the evening started with speeches.
now, i understand that there is a lot of money flowing from the dudes making the speeches to the rowdy youngsters in the audience, and this is their chance to acknowledge that fact. but, getting 3000 people together, telling them it’s going to be a concert, and then talking at them for half an hour is not, in my opinion, the best plan.
also, it was full out propaganda. there were russian dancers.
there were smiling, dancing israeli teenagers in the colors of benetton.
there were pyrotechnics.
there was natan sharansky telling everyone they should make aliyah.
there was a video highlighting three different recipients and their stories of how much they love Israel and how happy their parents are to send them here.
oh yeah, and eventually there was the idan raichel project, you know, the advertised event. after i shook off the ickies of the pre-show presentation, i could settle in to appreciating an exceptionally diverse collection of folks who make excellent music together. they put on a great show – dynamic, engaging, full of highs and lows in all the right places. mixing languages, colors, moods, and melodies with skill, grace, and ease.
but their music seems much more suited to an intimate setting with tables and wine, rather than a big auditorium with stage-rushing and flag-waving. maybe next time i'll skip the sponsored events and go right to the small scale music scene.