Saturday, November 14th. A night of great music, sizzling steaks, and awesome friends. In short, a night to remember.
Roy’s Hangout is an invite-only, monthly occurrence where friends meet and just, you guessed it, hangout. When bands aren’t on stage playing, there is ambient music going on in the background; all the while we were patiently waiting for Roy’s fabled steaks to arrive.
This specific hangout, I invited two of my friends to come with me. They were both complete strangers to the music scene, indeed, one of them was not even a rock fan (I use the word was because that promptly changed). We paid our tickets and entered, one would get you open dips, chips, wedges, a drink, and a big steak portion; while the less pricey ticket omitted all the food and got you either a beer or a soft drink. Roy greeted us and I introduced him to my friends. Then we found a group and sat down.
It all fit together like a jigsaw. The friends, the music.
The ambient playlist was nothing short of amazing, from the best of Porcupine Tree to Dream Theater, the music was accessible and some people even got into these bands because of that night.
However, the real cornerstone here were the bands.
Grey Groove, I must say, knocked me out. Their whole performance, from Roland Hosri’s voice, to the acoustic pieces they played, was out of this world. Roland just needs to work a bit more on his voice, train it a little, and he will be the next big thing. I really can’t wait for these guys to move on from covers to originals, as although they did play a few originals that night, the band itself didn’t complete the transition yet. Since the entire event was more of an acoustic setup (there were no drums, a cajun was used instead), Roland Hosri, Anthony Hakim, and Gabriele Sarkissian performed as a separate act from Paul Toubia and Joe Kareh.
Whitefish were an odd sight, a female vocalist coupled with a violin, a harmonica, a cajun, a ukulele and a few guitars. Yet, they played really good music. They had an altogether different vibe, but it ultimately fit in with the whole ambiance. They left me with a good impression.
Two members of Violent Peace came up on stage, Joey Semaan (vocals, guitar) and Roy Andraos (guitar) in an on-the-spot decision to perform. They delivered a solid performance that resonated with me; I frankly quite enjoyed their originals.
Nathalie Jeha (vocals) and Roland Azar (keys) from Bandage dropped by and gave us a jam session reminiscent of Plug and Play jam night. Joey and Roy joined them on stage to perform. It was a very fun, relaxed jam, and it fits in with the atmosphere perfectly.
It is interesting to note however that the bands interchanged members, Joey played a cover of Wish You Were Here with Grey Groove, and Nathalie played with them all as well.
Overall, it was a very enjoyable and memorable night, Roy’s Hangout is something that I would attend time and time again. Frankly, I’m even looking forward to the next one.
Read more by: Antoine Kanaan.
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