Ziad el Rahbani’s Concert: A Failure?

Ziad el Rahbani Concert Lebanon

Many of my friends went to Ziad el Rahbani’s concert yesterday and all of them had not very nice things to say about it.

Apparently the seating arrangement was a mess. Those who paid for the $40 tickets got much better seats than those who paid for $60. Some of those who paid for the pricier tickets couldn’t even see the performers.

The organization of the event was all over the place. Ziad el Rahbani and his artists were more than 90 minutes late to the concert. And to top things off, the concert itself wasn’t impressive: Ziad sang a couple of phrases in the whole concert. His artists sang the entire setlist.

I personally don’t have time to go nor am I that big of a fan. However, I would expect the artist in question and the event organizers not to take everyone who’s attending for granted and handle things much better than they did.

Two concerts remain – hopefully they’ll be better for those who can’t wait to see him. For those who couldn’t go, it looks like you’re not missing out on much, except on a serious test to your anger management.

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Ziad el Rahbani Concert in Lebanon Next Week

For Ziad el Rahbani lovers, he’ll be holding a concert next week on December 20th and 21st. The event was just announced.

Ziad el Rahbani Concert Lebanon

Nothing was announced regarding where “les artistes” fit into the whole equation. Ticket prices are $40, $60 and $90. They include an open buffet and 2 drinks. (Thanks to @_Evention for the tip).  Tickets will be sold at Al-Akhbar, Boueiry Press in Kaslik and Maarouf Saad Cultural Center in Saida starting Monday.

Cue people freaking out in 3..2…

My favorite Ziad el Rahbani song is probably “Bala Wala Shi.” He has also written my favorite Fairuz song “Kifak Enta.” Yes, I may not be a fan but I am not completely ignorant.

 

Jennifer Lopez, The Lebanese Flag and Silly National Pride

It took Jennifer Lopez holding the Lebanese flag at her Dubai concert for some Lebanese to feel proud about their country’s independence day. They thought it was her way of wishing our country a happy independence day. And they ate it up.

Soon enough, everyone was talking about exactly how genuine a person Jennifer Lopez is and how honorable it was of her and how proud they are as Lebanese that their – our – country was recognized this way. Well, they thought wrong.

A friend of mine who went to the concert in Dubai told me that when she grabbed the Lebanese flag, Jennifer Lopez shouted “Dubai!” which meant that she thought our flag was that of the United Arab Emirates. I’m surprised no one bothered bringing that up till now actually.

It is always customary of artists going for concerts abroad to hold the flag of their hosting country. Jennifer Lopez didn’t bother with the UAE flag. Isn’t that an insult to the country that actually paid enough to bring her to sing on its grounds? And what makes Lebanon so important that she’d rather hold our flag at a concert not even held on our land?

Our sense of fake chauvinism knows no limit it seems.

Lebanon has its flaws. It’s a hopeless place to live in sometimes. It has a lot of shortcomings and I’ll be the first to point them out as I’ve done many times (here’s a sample). But I don’t need Jennifer Lopez holding my country’s flag for me to feel overwhelmingly happy about the country I live in. And frankly I find it sad that some Lebanese need this “validation” coming from a pop star of their country for them to feel some ounce of national pride which so ironically happened to be on a national day that they are too willing to dismiss as absolutely useless.

Jennifer Lopez doesn’t know what Lebanon’s flag looks like. She probably doesn’t even know we exist. The whole flag debacle is all mere irony. Now how’s that treating your silly national pride?

The Red Hot Chili Peppers Concert in Lebanon: Look At All Those Traitors!

Strip them of their passport and national IDs. Take away their Lebanese pride! Shame on them! Shame on the few thousand people that attended this inhumane abomination!

By all accounts, the concert was a huge success. Some people reported being disappointed but still entertained. Others called it the best concert of the year. I didn’t go but I think the best concert of the year would still be Notre Dame de Paris.

My friends have told me they were immensely professional with an amazing stage presence and spirit.

The setlist for the concert was the following:

  • Monarchy of Roses
  • Around The World
  • Snow (Hey Oh)
  • Otherside
  • Look Around
  • Throw Away Your Television
  • Can’t Stop
  • Universally Speaking
  • The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie
  • She’s Only 18
  • Under The Bridge
  • Higher Ground (Stevie Wonder cover)
  • Californication
  • Goodbye Hooray
  • By The Way

Encore:

  • Chad & Mauro & Josh jam
  • Sir Psycho Sexy
  • They’re Red Hot (Robert Johnson cover)
  • Meet Me At the Corner
  • Give It Away

Now we know exactly what Mashrou3 Leila missed out on for being cowards with “principles.”

And these are the people with “principles.”

Thank you @KingRoudy for the last picture and the following Facebook page for the others.

 

Mashrou3 Leila Not Opening for Red Hot Chili Peppers in Lebanon Anymore

I really don’t get the BDS movement people in Lebanon. Do they think what they’re doing is democratic or do they know what they’re doing is total nonsense? Mashrou3 Leila, even though I don’t like them, are not opening for Red Hot Chili Peppers this Thursday in Lebanon.

Why? Because RHCP have a concert in Tel Aviv on September 10th. Because, you know, f*ck logic.

It seems that artists forbidden from coming to Lebanon are not only those who have performed in Israel before but those who intend to do so later on. Because, as I said, f*ck logic.

When you figuratively tell a band that if they open for someone then they might as well be traitors, how different are you from the Israeli solider you are “supposedly” fighting against?

Not very different.

The fight against Israel can take many forms. What the Lebanese branch of BDS is doing is unacceptable. What the Lebanese BDS is doing is cultural terrorism and I wonder how much more we have to put up with it. Oh wait, they probably think I’m sleeping with the enemy  – fresh from France and all.

So I guess I better stop. They already think I’m a semi-traitor with me always being vehemently against them.

It’s not like opening for RHCP would be beyond great opportunity for any Lebanese band, regardless of who they are. But no. Bta3rfo, beddon y7arrero felestin. Because, as I said, f*ck logic.

As a result, no Lebanese band will get to do this without having “zionism” branded all over them. And as a result, Palestine will be liberated. Because, you know, f*ck logic.

The Notre Dame de Paris Concert in Lebanon

Tickets ready, car parked, we went ahead to Biel last night for the Lebanon stop of the Notre Dame de Paris concert. The ordeal to get tickets had caused any enthusiasm we had to get sucked out of us. But man how wrong were we not to be beyond excited for this concert.

Even though it was said the concert would start at 9:00 pm, it started 40 minutes later. I guess they must have accounted for Lebanese people who can’t be on time even if their life depended on it. At 9:40 some people were still trickling in. The seats were a little crammed. Perhaps it’s the venue but a few seats less per row would have made things much more comfortable, despite it being less financially-pleasing.

I had purchased the $100 tickets and thought I had overpaid. The concert proved to me that I had actually underpaid. The orchestra took its place. The conductor struck with the motion to play and Bruno Pelletier came from the crowds to give a brilliant rendition of “Le Temps des Cathedrales.”

And that was the start of two hour long goosebumps. Garou had a rough start in the first act but he brought it back in the second. Patrick Fiori, Julie Zenatti, Helene Segara, Luck Mervil and Daniel Lavoie all gave flawless performances of every single song they sang. They basically showed how a two hour vocal show can be done without a hitch, bringing some crowds to their feet with every note they hit.

I’m not a regular concert-goer because there are very few artists which are brought to Lebanon that I would pay to watch so saying this is the best concert I’ve ever attended wouldn’t be a fair comparison. However, a friend of mine who has attended way more concerts than me said this is by far the best concert she went to.

It’s not very difficult to see why. Each performer had his group of fans rooting for him. Some had even brought out a huge banner for Julie Zenatti which they put up when she sang “La Monture.” She looked at them and smiled halfway through the song.

As the performers left the stage, the crowds started shouting for an encore of the play’s most famous song “Belle.” And that’s what happened. The crowds rushed to the stage. Phones in the air, people singing the lyrics to the song as Garou, Patrick Fiori and Daniel Lavoie gave it their all, before being joined with the rest of the cast to deliver the song’s last chorus.

If you didn’t attend Notre Dame de Paris, let me tell you something: you missed out on a concert that will not be matched any time soon. And I’ve never been more thankful I know French.

PS: I would like to thank my iPhone 4S for filming 11GB worth of videos and pictures and the battery for lasting the entirety of the concert and then some. :p

Let me know in a comment if there’s any particular performance you want me to upload.

The Evanescence Concert in Lebanon

I had a few friends go to the Evanescence concert which took place yesterday at Beirut’s new Waterfront so for those of you who couldn’t go, this is how the concert went.

It was very crowded and the crowds were so energetic that Amy Lee, Evanescence’s lead singer, was impressed and apologized to the Lebanese crowd for not coming sooner.

It’s not like they would have come before when they were much bigger and Lebanon was an irrelevant speck on their radar. But whatever, right?

The concert took around 80 minutes, which wasn’t much according to many concert goers, although that’s pretty much around the average for a set by an American band.

The setlist was the following:

– What You Want,

– Going Under,

– The Other Side,

– Made of Stone,

– Lost in Paradise,

– My Heart is Broken,

– Lithium,

– Sick,

– The Change,

– Call Me When You’re Sober,

– Imaginary,

– Bring Me To Life,

– Swimming Home,

– My Immortal

Amy Lee was apparently top-notch vocally as well.
Here are some of the concert’s pictures:

By MixFM

By MixFM

By MixFM

By MixFM

Following the concert, Amy Lee tweeted this:
And this is My Immortal at the concert: