Ziad el Rahbani’s Sheep

Many bloggers have already posted this video of a dispute at Ziad el Rahbani’s concert which took place a few days ago:

But I’m actually baffled by the reaction of some of the people attending. There’s a limit to how much crap you can take from an artist. He was 90 minutes late, the event’s organization was a royal mess – and yet because he’s Ziad, no one is allowed to complain?

Spare me the hipstery all-hail-to-Ziad attitude. I am not a Ziad el Rahbani fan and after the above video, I will never be. I will never listen to his plays nor will I quote his useless lines nor will I be taken by his music. There are plenty of much better musicians out there that he can only dream of approaching that I’d rather listen to.

What can I make out of an artist that doesn’t respect his fanbase enough to even apologize for wasting over an hour and a half of their time while they sat and waited for him and then has the decency to actually call them out for speaking up?

That’s not an artist I can respect.

What do you make out of an artist that treats the people who were pissed because he was late so callously and is met by applause from an audience who stood by him, non-caring about the time of their life that was wasted?

I’m sure his plays have some “witty” line about apologies somewhere. I won’t bother. The only sheep here are those who blindly worship everything this man touches and who don’t give a rat’s ass about their time which was wasted and who actually call his reply as “polite.”

The sad part is his “fans” believe that people don’t have the right to complain because Ziad is sharing their art with them. They actually think the people complaining are doing so because they’re bothered by his success – as if they would have bothered snatching up those rare and pricey tickets in the first place if the only thing they wanted to do was cause a riot at the concert.

In any decent country, this delay would have warranted a refund. Except in Ziad el Rahbani land, an artist that wants your money and wants to insult you for wanting to get your money’s worth.

“Iza mannak mabsout, 3a shou ba3dak hon?” Ye2ta3 habal l 3alam yalli mfakkrin enno heik shi ma2boul.


13 thoughts on “Ziad el Rahbani’s Sheep

  1. Dear Elie,
    There is something very important that you missed in your critique and i won’t say peer review since you are not relevant to the field that you are writing about. Usually a person is entitled to write a review after attending the corresponding event, Not to mention that you only heard one side of the story and wrote about it. Some of the people who attended the event were disappointed because Ziad el rahbani was late, at first anyone with an objective point of view would think that the artist is disrespecting his fanbase,now if you look more closely to it (and i do not need to defend the position of Ziad because he already did at the concet) you would find that the truth is that people were still coming in at 10 am, i guess that is a disrespect to the artist not the other way around. We all waited an hour and a half not because Ziad el rahbani is moody and simply does not want to show up but simply because not all seats were full. Regarding the man shouting and his wife, they could have easily left without making a scene and annoy everyone in the hall, and to make things more clear, this happened on the last day of the event and on the past two days it was noted that Ziad el Rahbani also began the concert at 10:30 pm ( i guess this statment alone explains a lot don’t you think?) which in my humble opinion is not exactly a coincidence.

    • Hey Rami,

      I’m writing about the content I saw in the video. I didn’t get people telling me about the incident, be it that way or another. Any artist whose concert runs 90 minutes late, regardless of circumstances, has to apologize.
      It’s not his job to wait for fashionably late Lebanese to fill up seats. It’s his job to start what he’s supposed to be doing at the time indicated on that ticket or at least as close to that time as possible.

      He started at 10:30 on later days? Well, why wasn’t that mentioned? Is it the concert-goer’s job to guess when’s the appropriate time to attend Mr. Rahbani’s concert? No.

      There’s simply no explanation for this. If it had been any other concert and if you had been one of those people who didn’t have this undying love for Ziad attending the concert, you would have been more than annoyed. And you may have even spoken up. The fact of the matter is that if it had been any other concert, you may have been the first person critiquing the lateness and calling for an apology.

      And if that man and his wife hadn’t complained, they wouldn’t have gotten a refund. I’m glad they did because it shows exactly how full of himself Ziad el Rahbani is. At least to those of us who don’t worship at his altar.

  2. And one more thing regarding the fans that you called “sheep”, i guess these people would gladly not waste their time and listen to their favorite artist playing his music. And by the way the man was told that he can have his refund so i don’t see how would that make Ziad el rahbani ” an artist who wants your money”. Clearly, you do not know Ziad el rahbani’s principles and philosophy, and you don’t have to be one of his biggest fans to do but at least gather more info about the artist before writing something like this in your respected blog.

    • People need to know that just because he’s their favorite artist doesn’t mean it’s acceptable for them to totally accept bad organization, lateness and rudeness to attend a subpar concert.

      I know his principles and philosophy and I’m categorically against him in all of those. But I didn’t address them because this would turn into a political post, which it isn’t.

  3. I am a Ziad Rahbany fan, i’ve been following his work for so many years.
    I disagree about “useless lines” and your opinion about Ziad.

    However, i do think that Ziad attitude was unprofessional and stupid.

    First, you don’t penalize the people who arrived on time because of those who didn’t.
    A professional artist doesn’t make his fans wait 90 minutes as those people have plans.

    Second, he should have apologized without going into the childish explanation of who is responsible about the delay. Your fans deal with you and you sue the organizers. That’s how it works.

    Third, the way he talked to those people is very low especially with that woman.

    Finally, i wasn’t expecting this behavior from Ziad and i kind of agree with the term “sheep” for those who shouted Ziad’s name. Some people really have no self respect.

  4. we are not addressing here his political orientation but rather discussing purely his work and what happened during his concert, but you are again defending your point of view without taking into account the details of the event. The video does not show everything as you must have concluded,and personally i am a fan of his work, i do not worship him, but i can rationally explain what happened. And i would have done the same in any other concert because in fact the artist was not late, he got to the stage late and he had his reasons. Some people would accept and tolerate that and some won’t( maybe he should have started at 9:00pm sharp and yet some people would come up and say shame on you we lost our way and the weather was bad, we paid a lot of money to come and see you and you did not even wait for the seats to be full which is very disrespectful and arrogant). Again, i was very annoyed by the behavior of those two people, they made a scene and “wasted our time” and it was pointless. This is not just about Ziad el Rahbani, but in any other concert there is always an expected delay, bad organization, seats are not full, call it whatever you like, i never saw people shouting and insulting everyone including the artist and themselves.
    One more thing to add, Ziad el Rahbani actually apologized at the end of the concert but whether he did or not, would not end this discussion because people always need to complain.

    • It’s the people’s duty to take the weather, traffic, whatever into consideration. Those who were on time shouldn’t wait for those who decided to leave their houses at 9.
      Moreover, this happened on Saturday’s concert. The weather was pristine back then.

      Also you were referring to his opinion and whatnot. The concert had some politics in it according to what I heard. That is his opinion and we’re not going there. His opinion also reflects in his works, as it is his right.

      I think it’s extremely odd how you’re willing to justify his behavior and bash those who were pissed their time was wasted.

  5. I would have simply left Elie. No need to shout and make a scene, this isn’t a justification but how i personally would have handle it if i was pissed because my time was wasted. Some people have no problem waiting for their favorite artist because for them it is worth it, this is the opportunity cost and this does not make them “sheep”.

  6. Writing about it on a blog, or any other sort of media would have made their point clear. At least they could have expressed their opinions in a much more civilized manner.

  7. Always found the whole mania about this guy pathetic. You’re absolutely right in what you wrote. Amazing how far our pple can go in willingly taking crap..

    • Never heard anywhere else that a concert is supposed to start when the seats are full and not at the approximate time mentioned in the communication and ticket.. What if part of the seats remain empty, the concert never starts..?

    • Never heard anywhere else that a concert is supposed to start when the seats are full and not at the approximate time mentioned in the communication and ticket.. What if part of the seats remains empty, the concert never starts..?


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