Arts & Culture

The Most Jewish Concert I Ever Attended

Last Sunday I went to the most Jewish concert of my life (besides for my Hebrew School’s annual Hannukah performance). Read More

By / March 4, 2011
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Soulico, Balkan Beat Box

Last Sunday I went to the most Jewish concert of my life (besides for my Hebrew School’s annual Hannukah performance). I went to see Balkan Beat Box and Soulico in Seattle. [Note: both bands are on Jewcy’s parent organization, JDub]

I had figured that a concert with these two bands would attract a rowdy crowd with a medley of local characters, even if I knew little about the Seattle music scene. And I was right. There were hipsters in their 30s. There were college kids. Ravers. Bros. Old Jews. Mid-twenty Jews. Bald Jews. Non-Jews. It was by far the weirdest, most diverse crowd I had ever been to a show with. It was neat.

While I knew very little about Soulico, I know Balkan Beat Box fairly well. Nothing biblical though. Both groups hail from Tel Aviv, the city of Israeli hipsters. The mecca of Jewish hipsters living outside Austin and the NYC metro area. It’s number 3 on the list of hipster-Jew pilgrimages.

Even though Soulico started late (probably waiting for more people would show up), the dancefloor was sparse. It has become a habit for people to show up late and ignore the opening act. But any good music fan knows that it is the easiest way to ‘discover’ a new band.

And I was glad to hear what the DJs of Soulico had to offer. They gave me hope in my non-existent music career. If 3 short Jewish men could become so big, recording with legends such as Ghostface Killah, then maybe I too could succeed.

Needless to say, it was a slpendid night full of dancing. Not dancing in a duuuurty, American wind n’ grind type way. Rather in a sensible, semi-conservative Israeli way. The crowd ate it up. Every time Balkan Beat Box gave a shout out to Seattle, every time they told the crowd to throw their hands up in the air, we all complied. Our bodies were no longer in our control. Although their requests were a bit cliched (and I have no affinity for Seattle), I was happy that they didn’t ask us to donate to our local Jewish Federation.

The night ended like all concerts do these days, with a ritualistic dance between the audience and the band. After their ‘last song’, Balkan Beat Box left the stage. The audience dutifully chanted for an encore, a symbol that has as much meaning as a standing ovation or a slow-clap. And to finish this dance, to give the audience some input and a feeling of control, Balkan Beat Box returned to rock the house for a few more songs, including from their new album Blue Eyed Black Boy.

A wonderful way to end the most Jewish concert of my life.

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