Review | Beirut Rock Festival 2011 – September 3rd
Sep 11th 2011 Rami Rouhana Event Reviews

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The second day of Beirut Rock Festival 2011 featured six bands with opening band “Sex Assets & Waste Management” followed by three Lebanese/Syrian bands “Weeping Willow”, “Kimaera” and “The Hourglass”, and ending with the two main acts “Katatonia” and “Moonspell”.

The event was an all standing event compared to day 1. There were two types of tickets: regular and front, whose owners respectively stood behind a barrage and inside the barrage directly next to the stage.

I wasn’t much excited about the event and I noticed that many of my friends weren’t either. It’s weird how we always want international bands to come to Lebanon, and when they do, we don’t attend. A lot of my metalhead friends didn’t attend, didn’t even bother asking about the tickets and strangely thought the event was in Forum de Beirut and not in Zouk Mikhael.

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I totally regretted my lack of excitement after the concert, because apparently it was a great concert. The event started with the French band “Sex Assets & Waste Management” whose music is close to old Gothic/Darkwave Rock. They have an official video track entitled “Demain Tu Te Maries“ which is a cover of an old French track by Patricia Carli with just one difference: the vocalist is a male and he’s talking about his marriage as a BRIDE.

All Lebanese bands performed very well and faced minor technical problems with the exception of “The Hourglass” which went through some technical difficulties but managed to pull out a great show.

Kimaera delivered a captivating performance with elaborate leather outfits on which the band logo was inscribed. Kimaera also covered Behemoth with one track. Most Lebanese bands performed for 30 minutes and a bit more, again with the exception of The Hourglass, they were the last Lebanese band to perform before Katatonia went on stage as there wasn’t enough time left.

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Weeping Willow came back after a long break and gave everyone a very good performance. The Death Metal fans and fans of shredder Elias Njeim enjoyed that segment most!

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Again despite the problems, The Hourglass performed very close to their albums’ material but definitely with more energy. They played some tracks from their first two albums and one of their latest EP. I still think this band should become better known and I think in the future, it will.

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I have spoken to many metalheads attending the event and my first question for each of them was “Are you here for Katatonia or Moonspell?” and the answers were a mix of both. Lots of metalheads grew up having those two bands as great influence first bands who got them into Doom Metal or Metal itself.

Summing it up with Katatonia and Moonspell: it was such a great performance for both bands. Most of the big hits were performed and the crowd was headbanging to most of it and moving with the rest of it. Each band performed for about an hour and twenty minutes. Moonspell vocalist Fernando Ribiero had two circular mirrors in his hand and was playing with the light, adding some effects on stage and giving his lyrics more meaning.

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Fernando Ribiero explained to the crowd how much Moonspell wanted to come to Lebanon and how many times they have tried. Apparently our country is loved for some unknown reason and the bands enjoyed it here. The schedule of the event was compressed for Moonspell had a plane waiting for them at 3 am leaving The Hourglass with 25 minutes of performance.

I hope we will be hosting big bands this winter ,The Hourglass will have more time to perform in the next gig in Lebanon or Syria ,and finally I hope next time we hear an International band is visiting we will be excited enough to get the tickets sold out on the first selling day.

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  • Claude Manassa

    I totally disagree with the metal heads who haven’t attended this event, it was one blasting night, never be forgotten, and for the next time, we hope to bang our heads listening to:
    Nightwish – Epica – Opeth – Dreamtheater – Moonsorrow – Megadeth – Children Of Bodom…
    and for the rest of this comment, all i want to add is keep the metal soul living inside our hearts, and lets keep our faith and hope high.
    peace off \m/