Review By Patrick Saad
The first day of the Beirut Rock Festival 2009 was musically satisfying but humanly disappointing: 60 % of the attendees left after the first act Agua de Annique finished their 1 hour set, leaving a relatively small number of fans present to watch Peter Murphy who Annike mentioned “Are you waiting to see Peter Murphy? Me too!”
The organizing was good except the small matter of ‘no cameras allowed‘ which was stressed on the event’s flier and not implemented in reality. I loved the light show and the sound was impeccable although some small mistakes could be mentioned but those weren’t that noticeable. Agua de Annique had a good energetic performance, summed up by the great crowd interaction that Annike showed. She humored the crowd and even played a request by them, which was The Gathering’s “My Electricity”, played acoustically without the band members.
Agua de Annique’s show is a good experience for all fans of music, and they made sure they’d reach more audience by playing covers for Within Temptation and other bands. Annike’s vocals are simply too perfectly sensual that one cannot notice any difference between her live performance and her studio works. Overall, Annike and the band surely satisfied the fans who watched her for the first time, and encouraged others to further explore their music.
As for Peter Murphy, I did like that the band knows their style, mainly expressed by ambient songs, sometimes with an up-tempo and other times a down dark tempo. The performance is also a great one with both guitarists experimenting with their sounds, as noticed with the violin stick. Still, as stated before, the fact that most of the crowd had left already had a negative effect on the crowd-band interaction, which got Peter himself a bit upset and disappointed, as he said “I won’t play any songs you know”, “I’m surprised you know any song of mine” and “I’ll play that one if there’s an audience”. Still Peter Murphy is a good live band and should satisfy their fans, if they interact more with the present crowd.
Review By Rami Rouhana
Agua de Annique
After waiting few minutes outside the Forum and another few minutes behind the stage curtains, we went inside as the stage was still being set and the sound check undergoing. In just a few minutes, people were seated (a few meters away from stage in a high inclined platform) and other people stood ‘gathering’ next to the stage. There were 23 seated lines of approximately 40 seats each, 9 of those 23 lines were full. I estimate that there were 350 people seated and 300 standing totaling a number of 650 people.
At about 9:05 Annike went on stage with her band of one guitar player, a bass player and a drummer.
There was a bit of unwanted reverb and feedback in the sound system. The vocals were so beautiful in this live performance which is the same in all their records. She started with a close to country track from her solo albums. Annike was jumping and dancing on stage during the tracks with her charismatic presence and an all-time beautiful smile. Annike played well on the keyboards although there was some noise in its sound. She surprised us when she said in French/Arabic “Merci Ktir”: it sounded well pronounced and she explained that she have practiced a lot to do so …
The whole show was Vivid and the supporting band performed well. Drummer looked awesome with the orange light behind him and purple background.
Agua covered a Within Temptation track called “Somewhere“: her voice’s really close to Within Temptation vocalist Sharon Den Adel.
40 minutes after Agua went off stage, Mr. Peter Murphy went on! A playback of album Dust was played while the rhythm guitar player had a technical problem with his guitar. The show started with Peter voice low especially close to the stage.
Rhythm guitar player exaggerated his low guitar position and it was visible how uncomfortable he was while playing. Crouching down each time to “grasp” a chord.
Peter and his band had a limited playlist that they came to play unwilling to interact with the crowd. He played what he wanted to. Some people as in every event left because they came to see Agua and others came to hear their favorite tracks by Peter Murphy but barely any was played. Peter Murphy was a bit arrogant and prejudging. In his own words: “four of you know what I am talking about” and something like (“we are going to play this, if you don’t like it go grab a beer”).
Peter’s performance on stage is great and sometimes theatrical. He performed a song kneeling and playing with shadows of his hand on his face with a spot light right in front of him.
Review By Serj Panossian:
Peter Murphy has long been solo after his split with the ’80s gothic power outfit Bauhaus. His career has taken him far away from the gloomy days of old with a unique sound unmatched in complexity.With his wonderful deep voice that he augments by moving his microphone/creating intriguing vocal effects, he kicked the show. Well the first couple of songs suffered because Murphy’s sound was a bit shaky.
Murphy’s performance is good enough that I might go see him again if I could get a sense beforehand of the song selection; well the thing is … he just played what he wanted, not caring about the crowd’s requests which I found very awkward for a moment back there. Anywho, Murphy ended his show with an encore: Strange Kind of Love/Bella Lagusy’s dead!