Review by Patrick Saad
And we head off to the second day of the Beirut Rock Festival 2009, with two performances by Yann Tiersen & Eileen Khatchadourian. It”s quite noticeable that a larger audience attended the event, by comparison to the first day of the event (See BRF day1). Other than that, the sound and light systems were still admirable throughout the whole night, letting the crowd enjoy the experience of the show, especially one which involved the experimental wizardry of Yann Tiersen. Let us not rush things here, since Eileen Khatchadourian went first with her charming, with some funky, some folkish rock songs that pleased the crowd musically and visually for a well prepared slideshow were projected on a huge screen behind the band. Eileen”s vocals are best described as ”warm” and soothing and the band itself is a professional one, with lovely funky basslines and guitar solos and drum fills. Eileen should reach out more to the Lebanese music fans! I think that few people have heard the band”s music and lots people would enjoy it.
After a long yet deserved wait, Yann Tiersen got on stage with several musical equipments, signaling his well-known ”experimental” musical outtake that would impress everyone there and engulf them in the band”s own atmosphere of spacey effects, tempo build-ups, multi-genre reaching songs that requires great handling of volumes, time, improvisation and the occasional weirdness. Yann”s show can be summed up by 3 phases: modern electro-rock, experimental psychedelic rock and classical atmospheric rock. He amazed us with his violin skills with few solo songs that built up with the rest of the band to create this magnificent mood at the Forum de Beirut. All the band members were energetic ones, taking their performance to a spiritual level, sometimes singing along with Yann (total of 5 singers!). Overall, Yann Tierson is a great musical live experience and should surely be watched by fans of experimental music, electro-rock and atmospheric vibes. Great show!
Review By Nizar Hawat
Armenian-Lebanese Rock Singer, Eileen Khatchadourian”s been chasing her dream year after year to pass along exquisite remakes of songs with her unbelievably touching voice and sounds [facebook group]. Eileen is a very active artist on the local, regional and international scene. Her talent and pass is her strong voice which cannot but be noticed. Eileen “Vocals” and her band Miran Gurunian “Guitars”, Jad Aouad “Drums”, Haitham Shalhoub “Bass” played some really good patriotic folk songs, one of few that lingered in my head was “Caravane” which was one of many (as a smart guess) that ended in an unanticipated smooth way. Who would have thought that “shushing” your band member at the end of the song – yes literally shushing - will bring you warm applause and satisfaction whistling? Well Eileen did it and it was good.
The sound set up was good and the light projection show was adequate and smoothly came along with the theme of each song, which from the very few I have managed to hear (we came in a bit late, unfortunately!) were patriotic supporting the Armenian cause. However, this could be totally wrong as I could have misinterpreted the lyrics, since I do not speak nor understand Armenian.
Comments or reviews from people whom showed up in time are more than welcomed.
Guillaume Yann Tiersen (born 23 June 1970) is a French musician and composer known internationally for composing the score to the Jean-Pierre Jeunet movie Amélie – From Wikipedia
His music is recognized by the use of a large variety of instruments in relatively minimalist compositions, this was obvious in almost all the songs played which all started by a soft synthesized background – often a wind giving the feeling of a mysterious bad weather – Gradually, introducing synths, lead guitar and bass, then occasionally some of his violins, hence, leaving the crowd wondering “to what genre belongs that song?”. For few times Yann was heard singing thus leaving the scene most of the time to the fingers and feelings of his band members and himself to enchant the audience seated or standing till the moment were all sang, it laid a good feeling and deepened the enchantment of the crowd.
It is obvious that Yann had a classical background from the way he plays the violins and the way various instruments were introduced in each track whether a xylophone or a strange clarinet shaped instrument (used a lot in the “Amelie” soundtracks) makes it easier to tag him as a genius musical composer as it has been advertised.
The stage, the sound and all the set up from lasers show, lights to smoke were good, adding a magical crunch to the already flawless psychedelic, experimental electro rock (as said by many). It was the kind of performance that left the standing attendees swaying of satisfaction demanding for an “encore” – come back – which was fulfilled after 15mins of nonstop applause and whistling.