As usual, Alan Azar’s solo concerts bring the best musical experience to the listeners, from the high standard sound system (Roy Naufal / Roland Azar handling that matter) to the performance and ‘experienced’ crowd atmosphere. Experienced? Well, it seems like nowadays, real music goes unappreciated by the majority of the local listeners, as they tend to save their money for the “1 ticket – 8 bands” concerts that 80% of them are going for low standards in terms of sound as we all noticed these past couple of years. Still, it’s understandable that not all events will be attended by everyone (transportation, money, time, etc) but that’s no excuse for those who keep on confirming their attending status and ultimately never show up, to the disappointment of the band and their expectations of a good show being well received by many.

Alan Azar at Nova |

Nevertheless, for those of us who were there, we enjoyed the night that started out around 11 PM and ended an hour and a half later, after a remarkably varied setlist that included covers for Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Rainbow (with Bassem Deaibess as guest vocalist), songs from Alan Azar’s first album Defective Harmony and a couple of songs from the upcoming album that’s still ‘in the making’. For those who worried about the entrance fees, there were none, although at least 1 drink was requested by the pub, and everyone happily paid their low band charge and enjoyed their drinks (in my case, my 3$ bottle of water :P). The 50-something crowd applauded Alan and the band’s performance after each song, played with both technicality, professionalism and most importantly passion. The covers were killer of course, with a remarkable and not unusual vocal performance by Blaakyum’s Bassem Deaibess, one of the voices that stand out in the local scene. I personally think that the key to the band is their understanding of musical buildup; they know how to excite the audience at times, when to overwhelm them with a soaring melody and when to have some funky fun with the drummer tearing the house down.

Overall the event was another success for the band, although fans of the genre are really few compared to other preferred genres out there, and that brings a good question: what’s next for Alan Azar? A different musical path with some additions to the western style instrumental rock mostly influenced by Joe Satriani and his peers? Personally I think that one should always follow their passion, and as some people consider it a matter of evolution, I’ll say that as a musician, you should strive to reach that state of satisfaction, no matter where it takes you.