Several years ago Byblos was one of the cites that gathered lots of Metalheads in Lebanon, but due to some wrong typecasting which linked Metalheads to satanism and drugs, the Rock / Metal scene in Byblos is currently down.
However, with the recent activity of Byblos International Festival bringing many international Rock artists, the local scene is back in Byblos. On the 8th of this month, another good step towards building the Byblos scene was taken by ‘Stephany Sacroix’ by doing a Metal beach concert at the ‘’Bay 183 resorts’’, and we have to admit that while it was a risky step, someone took it.
To start with the overall review of the concert, the resort seems to have some advantages / disadvantage as a location for Metal events.
– Advantages: the location is isolated so annoying any neighbors past midnight is not an option; the speakers were also turned towards the sea so the sound wasn’t annoying anyone. This meant that the crowd stood on the sand between the stage and the sea, getting hurt by falling during a moshpit is really slim. There was also an area where people can sit on the bars away from front-stage and enjoy the show from afar.
-Disadvantage: the stage isn’t located at the center of the ‘venue’ so basically if you’re not standing front-stage, you’ll not be treated with a good sound because of the sound distribution. So unless you’re standing front-stage, the volume of the sound will not be as ‘loud’ as a Metal concerts usually are.
As for the sound system, while standing in front of the stage I personally like the way the sound was distributed, the vocals seemed like it was pushed in front, the guitars distributed to the middle and the drums in the back, but the sound wasn’t that loud for a Metal concert. The people seating at the bar can’t hear all the instruments clearly – the bass wasn’t heard that clearly for some bands. A lots of band members where complaining about the sound on stage.
As for the organizing part, the concert was well organized in point of security distribution, stage coordination, and bar management regardless of many problems that I will talk about in a moment.
The concert gathered about 330 metal head (not taking in to consideration invited peoples and bands members and staff). The attendance of the new generation of Metalheads was noticed.
We, as Lebmetal, did our investigations trying to find some answers for the following problems:
– Why the sound check was delayed?
– Why it wasn’t allowed to go to the pool eventhough it was ‘allowed’ in the description of the event?
– Why we all had to leave the place at 12:30?
– Where was the bus that was supposed to take people from Dora?
To start with the bus problem, we were informed that someone called the bus driver and told him that the event was canceled and he no longer had to wait at ‘Dora’.
As for the pool issue, the organizer told me that earlier in the day before night of the event, an accident took place at the pool and they had to put a load of toxic solution in the water in order to clean it, so it was unsafe to swim in it.
To talk about the delays, lots of problem happened, it started with the municipality of Byblos wanting the event to be ‘a quick one’ (that was later solved). Another problem which interfered with the event time constraint was an after prom party which reserved the venue for an amount of money exceeding the one the Metal event organizers payed for, so basically the event was stopped at 12:30. The Bay 183 as well as the organizers are to blame on this one, a clear contract should have been established. And finally the sound check itself was delayed because everyone at the venue had to be escorted out in order to open the gates for the concert attendees.
Let’s start with the review, the first band to hit the stage was Mindstorm, but unfortunately the band had to start just after finishing their sound check due to the aforementioned sound check delay. It was 9:15 pm and some people didn’t recognize that the concert started, and the band played a set of 5 cover songs for bands like Metallica, Nirvana, Avenged Sevenfold. They delivered a nice performance although their time was limited. Hopefully next time they would be more comfortable with the time constraints, and I have to mention that the band shouldn’t tune their instruments on stage, it’s really unprofessional.
At 9:40 pm, ‘Demons’ was the second band up on stage. At this time the audience started gathering on the sand, headbanging and moshpiting. The band played a set of 4 songs including 2 originals, and 2 Lamb of God songs. I was impressed with their musicianship, the songs had some tricky tempos and some variations. The crowd was enjoying the show especially on Demons’ original track ‘Humanity Lost Control’.
3rd band on stage was ’In Sanity’ (10:05 pm), they had a good start with AC/DC’s ‘TNT, as the vocalist knew how to electrify the crowd with his performance. The band played a set of originals songs with only one cover song, they surely delivered a good show inspite of an average sound at the time.
Then it was time for Blaakyum to go on stage, it was like 10:45 pm, they played a set of 7 originals starting the show with a future song intro, and a Medley of 5 cover songs for Metallica and Pantera. The band delivered an great performance, the crowd was jumping around and moshpitting, their lead singer knows well how to communicate with the crowd – one thing I didn’t like much is that guitar solos were barely heard.
At around 11:55 it was time for ’Highway 69’ to hit the stage, like I said before, the concert had to be over at 12:30 and still we had 2 band to go, so the band played 3 cover songs for System of a Down. As always SOAD songs electrify the crowd and the band knows how to play it regardless of the vocal style that sounded nothing like Serj Tankia, but that seemed to be okay with the crowd.
Finally at 12:13, Rubber Band went on stage while knowing that their time was limited to less than 15 mins. They quickly and nervously played 3 songs (ACDC’s Highway To Hell, Guns ‘N Roses’ Sweet Child O’Mine and Led Zeppelin’s Rock n Roll). They were good but too bad their show was cut early.
Good luck for the bands and organizer with their next events.