Srugim Rocker Erez Lev Ari in Concert

by Brian on January 10, 2010

in Just For Fun,Only in Israel,Reviews

The popular TV series “Srugim” is returning to the airwaves tonight after a year and a half hiatus. Season Two of the show, about a group of young religious singles living in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Katamon (known affectionately as “The Swamp”), has been anxiously awaited by its fans (who have established several active Facebook pages like this one) and aggressively promoted by the Yes satellite service that broadcasts it). I originally wrote about it here.

While it was probably not Ana Efneh (“Where Will I Turn?” – lyrics here), the show’s infectious opening theme music, that turned Srugim into a bonafide hit, the song did thrust singer and composer Erez Lev Ari into the national spotlight. So when posters announcing Lev Ari’s performance at the Jerusalem Lab last night appeared on billboards around town, we were first in line (I took the clip below from the concert itself).

Lev Ari is part of a new generation of recently religious rockers including Ehud Banai and Etti Ankari. His guitar driven ethereal power pop, which include elements of Middle Eastern and progressive strut work – think Pink Floyd from “Wish You Were Here” – is reminiscent of the early days of the classic Israeli rock band Mashina.

Lev Ari loves his guitars – he played at least five of them during the show. The band included two bassists, keyboards, percussion, electric violin, and a harp.

The audience was mellow – perhaps too much so – clapping along reverently rather than dancing in the aisles, in keeping with Lev Ari’s mostly downbeat psychedelic jams. Given Lev Ari’s positioning as a religious musician, it’s not surprising that over half the attendees wore head coverings of some kind.

While much of Lev Ari’s music covers the usual rock topics – love and longing – most are infused with language from Jewish texts – from piyutim and Psalms to the Biblical “The Song of Songs.” At the conclusion of the performance, Lev Ari thanked his band, his sound man, the audience and God.

Now, having seen Lev Ari in concert, I feel suitably prepped to dive back into Srugim. The latter will be broadcast at 10:10 PM Sunday night on Yes Drama with a repeat on Monday. Episodes are also shown online.

This story originally appeared on Israelity.

You can catch more of Erez Lev Ari on YouTube and MySpace.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Shira Salamone January 14, 2010 at 8:31 pm

I’ll check out this video at home–my office “blocks” YouTube and MySpace.

On a totally unrelated subject, you might want to put a link to your SiddurWiki project somewhere in your sidebar, before the link “disappears” onto a previous page, along with the SiddurWiki post.

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