Two nights to remember in Beirut
© Roland Ragi
Lebanon, known as being a regional playground and stage for emerging talents, hosted Red Bull Music Academy’s "Middle East Meets West" amalgam of sounds.
RBMA Presents - 2-Nights Underground
It was definitely two nights to remember! This was 2-Nights Underground.
You might be wondering why this warehouse is filled with those people and the buses lined up on either side. You also might be wondering why that girl in red looks a little baffled. That’s because that would be the first time she’s seeing The Wanton Bishops’ Nader Mansour shirtless & foot stomping on stage.
Yea, Red Bull Music Academy brought together ‘la crème de la crème’ of the region’s talent coupled with a rad international DJ line-up under one roof over the weekend of March 27th.
The night was MC’d by these two cats; they’re basically like Bonnie & Clyde except Mathew (Left/AKA MC Zoog) works at a bank & Nasser (Right/AKA Chyno) is half rice half couscous.
This is Parallel Sound System from the UAE. You can tell from the blue lighting that this dream pop outfit was set to kick the night off by treating the bus station crowd to a different kind of “trip”.
Za+ed Na-es went on after to prove that the regional music scene is only getting tighter & closer by featuring the dreamy Maii Waleed (Egypt) on their set. A side conversation with these guys before their sound check got the band members to admit that they may have been the reason (60% according to the most animated drummer on stage that night) behind Waleed’s moving to Jordan.
The ever enchanting Maryam Saleh. An Egypt – Beirut connection that first took Beirut by storm on Beirut Open Stage’s ‘Bel Arabi’ edition. Red Bull Music Academy Alumni Zeid Hamdan (Left) and Marc Codsi (Right) brought the noise on that same set.
We still firmly believe that these guys are straight out of your favorite indie movie’s soundtrack. Postcards, the region’s only folk band & Beirut’s happy thoughts quartet, brought the set that felt like falling in love again, great sun sets, & gourmet shawarma.
Zahed Sultan rocks. This guy’s managed to surprise the Lebanese crowd for the third time with a third completely different live set. That’s saying a lot. Add that to his ‘perform hard – party harder’ ethos, we’ll say it again: Zahed Sultan rocks.
The Wanton Bishops: the only act that night that could pull off shirtless, a leather jacket, & a cowboy hat all at the same time. We’ll let the crowd tell you how these guys did….
Size (setup wise) doesn’t matter. Etyen came in with a MacBook Pro, a launch pad, & a big big sound. A rather poetic transition from the first night to what promised to be an insane DJ line-up the following night.
Our second night was in collaboration with Beirut’s very own Audio Kultur Sound System – The line-up featured Captain Planet (Bastard Jazz), Nickodemus (Turn Tables On The Hudson), & this beast right here: Massive Attack’s Daddy G.
It looked something like this. We’d also like to note that Captain Planet worked that Roland SPD-S brilliantly into his performance, making the 40 minutes of total chaos looking for a 9V adapter for that very same piece prior to his performance totally worth it.
This one’s definitely a favorite, from left: Jackson Allers (RBMA Radio Quarter Tone Frequency host), Nickodemus, Daddy G, & Captain Planet. That’s a profile picture just waiting to happen.
Sigh... Till the next time Beirut.