Reviews - Amadeus Awad at The Quadrangle
Review Date: 2012-06-10
Reviewed By: Carmina Khairallah
Almost 5 months after the release of “The Time of the Equinox” and after several concerts around Lebanon, Amadeus Awad and his band set foot at the Quadrangle Hazmieh, the same place where the release happened, for the last Lebanese concert in the Live Equinox Tour.
Scheduled to start at 9:30 Pm, the event started at 10:10, and at that point about 70 people of all ages were already there. Some were friends of the performers, some were well established musicians, some knew of neither Mr. Awad nor his music, but everyone was there to enjoy a show with a reputation to be one of a kind in Lebanon.
To warm up the crowd, Phobia, a band who has been covering Rock classics for about a year and has already performed as an opening act for Amadeus Awad during his performance at Zahle, climbed on stage first. With Marilyn Kasparian on vocals, Fadi Chamieh on guitar and vocals, Rawad Ghanem on guitar, Mansour Rahme on drums and Charbel Ghanem on Bass, the band covered:
-When the Smoke is Going Down – Scorpions
-Lili – Aaron u Turn
-Wasting Love – Iron Maiden
-Smoke on the Water – Deep Purple
-Jolene - Dolly Parton
-House of the Rising Sun – The Animals
-A Tout le Monde – Megadeth
-Blood Bound – Hammerfall
-Sweet Dreams – Marilyn Manson
-Sweet Child o’ Mine – Guns n’ Roses
Musically, the band’s performance was quite good. Marilyn Kasparian’s powerful but smooth vocals gave a great touch to the mostly originally sang by men tunes, while Fadi Chamieh’s voice gave it all a Heavier twist. As for the guitars, bass and drums, they were all played almost flawlessly. The one thing that seemed a bit off about Phobia was a few technical mistakes, mostly involving the sound, but also such as having trouble with starting one of the songs. It seemed as if the band had been in a rush and wasn’t able to fix everything correctly, but it was all very minor and didn’t make the band’s performance any less enjoyable, because they are one of those bands that can catch the audience’s attention with their passion and also their happiness to be on stage, and the satisfaction they get from the audience’s pleasure.
As for their stage presence, it was also quite good. All gathered around the stage, listening, chattering and singing along, the crowd seemed to enjoy Phobia’s performance. As an additional note, Phobia would like to add first of all that The Quadrangle feels to them like a “home to Rock n’ Roll”. Secondly, we should be expecting to hear originals from their side this summer.
At 11:10 Amadeus Awad and his band went on stage. At that point, about 130 people were gathered at the Quadrangle. With Amadeus Awad on guitar, Samer Zouein on bass, Mood Yassin on keyboard, Patrick Stephan on drums and Elia ‘Che’ Monsef on vocals, the band performed three covers of songs by Deep Purple: alternate versions of When a Blind Man Cries and Child and Time as well as an accurate version of Soldier of Fortune, but most of the performance was both originals and improvising. From the album Time of the Equinox, the band performed Gift of Solitude and Joy, Autumn Eyes, Spiritus Devi, Tales of Celtic Sunset (with Hanan Halwani on Oud), Meteors in the Blue and Virtual Eclipse, although most of the songs were not played exactly as they appear on the album, but they were modified on the spot, giving them an interesting spontaneous touch. Each member filled his role perfectly, and I would like to add a special mention regarding the song Meteors in the Blue, which in the album is sang by Sahara’s vocalist Liz Vandall, but was sang live by Elia Monsef in a surprisingly captivating fashion. Also, the band members’ presence filled the stage very well. But to be honest, sticking to formalities, dates, times and names, would be highly insufficient to capture the event’s actual essence. Anyone who’d have attended the performance would have noticed that every single attendee was taken aback by the beauty of the music and mesmerized by the intriguing sounds, each of performers’ enormous level of passion filling the whole place with a transporting vibe. Whether they were musical virtuosos or your common Mr. Smith attending a concert to enjoy their time, each and every unit of the crowd stayed quiet and listened. It was not only a musical event, but a transporting journey through sound, if I may say so myself. What Amadeus himself has to say about the event: “It is great to be back to the quadrangle after touring the main cities in Lebanon, we wanted to visit more towns but it was not possible logistically, we are proud of the show at the Quad was the perfect ending for us because we consider it our home”