Nobody can forget a great performance, it imprints on you in a way you can’t explain. Starting from the day you hear about the concert, the moment you get hold of your own ticket and the excitement begins to rush. Till the anticipated day of the concert arrives, and you grasp on your ticket with pride ready for the concert, five hours before it begins. You make sure to arrive a few hours early just to get a great spot, then you bare with the agonizing crowd shoving their way into your entitled spot. You’re willing to fight for it, “accidentally” elbow or knee who ever stands in your way, simply because you didn’t arrive three hours early for nothing! You fight for this spot as if you’re married to it. Till death do us part, you say.
This kind of joy is rare to find. The reason I called this night a performance is for the sole reason that it served its purpose. Unlike a concert, a performance’s purpose is to entertain, and I’m far ahead of being entertained. I gave in my money and time for a night not realizing that in return I’d be left speechless and in love. In love with an experience that I’d allow no one to ruin for me. Mashrou’Leila, I saw you twice already, and I’ll go out of my way to keep seeing you as much as I can.
Mashrou’ Leila is a Lebanese alternative rock band. The band formed in Beirut, Lebanon back in 2008 as amusic workshop at the American University of Beirut. Led by Hamed Sinno, the band has released three studio albums so far, Mashrou’ Leila (2008), El Hal Romancy (2011), and Raasük (2013). What so unique about this band is their talent to address sensitive subjects such as lost love, war, politics, security and political assassination, materialism, immigration and homosexuality through their satirical lyrics and themes.
They are original and unique, which something you don’t encounter nowadays. The moment they step on stage the audience goes haywire; and everybody can’t help but to sing along with their music. Mashrou’ Leila’s energy on stage is thrilling and very exciting; their music brings the night to life. It makes you think that they sold their soul to the devil, because for so long you’ve been fed with sounds, not music; some tune that has no meaning. You can’t help to fall in love with their music because for some strange reason you can relate. How often do you see Egyptian women going crazy in concerts? Not much I presume. So when you’re in a concert and around you hear a women screaming “AWAY BA2A” when Hamed Sinno dances, you can’t help but break down laughing. Even though you secretly understand why she said that. Let’s keep in mind that Hamed Sinno has no interest in women, unfortunately…
Hamed Sinno’s voice is incredible, not to mention his dancing skills. He really knows how to put his heart in what he says, so no matter who you are you’ll still feel his emotion in the song. On top of that, his personality is admiring. At one point, a balloon from the crowd landed on the stage. Hamed Sinno then picked it up, put under his shirt as if it was a baby bump then jokingly announced he’s having a baby boy.
So after the concert ended my friends and I stook around for few more minutes and luckily enough we go to see Hamed Sinno, Haig Papazian and Firas Abu-Fakher from Mashrou’Leila.” HE TOUCHED MY HAND, MY PHONE, SIGNED MY TICKET, AND TOOK A PICTURE WITH ME; my life is complete” Said Malak Sekaly after she met with Firas, the drum player. And when I asked her to describe the experience, she noted “it was beautiful”. Although we were there at the same time, I unfortunately hadn’t had the chance to meet him since I was more interested in meeting the beloved Hamed Sinno, the lead singer. I took a picture of him, but not with him. But I was still close enough to touch him, satisfying enough for me.
If one day you’re lucky enough to go to one of Mashrou’ Leila’s concerts, make sure you get there early and pay close attention to the violin player, Haig Papazian, you will never hear someone play the violin like that. Its amazing. Needless to say, I wrote this article with their album on replay; the night hasn’t quite ended for me yet.