As Harley is still in Tennessee, I decided that I too should be seeing live music. Fortunately this Sunday's Concert in the Park's lineup included one of my favorite Israeli musical groups: The Idan Raichel Project. For those of you who are unaware of the Idan Raichel Project, I have provided a video of one of my favorite songs, Bo'i.
The Idan Raichel project is, according to their website, a compilation of about 70 artists from different ethnic and musical backgrounds (all Jewish/Israeli) whom Idan invited to perform with him. There is a strong Ethiopian and Middle-Eastern influence on many of the songs, for instance in Bo'i the male vocalist is singing in Amharic, the language of Ethiopia.
Anyway, the Concerts in the Park people put together a very interesting line-up. It was supposed to be Tiken Jah Fkoly, Idan Raichel Project, and hosted by DJ Kadafi. The theme being, I think, African music. According to what I think DJ Kadafi said (he was speaking in French a lot of the time) one of the acts was missing and replaced by some other Reggae artist. I think. There were also a few opening acts like Rashida Wallace, and a duo of African rappers who seemed to have their timing a bit off.
The scene was super-bizarre. DJ Kadafi kept trying to call out to his "African Brothers and Sisters" who I'd say made up about 5% of the audience. The rest appeared to be American or Israeli Jews. Although standing near me were three men who I think were Ethiopian Jews (they were doing the shoulder dances that are indigenous to Ethiopia, and chatting with a few Orthodox girls) who seemed to be having a great time. It makes me wonder what the non-Jewish demographic thought of the scene. At one point DJ Kadafi was calling out African nations to get people to respond (could he not see from the stage that he was facing out onto an almost entirely white crowd?) and when he called out "Rwanda" a group of three women in front of me went nuts. Otherwise the response was tepid, at best. Until, of course, he called out "Sudan" and exhorted the entire crowd to make some noise for Sudan. Not sure what that accomplished.
Unfortunately, due entirely to my own idiocy I spent a little too much time in the sun (read: six hours) so when Idan Raichel came on at 5:00, I wasn't feeling so well. By 5:30 I was actually ill and had to leave, which was sad for me. I did, however get to see Im Telech performed.
Naturally I called CJ and held the phone up so that he could hear it. All in all it was a great time, a picnic lunch, live music, friends, and some nice suntan. As I always say, if you haven't gotten heat stroke, you haven't been having enough fun. That isn't what I say at all.