Show Review: Greedy Ears Sessions: Shaba – Live @ Walimat Warde’

 

Shaba is a musical group that started out with twin sisters Shaden and Bane Fakih as an Arabic-acoustic rock duo, but today is a five-piece Arabic-folk-rock band that now includes Aya Attar, Chloe’ Asmar, and Rola Najjar.

 As a duo, they made two live appearances already in 2009, but this new lineup had never been unleashed upon the public.

 This marks my second trip to the new Walimat Warde’, which I will no longer refer to as “WWII”, because there’s enough bayekha in these posts as is.

 -Before the Show: The girls themselves were all there already and the place was fairly full, albeit most of the audience was friends and family of the band.

 Some time passed, and when it was 9:00-ish, they started. The starting time was pushed back to 9:00 this time due to them having to abide by a curfew, which is cool actually, really, let’s have afternoon concerts and morning concerts! Fuck yeah, time management!

 –The Show: To open their set, they began with “Ella Bi 7ebba”. Shaden Fakih gave a brief description of the subject matter of each song before the group performed it. I like a little more suspense honestly… bas yalla.

 They got into the song and one who had seen them before would have noticed that, though the acoustic guitar and vocals were the same, there were new sounds popping in here and there. Ayya Attar sprinkled notes on her keyboard across the composition. Rola Najjar’s electric guitar actually sounded like a bass. I was dubious of its ability to compensate for the lack of bass. You know the lack of bass and drums (a rhythm section) is a bit weird to me. Chloe’ Asmar’s violin additions were notable as well, as they hummed the main tune in time with the acoustic guitar.

 “Kniset Mar Elias Battina” was next. Again, same deal: Acoustic guitar and vocals, plus new stuff. I quite like the melody of this one, and it is sort of aggressive at points , which is great of course.

 It’s very folksy this new sound, but it doesn’t really pack a punch. It wasn’t intended to I suppose. Pacifist sound?

 “Khazze2ni Ya Deek” was a shift from the full-band format back to the original duo Shaden and Bane performing it with just acoustic guitar and vocals. After I remixed it, I keep wanting to stop them after the first four notes and loop that.

 On this night a new song was unveiled, a song titled “Mest7iyye”. It was actually pretty nice. Shaden made things interesting by forgetting the lyrics halfway through the song. Nonetheless, they were able to recover by skipping to the chorus. But Bane put the cherry on the cake by proclaiming “hiyye’ hek l’ghoniyye’.”

 Following that was another new one, but we’ve heard this one before on the radio, some of us at least. Yes, it’s “MSN”. Now THIS is what I’m talking about. It’s hard and fast, like some throbbing phallus of music… There’s actually a sense of  rhythm and tempo created by the acoustic guitar, that I suppose exists elsewhere in their body of work, but for some reason only strikes me here and now in this particular composition. That’s musically. Lyrically, it’s within the whole “love” theme they have been pursuing, but here there is the aspect of the internet. I like the internet. I like songs about the internet. I’m a geek.

 The night was wrapped up with a request for an encore of “Ella Bi 7ebba”.

 -After the Show:  It was quite the good “debut”, but I want to be punched HARDER! Make me bleed… please.

 

 -Media:

*Photos by myself: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=425373&id=842365214&saved

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