Friday, December 24, 2010

Scrambled Eggs Fry My Ears

It was an unplanned attendance. Scrambled Eggs, a Lebanese rock band, was playing at The Basement in Gemeyzeh, and I found myself there with a friend. The Basement is another one of those ridiculously overpriced pretentious places in Gemeyzeh that are so expensive nobody actually drinks anything inside. Once we paid the 20000 ($15) cover, fine for a show, we headed to the bar for beers. Almaza. The stuff you can get for a dollar in a shop. 20 thousand, the bartender said. 20 thousand for two crappy Almazas. For that, I can get 6 Almazas at Amigo's pub.

The band wasn't bad, but the sound was horrible. The drums were way too loud and the guitar distortion way overdone. You couldn't understand a word from the singer, which was a big deal because they passed out CDs when you entered and on the cover it said "Peace is overrated, War is misunderstood" and I really wanted to see if they were being ironic in printing that or if they actually believed it. Normally, I'd assume it was irony, but this is Lebanon, where everything is literal.

The crowd itself was dull. They just stood there, lifeless, not drinking because of the outrageous prices, and not moving like they were suburban brats at a Coldplay concert, too cool for dancing, or maybe they didn't know what to do at a rock show, since rock music isn't exactly big here.

The decibel level of the whole show was like they thought they were playing in a stadium. IT WAS TOO LOUD. The Basement is a tiny venue. (My suspicions that Beirutis are half deaf were only bolstered by the decibel level. It's why they can bear the incessant honking and shouting and construction and blasted music at all hours.) I did see a few people holding their ears, so we weren't the only ones. It made what could have been a good show turn bad, and I was glad when they left the stage, though we were not given 30 seconds before a DJ blasted music and a couple of people began to dance. An older man who looked like a Western diplomat to me was really getting down on the tiny dance floor and made for an amusing sight.

I think I'd like the music, but they really need to rethink the volume.

Visit Scrambled Eggs MySpace page here.

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