“Rock for Reinabelle” took place on the 27th of February and it was a success! 275 people attended the event which was an incredible surprise. It was pleasing that a lot of people came to support this fundraiser!
I also had the honor to host the event and to contribute in writing this review.
Moreover, 8 bands played for Reinabelle and they were all incredible, thank you again for everyone that made it.
The first act was Ghiya Al Asaad who performed a very indie setlist (covering two songs by Angus & Julia Stone). I found that her vocals suited the artists she picked. Ghiya is very emotional in her performance, knowing that her voice is delicate, it’s also a powerhouse. In addition to that, she covered “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk and got everyone singing along in the crowd.
Napview took the stage after Ghiya and while setting up their instruments, the vocalist Hrag was interacting with the crowd with amusing honesty. They started their performance with Motorhead’s “Damage Case”, and I couldn’t help but notice how playful and fun the band was while performing. The vocalist was very theatrical and edgy which made his voice perfect for the song, whereas the energy protruding from every band member vibrated everywhere in the room.
The drummer, Richard Harfouche, was a ball of fire on the drums; he even broke the bass drum! Then they performed a Sabbath classic , “Paranoid”, with harsh vocals, compact bass sounds, synchronized guitars, and precisely coincident drums. “Die, Die My Darling” by Misfits was inspired by Metallica’s cover of the song. It was heavier than the original which made it more energetic, even though it got a bit messy but they all gained tempo again. In their last song, the bassist and the lead guitarist sang backup while playing but the guitars lost track of the song and it got crowded, but it was obviously because of the poor sound-system at Quadrangle that caused a lot of technical difficulties for all the bands.
Aces High then began their performance, they played six songs and I can say that this band has gotten better, and they are on their way to improvement. They improved their stage performance; they are more comfortable and confident. They covered many big artists like Scorpions, Ozzy Osbourne, and Metallica… “Rock You Like a Hurricane” was acceptable, even though I would have preferred it to be better, maybe more active. The solo was well played and the crowd interacted with the band perfectly. “Crazy Train” was good, even though the guitars sounded very distorted and unprofessional because of the sound-system, again, same issue. They also played “For Whom The Bell Tolls” by Metallica. The vocals in “Shepherd of Fire” were really good and so was the drumming.
The song was faster than the original; it would have been preferable if the band stuck to the same tempo of the original song. During the solo, the lead guitarist Omar faced technical difficulties, but he compensated it in the last two songs they played. Breaking Benjamin’s “Breaking the Silence” was truly great. The bassist, Charbel Saade, sang as backup and his voice was so heavy and complimentary to the atmosphere, while also keeping up with playing the bass. Finally, they played “Deify” by Disturbed and it was very energetic, whereas it was pleasing to see the band cooperating together on this one. The song was heavy and they nailed it!
Violent Peace was the 4th band to perform. Their setlist consisted mostly of originals, even though they covered one song. Their first song entitled “Blackhole” has a very catchy chorus. The guitar tone was distorted near the beginning but it gained its good tonality later on in the song. They also manipulated the music using pedals to elicit very ambient sounds, similar to the Gothic Rock band Bauhaus. It was very nice to experience diversity in their originals. Violent Peace are a very energetic and cooperative band, you could notice how close they are as members just by watching them.
They had good guitar synchronization even in movement, especially in their song “I’m High”; their song title spoke out for their performance! (High in a good energetic way though). The solo that was played by Roy Andraos was obviously influenced by all the big names in classic rock, in addition to the neat backup vocals sung by Kevin Semaan. Their cover of “Black Night” had gratifying vocals and great drums, although, once again, the band faced technical difficulties with the guitar. Their interaction with the crowd was very productive; the audience was very captivated by their music. Finally, the vocalist Joey Semaan announced that the band will be releasing an EP soon! It was very inviting since we had the chance to listen to three originals live, looking forward to the EP.
Homesick had a really captivating performance, especially that they now have two new members: Lorena Saab as a vocalist and Ayman Abi Kheir on drums! They began with their self-titled anthem “Homesick”; Lorena’s vocals were very raw and strong, distinctively in “Readymade” by RHCP. The band was, as usual, full of dynamism, whereas they covered three songs and performed three originals. The guitar-playing was proficient, and so were the drums.
“Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix got a bit noisy at the end but the vocals were edgy and it was astounding. Moreover, Homesick are very well acquainted with instrument manipulation, making them sound memorable and professional. “Howl” became chaotic throughout but the bass was harmonically firm, the vocals were powerful, the drums were parallel in tone, and the guitars had a euphonious sound! Homesick were generally pleasing to watch, they did a great job!
GreyGroove performed three songs by Led Zeppelin and one song by Ben Howard. I would have preferred a bit of diversity in their setlist, just for them not to be labeled as a Led Zeppelin cover band, however they have covered a diverse number of bands in past events. Their covers were excellent. The vocalist Ronald Hosri has a high vocal range, making him an unstoppable powerhouse, thus he was able to pull off all the songs, with more potential and spontaneity.
The guitars aced the originals, making all the solos sound harmonic and melodic, hopefully with less exaggeration. The bass and drums flew together sonorously and rhythmically, thus everything sounded in-tune. The bassist is also very active on stage which gives their performance a spark. They also covered “I Forget Where We Were” by Ben Howard, which is a very soothing and delicate song. It’s obvious the band has great chemistry, the members get along great musically. GreyGroove has surely improved from all aspects, and the band is obviously on its way to something big.
Colorblind were the 7th band to perform, they took the audience away with bluesy tones and enthralling rhythms. They played four originals and covered one song by Troggs. “Baby be Mine” was their first song and it bolstered a multi-movement structure, which made it convivial with the ambience of the place. “Mexican Blues” was their second and I must say that the song was acutely catchy. The vocalist Carla Boulos has a magnetic and mesmeric voice, it fits the atmosphere.
The riffs played by Saad El Rifai were neat, whereas the rhythm guitarist Jad Haddad and the bassist Nick Debbane were kinetic in movement, in addition to the drummer Mark Debbane who was having the utmost fun on the drums. “Give Peace a Chance” was well performed on stage. Colorblind gave us the “groove” feel in their performance and everything was generally positive about them. Their originals ranged from energetic to soothing like “The Night”, a seemingly calm song that flows composedly in its every part, also being a bit somber in tone.
Finally, Eden took the stage, captivating us all with their heavy metal music. They covered three songs and performed one original, which made their setlist diverse and intriguing. “Henchmen Ride” by Testament was the opening song. After it, they continued with “More than Meets the Eye” by Testament also, where the drummer Joe Nassar was as usual, a professional on the drums, exploding with outrage. Furthermore, Charbel Haddad, known for his powerful vocals, aced all the notes in every song they sang. The crowd was head-banging like crazy, making the enthusiasm deluge everywhere. In their second song “Primal Concrete Sledge” by Pantera, the vocalist of Napview Hrag Meguerditchian joined the band.
It was a very intense and aggressive song, and it was nice to see both vocalists collaborating together, especially that Hrag’s voice was heavy enough for the song. The third song they performed was “Enemies of Reality” by Nevermore, where Raffi Karageozian also joined the band as a vocalist! Nareg Vassilian was shredding uncontrollably on the guitar, and the bassist Jad Stephan played with skill. They ended the night with their original “The Fall” that has very intelligent lyrics and flawless structuralism. Everything about this song was professional; it was extremely technical, making the crowd go nuts while head-banging! The solo was played excellently; there was nothing to complain about. Eden were absolutely amazing!
The music of all the bands was rife with creative re-contextualization and categorically fresh sounds. We witnessed different approaches to compartmentalization or even developing unique approaches for certain sounds and aesthetics.
Thank you for all the bands and everyone that contributed in this event!
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