(photo credit: PR)
Targil Behitorerut has been playing nonstop in my headphones for the past few months, so it was definitely time for me to go see Shlomi Shaban and HaColective performing it live. This concert, in honor of Shlomi Shaban and HaColective's well deserved gold album for selling more than 20,000 copies of Targil Behitorerut, was the perfect opportunity. Amphy Shuni was full for an hour before the show started, proving that all of the people there shared my anticipation.
After a special warm-up act by Noga Erez, the sound of the album's theme song, originally performed as a duet with Chava Alberstein, started playing. While I was wondering who's going to sing her parts, a pair of huge red lips showed up on the screen, and Shaban, with moves straight out of the rock'Nroll hall of fame, started singing along with the lips. He sang older songs like Kulam Omrim, Motek At Etzli BaRosh, Ani Shokaat Tfos Oti, in which he included the audience in singing the known "Shalala" and more. In the very cynical HaChaim Sheli Tovim, he references Aviv Geffen in one of the verses and starts shouting at the audience "Rotzim Shinuy?" with a peace sign video art, just like in Aviv's concerts. Hilarious.
The songs from the new album filled up most of the concert and I was loving every minute. The seven talented musicians who form HaColective combined forces with Shaban in this album which is, if I may, one of the most beautiful albums ever made in Israel. Laila Acharon beLondon, a beautiful chanson-like song, and HaYofi Shelah Machiv Lekulam which is, in the words of Shaban, "A story about a love triangle between a man, a woman and her beauty".
Malka Lev Shavur, originally performed by Ninet Tayeb, was sung by previously mentioned Erez who gave an even better performance to this special song. Before singing the humorous reggae song Eilat, Shaban asked the audience to come dance close the stage, and joked about the fact that he always invites the crowd and usually only his wife and her friends respond, because they have no choice. Many people got up to dance, of course, and Yuval Sharf, his beautiful wife, was one of them. Their glances at each other were something worth watching. The love song Shemesh Alei Adamot, which is now my new favorite song was followed by the melancholic Boi Naase Yeled. And how could he finish without Arik? A fun hip hop version of the song gave it a whole new vibe and Shaban performed it while coming off the stage and walking around, including everyone in the show.
No doubt Shaban is one of the most talented musicians around, with his knowledge as a classical pianist he manages to keep reinventing himself in every album, combining humor, even self humor, intelligence, sarcasm and endless charisma. His rich language along with a variety of musical styles turn his songs into a spring of emotion and inspiration. And watching him on stage? Well, that's something you need to see for yourselves. His virtuosi piano playing, which is absolutely one of a kind, and his theatrical talent bring the audience both musical pleasure and entertainment, he wants you to have fun and most of all – you can tell he is having a blast.
Shlomi Shaban puts up the best show in town.