, hamsAnandi?, surutti) -Azhvar pAsuram

10  tumbam nErkayil – dEsh – Bharatidasan

11  thillAna – dhanasri – Swathi Thirunal

12  mangaLam – saurAshtram – thyagaraja

To put it in one word, it was cracker of a concert. Such a contrast from the previous day. Every thing was as ‘prescribed’ and executed. Not sure if there was a clue given to him, as he stuck to the traditional style including singing a pallavi in the same ragam as the varnam. Concert started 5 min ahead of time (or near about) and concluded well past 9 ‘O clock. He would have sung for nearly 3.5 hrs, with a very brief interlude by the organisers. And he did deliver a top class performance, as expected from him.

Kanada Varnam was followed by the ‘vocalisation’ of the traditional nAdaswaram mallari. It was interesting and was complimented by some smart work by Mannargudi Easwaran on percussion. He continued gambhiranatta with few rounds of swaras, again very well done. A shortish atana alapana came soon, followed by Annasami Sasthri kriti. I’ve been listening to this fairly regularly in Bangalore ( may be 3rd in last one year) , hence it is not a rare kriti anymore. Swara was sung only for a couple of rounds and nothing significant to talk about.

First major alapana was in pantuvarali, and this time he did not confuse me ( I have perennial issue with pUrvikalyani and Pantuvarali, whenever Sanjay sing the alapana ). I thought it was top  class, so was the violin return by Vinu, though he was slightly loud and squeaky sound at times (which was the case through out).  The kriti and neraval was brilliant. I liked the long neraval with the ‘rAma rAma’ chanting (!) phrases. He closed the kriti without singing swaras.

A majestic Sankarabharanam was the main. Classy 15 min alapana , built up meticulously was a treat ( except few areas of experiment , which I did not like). Anai ayya’s kriti was new to me. Rather short kriti and an absence of neraval was compensated by long kalpana swara, lasting nearly 20 mins, done in traditional 2 speed , concluding with the Mani Iyer popularised ending.

Mannargudi Easwaran as always was a treat to listen. His accompaniment was as great as ever. I am in the camp of those who prefer his accompaniment to Sanjay over Neyveli Venkatesh. He along with Venkataramanan gave a brilliant tani avartanam. It was rather too long to my comfort, spilling over to 25 mins.

A nice mukhari devarnama came before the next major take off of Kanada. Alapana was very good, so was the tanam done in 4 ragams. There was no trikalam during pallavi, but he did the same while singing the swara, with some great effects. Mannargudi Easwaran was in full anticipation and played with great control. They played another short tani avartanam at the end of the pallavi.

Post main after a short speech and presentation to the artists by Prince Rama Varma, had his usual set of kritis. The khamas kriti of Pattabhiramayya and the Desh kriti in particular was very nice. Concert concluded with the dhanasri pallavi.

As said earlier, a very contrasting presentation from the previous day, giving it a wholesomeness of a concert. And he did in style too.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2013 in Concert songlist

 

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