BEIRUT: The 2019 edition of Lebanon’s Global Week for Syria wrapped Thursday evening with an off-Hamra open-air concert, staged in a still-vacant lot at the corner of Rue Jeanne d'Arc and Sidani Street.
The featured performers were Tanjaret Daghet -- Tarek Ziad Khuliki, guitar and vocals, Khaled Omran, lead vocals and bass guitar, Dani Shukri percussion. Since migrating to the Lebanese capital in 2011, the three players have become a fixture on the local scene, whether hammering out Tanjara’s unique brand of melodic metal or cropping up doing session work amid other ensembles.
Defiant of the pore-expanding heat and humidity that descended on Ras Beirut Thursday evening, the band’s brief set commenced on the lyrical side, steadily increasing in volume and intensity until it provoked a squad of pre-teens sprawled on the tarmac before the stage to leap to their feet and pogo with enough verve to make somewhat-older audience members mop their brows in envy and gaze upon their quickly-emptied beer cans with regret.
With dusk settling, the band, now well-oiled after playing a few of their own tunes, stepped-down the sound to play accompaniment for a countryman. Clad in suave black sherwal and trademark specs, hip hop artist AlDarwish vaulted to the stage without much fuss and immediately joined the fray.
AlDarwish was in good form this evening, delivering a lively handful of Arabic rap numbers with the band (and mopping his scalp between tunes) before closing his first collaboration with Tanjara with a spoken-word poem.
Festival director Hannibal Saad had officially lowered the curtain on the third edition of Global Week for Syria when the band was pulled back to the stage for a last-minute coda with special guest vocalist Scarlet Mounzer, who belted out a silk-smooth low-intensity tune that, with Khuliki’s encouagement, elided naturally into a few bars of The Verve’s ’90s classic, “Bitter Sweet Symphony.”
It seemed a fitting way to close.