Review | Ciaroscuro live at Barbacane
Dec 27th 2010 Patrick Saad Event Reviews

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Barbacane pub has hosted several music events in its lifetime, from blues/jazz bands to soft rock and electro/percussion/saxophone collaborations. This week’s event showcased Ciaroscuro, the rock band whose most recent gig in Hamra was added to their list of positive feedback as the band prepared for their last show of 2010.

The pub is a cozy place that fits some 30 well seated people within its stony walls in the Old Souk of Jbeil and it was almost packed tonight.

The band’s 100 minute setlist might have just needed a selection of upbeat songs, but their performance wasn’t too bad at all, given the few sound difficulties. They managed to sustain a certain amount of energy during the first half of the show, but that wasn’t the case during the second half, since the similar downbeat songs started to get to the listeners, who had already dined, drank and were on the verge of a nap breakdown. The band started a couple of jams at the point in response to some crowd requests (the band ought to have played Sweet Home Alabama to wake everyone up before the finale).


Regarding the style, I believe that the band should have considered playing more exciting bluesy rock songs, say The Doors, Led Zeppelin (although they played Baby I’m Gonna Leave You) or Deep Purple. These songs would have brought life into their setlist, in the same manner that The White Stripes‘ Seven Nation Army became a pub favorite for its energetic sing-along vibe. They could also focus more on their vocalist’s strength: The Doors, David Bowie, Radiohead and Oasis.


As for the band’s future activity, they are planning on composing original material under the ‘folk rock‘ tag starting 2011. Looking forward to that and to upcoming events at Barbacane pub.

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  • SerJ

    Thanks for the review Guys 🙂

  • Ludwig Chelala

    What is said in this column is exactly what the band needs to do.
    Since you’re playing pubs/restau, you need to add more lively songs, and widen the genres of the songs you cover.
    The Doors and Radiohead would definitely be a good choice, just don’t use the milked songs.

  • hihihi

    ‘widening the genres’ is not always the answer, in my opinion a band ought to at least stick to some general genre that is a little less widely defined than ‘rock’ for example. in Ciaroscuro’s case sticking to grunge is a win in my opinion, sure Alice In Chains can get depressing but say some Pearl Jam or Nirvana (i’m aware they already play Nirvana) covers in the mix would lighten things up. with regards to Oasis and Radiohead i really can’t see grunge and britpop co-existing in one set. and for classic rock some songs might work but they should be carefully selected.

  • Serj

    Hihihi (ok elie :P), i couldnt agree more.
    Ludwig, everything has its mood, our originals will be *folk rock* (downbeats), so if ur into that kinda music, ull enjoy it.

    As in for upbeats, radio head? ocmon, even to vocalist has issues.