Nova Pub Sin el Fil hosted an event by EarBlend with the following bands: Ciaroscuro, Bad Apples, The Puppeteers and The Last Band. The event was poor on attendance and whether that’s due to the lack of promoting the event, I can’t tell. However, I personally think that any serious music listener and musician who couldn’t make it for some reason missed out on a great show, simply due to the night’s best act, The Last Band which mesmerized us all with their highly professional and mind boggling fusion jazz performance.
The event started around 9:30 PM with Ciaruscuro, the rising acoustic band who was playing all summer long in pubs in the Jbeil area, entertaining soft rock fans with their varied playlist. Karl Zreik from Memories replaced the band’s vocalist/guitarist Omar Abi Ghosn (couldn’t attend) and this guy can sing! Their smooth set included covers such as Sweet Home Alabama, Smells Like Teen Spirit and Don’t Cry which were all performed well, with some good soloing and parts modified to fit the acoustic stature of the band.
Bad Apples followed, bringing more energy to the stage with their downtuned guitars and fun punk rock attitude playing songs for Guns’ N Roses, ACDC, an original (Chain Lightning) and an old school punk medley which was the highlight of their performance. I have to say that Bad Apples shocked the ‘elder’ audience which was here to watch the more mature jazz section later in the night, yet there was something appealing in seeing ladies in heels looking away / covering their ears! Good job you guys!
The Puppeteers started the second part of the night which I’ll call: “ruthless musical expertise” part. Their female vocalist had a cozy jazzy voice which fit greatly with the song selection chosen by the band. I enjoyed their set greatly, especially the keyboardist’s use of ‘just the right effects’, which reminded me of how Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson knows how to add the right ambient sound for different moods.
I also liked the rythm section of the bassist/drummer which didn’t complicate things much and kept it nicely flowing along with the guitarist’ soulful use of chords. I would definitely recommend watching this band at local pubs for a general good time.
And we come to the main act, The Last Band! I would assume that the band was simply put together for this event only but I surely do not hope so. These are four extremely talented and experienced musicians, and I knew they were going to put an awe on all faces as soon as they kicked off with Jaco Pastorius’ “The Chicken” bass line led by no other than Rany Battikh from Blaakyum as the band jammed around that progression for a solid 10 minutes, while I was picking whatever pieces of my jaw were lying on the Nova floor.
They also played Eric Clapton’s “Layla” and The Doors’ “Roadhouse Blues” with guest appearances from Nathalie (Bandage) and Lou respectively which were also applauded for kicking the energy meter way up high at Nova. They later played another extended jam which I shall call “The fusion jam that’s beyond metalheads’ understanding of technicality” 😛 I’ll just say that the event was filmed and details of getting the performance yourself will have to be discussed with EarBlend, the event’s organizer. My review of this band will have to rely on those videos!