Alternate Music Festival III
Label: Muhamed Jaber & Jordan Vibes
Reviewer: Mujtaba M Badr - 2012-08-02
Highlights: Most of the show was interesting
Bands : Amadeus Awad,Fuse,Triplet,The Tent, Random House
It looks like this summer is one of the best summers in years for metalheads in Jordan, cause alongside the summer heat, the metal scene brought back some of its live shows heat, with some of the first metal gigs in years happening, and not just that, bands from outside the border came too.
Alternative Festival III made a great anticipation among the metal and rock fans, especially when they announce that the Lebanese guitar virtuoso Amadeus Awad is coming along with his band, to make a performance in Amman, as part of his The Live Equinox tour, in addition to a long list of talented local rock bands.
Let me explain it from the beginning, am not a big fan of Amadeus music, it's just simply not my cup of tea, the album, Time of the Equinox, despite all the buzz it got within the middle eastern rock community, and even outside it, I still didnt give it a full listen. But somehow when it was announced that Amadeus is coming to make a show here, I was very excited, it was just like some sort of Deja Vu that we will be rocked Amadeus and co. performance, did we or did we not, thats the question, which I will answer by the end of this review.
Lets start talking about the event..
The, what so called "Festival", was supposed to start at 5:30 PM, sadly that was delayed to almost an hour, as I heard, it was due technical difficulties during the band's sound check, and the fans waited until around 6:30 to get into the venue, The Rainbow Theater. The venue itself was great choice by the organizers, Muhamed Jaber and Jordan Vibes, since it became recently the Rock 'n Roll venue of choice in Amman, sort of.
The show started with a solo performance by Abood Zou'bi, who covered a song for Aziz Maraka, although the style was far away from the rest of the night other acts, [just played on Keyboards], and it was just one song, he still made a really good presence and set the mood for what is coming next.
After that, Random House, a new experimental band, made their debut live show, and as their name may indicate their randomness and extermination in sound, the band created some new unique touches for the rock shows around, with some percussion instrument that we are not used to see it in local live shows. They performed a cover song, and another original one, all in all they were pretty good as for a debut show, still need more time to cement the band chemistry in stage, keep an eye for those guys, cause something promising this way.
Next up, was a band I found love with them recently, The Tent, it was just couple of weeks ago when I talked about their performance in another show, and how much stunning they are, they just deliver one of the best progressive music around, really classy performance, very moody original music, it's like a dope. Am not just waiting to catch them in their next show, am impatiently waiting to hear their debut album, which is still in the making.
So far, the night was classy, little calm, and the music is soothing and the air currents are moving slow. Well this was about to change, The Triplet took the stage, and rocked the audience with some real Rock 'n Roll spirit and put the audience on fire with some hard rocking covers for act like Bon Jovi and Nickelback, Mohammed Saad grungy vocals were amazing that made up forget that this is Triplet and not the original band with each song they played, Ahmed Kloub, well, he is just one of the best drummers around and he was about to tear the drums apart. If you hear that Triplet is doing a show around, and you like post-grunge and hard rock anthems, then go immediately, you won't regret it at all!
Now it was Fuse time, if you still didn't hear Fuse name in the local scene, then you've been living under a rock, not the music, I mean a real big heavy rock [shit, still sound lick a genre of rock!!], anyway, Fuse had succeed to build some reputation around and a good fan base over the time, they didn't get that by accident, no but because of their authentic and solid stage presence, their great performance, which mainly credited to the talented line-up, specially the creative vocalist Hasan Aboghosh. And this show was another proof of what I said, they made great covers, like Pink Floyd "Money", and fans favourite AC/DC "TNT, which put the turned the audience into an exploded TNT!! , also they made an interesting performance for one of their original , which I hope that they can increase the amount of original stuff and release it in the future.
And finally, the show that everybody, well almost everybody was waiting for it, since I sadly noticed that the some people had left the show before Amadeus Awad took the stage, FOOLS!, you lost the best part of the show, not just this show , but the best metal/rock show ever been played in Amman in the past ,, like five or six years, if not the best ever.
Before this day, I was always compare each show I went, to a show for Reef [now on hiatus], a SAD PROJECT 2 on June 24, 2009, and took place at Amman Baccalaureate School, that show people, still the best show I attended here in the terms of organizing and performing, well, it kept the first part, while my best performing award had now went to Amadeus Awad. As I said in the beginning, I was highly anticipating this performance, and I wasn't disappointed. Each person I got in touch with after they finished their set, were like: "Fuck! that was awesome, the best show I ever saw" , you may say why? , well take that, their bassist, Samer Zouein, the first bassist I see to know how to use his presence on stage in the right way, he was full of energy and despite we didnt hear his playing very well due to technical problems, he left a memory in every one was there. Patrick Stephan, the Drummer, he made the fans drop their jaws, his talent, technique and using Tabla as part of his drum sit, just blown away the people who were there.
The vocalist, Elia Che, is another hole story, he is ,, he is just a perfect vocalist, really Amadeus was blessed when he got such a talented guy to fill in the place of the famous Mark Boals, actually, I believe Elia even can do a better job than Mark himself. Behind the shadows there was a talented guy named Mood Yassin, I said behind the shadows cause everybody was blown by the other band members while mood was in the side of the stage and pouring his talent through his finger and hitting the keys flawlessly.
And I will not talk anything about Amadeus Awad himself, I will just quote what Elia said when he introduced him in the end of the set, "The Legend Amadeus", that what describe him the best, if you think this is an exaggerating description, well watch him play live and then come and face me.
Now, as you see, musically everything was perfect, and the organizers did great job by bringing all these talented bands together in one place, but that dosent mean they didnt couple of mistakes in my opinion, first, the number of bands for one event, and in that given time, was too much, in the first hour four bands performed, and while changing from band to band, time was flying by , and when the band take the stage they were just about to start get in the mood, then get interrupted by someone telling them, time out. I believe if there was less bands, and each band given more time it was going to be a win-win case for the band and the fans enjoying more music from their favorite acts.
Second problem, the event date, I know that Fridays are the best time for all, since it's the weekend and nobody have anything to do next day, but I believe that this event was effected by another show was going nearby in the same time, Souk Jara yearly rock events were taking place a few meters away, with Jadal hitting the stage, a respected more known in the scene, Arabic Rock band. Cause really an event as big as this should had been sold out, sadly, I saw half the venue empty specially near the end when the most important act came into the stage, and I knew after the event, that some of my rocker friends were in Jadal event, and I believe they are not the only rockers or metalheads who went to Jadal instead of this event. Which I think this could be little overcame if the event was done like in another day other than Friday, like when The Burning 2 made their show in Thursday weeks before this event.
Nevertheless, It was a kick ass rocking night, despite some little sound problems, which is almost negligible, especially if you compare it to other shows in the scene. Thanks for Muhamed Jabr and Jordan Vibes for bringing us Amadeus Awad, and make us witness one of the best life performances of our lives. And looking forward to see Amadeus coming back in Jordan, in even a bigger event.