The privilege of attending concerts for the bands and musicians we love is more often than not non-existent; specifically for all those based elsewhere than Egypt. Some of these bands and musicians include Coldplay, a band that Egyptians campaigned for on social media to get them, but nothing happened yet; Pink Floyd with all its fans, Ahmed Emad’s “The Endless River” album artwork and two tribute bands playing covers for them in Egypt; the Beatles who disbanded long before we were born; AC/DC, Deep Purple, Elvis Presley, Joe Bonamassa, Tom Waits and many more. Savor your breath people because you will be breathless if you attend one of the Egyptian cover and tribute bands live performances.
Glass Onion’s first performance was in 2010, and since then, The Beatles' music has been in good hands! The band has performed in schools, bars, universities and even prestigious events for the likes of the British Embassy and Cairo Opera House. What has made them welcome in such events was the striking resemblance they have to The Beatles: the way they sing, how similar their vocal chords are to the original band, how they magnetize the crowd to sign along with them and how much you feel you are actually in a Beatles concert not some wannabes.
Technically, Andromida have been playing since before many of us were born. Yes, you heard that right, since 1987 Andromida has been hypnotizing Pink Floyd’s fans in Egypt with countless covers and live performances. Andromida really knows how to put a show for the audience every time they appear on stage (countless numbers of times): they use lasers, lights, smoke, projections of looped skies or a recording for Former President Anwar el-Sadat that really goes along with what they are playing and the crowd goes wild with screams. It is strikingly strange that they have not risen to stardom as much as many of Egypt’s newly founded underground bands.
We guess we are not the only ones who have watched live performances for Coldplay on Youtube, heard and saw people singing along and wished we were just part of that crowd. When Strawberry Swing became recognized, Coldplay’s Twitter account mentioned them in a tweet encouraging people to go to their performance in Egypt. It is becoming weirder every time we say that the crowd sings along, but if it weren't true we wouldn't say it. Some may wonder if it is just because they are playing Coldplay that they got such crowd, but a crowd that listens to Coldplay is sure as hell a selective type that won't settle for anything less than a great performance of the band's songs. Strawberry Swing come in as special for Egypt and the whole MENA region because they are not only the first to play Coldplay, but because they want to carry the message Coldplay is trying to send to people; one that is of hope, contentment and happiness through their songs.
Amro & The Big Bang Boogie inspire happiness in the audience with their energetic arrangements of Billboard Top 40 along with some house , Latin, disco, funk , reggae and acid jazz , all that's party music . Their lead vocalist Amr Yehia is one of the top performers in Egypt. His band are really good with their instruments (saxophones, drums, guitars, tablas, o’ud and more). Amro and the Big Bang Boogie mix unbelievable showmanship with the perfect live music repertoire.
AC/DC, Aerosmith, Elvis Persely, Red Hot Chili Peppers all knew how to move a crowd out of their comfortable bubbles, with their guitar strings pulling cracks in it and drum beats blowing the hell out of it. Their music was about anticipation and getting exactly what you anticipated, and at times you could even be struck with joy and surprise. Bluezophrenia have been about getting all of that onto a stage in Egypt since 2013. They are a fragment of a past many of us wanted to live in with their lively blues and rock & roll and hey! You can groove to old-school beats without being an embarrassment to your friends!
The Woodpeckers Trio are well-known for their classic rock covers, but what distinguishes them in this list is that most of their covers are done acoustically. They are like the the guys you see in movies; whose voice is just so harmonized that it becomes inevitable not to get mesmerized by. They play for The Beatles and the Rolling Stones, so make no mistake they will be playing the bands you love. Their guitar vocalist George Aboutar talent has put him under the arms of many bands like the Cadillacs, Bluenotes and more. George's charisma has also made him one of the most regular performers at Cairo Jazz Club tribute nights for the likes of Jim Morrison and Bob Dylan.
If you already know Tom Waits, then you already know Raindogs; the song and maybe the tribute band in Egypt too? To Raindog band, they are “committed to living and sharing the Tom Waits experience.” They have performed live more than 10 times since the band kicked off in 2011. Ali Baghdady, the lead vocalist, has such control on his vocals that will leave you in confusion as to where the sound is coming from, and if it is coming from some prerecorded audio of Tom Waits himself who had a soul lingering sound that fills the void and a depth that shatters the hollowness.
By Adel M. Fakhry