It was carnage at the Forum Vijaya Mall on Saturday night. Carnage with a capital K. For a mall that’s still playing catch up with its more centrally-located compatriots, as far as patrons are concerned, staging a free concert with singer Karthik was a brainstorm.
Armed with an energy that was far beyond his years of singing, an enthusiasm that was well beyond infectious and a voice that’s as fresh as it was a decade ago, Karthik kept a crowd of at least 2,000 people (and then some) entertained to the hilt. Filling the atrium quickly, the crowd then spilled on to line the four floors of the mall in Vadapalani — with most people choosing to abandon their shopping pursuits in favour of the scintillating show.
Starting with a string of crowd-pleasing Suriya hits that he’s sung like Hasili Fisile and Vizhimoodi, Karthik ran through his 90-minute set-list without sounding like his voice was cracking under the strain — like so many contemporary singers these days. But that’s probably because his band moved from song to song like a well-oiled machine, hardly complaining about the sound glitches and growing crowd.
To be fair, Karthik’s repertoire remains largely the same from the past four odd years and the additions have been a few — but hardly anyone would have complained when Karthik treated them to a string of his best hits from Behka (Ghajini), Usire Poguthu (Raavanan), Theradu Veethiyil (Run) and a rocked-out version of Rahman’s Girlfriend (Boys).
By the time the show’s climax was heralded by a super-popular kuthu-style Anjalai (Vaaranam Aayiram), the noise from the crowd was so loud that Karthik himself admitted that this was the first time that he had asked them to be a little quieter — because he couldn’t hear the rest of his band on stage!