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Mashina is a band that needs no introduction. Between the late 80s and early 90s, lead singer Yuval Banai, keyboardist Avner Hodorov, British-born bass guitarist Michael Benson, drummer Iggi Dayan and guitarist Shlomi Braha filled soccer stadiums and auditoriums at will and reeled off hit after hit - starting with 'Night Train to Cairo' - for an amazing decade-long rule of the Israeli rock-pop roost.
After such a stretch at the top - including the release of 10 successful albums - Mashina's tour in 1995 ended in tragedy when three teenagers were trampled to death at an overcrowded festival in Arad. The band dedicated its last live album The Time Machine to their deceased fans - Eitan Peled, Chen Yitzhak and Na'ama Elkariv.
In the years that followed the tragedy, the band's members broke up and went in different musical directions. Banai's three pop-inspired solo albums were well received, and kept him in the limelight. Braha produced dozens of successful recordings for other artists. And Benson, Dayan and Hodorov remained in demand as backup musicians.
Now, more than 10 years older and wiser since their farewell concert in Tel Aviv's Hayarkon Park, the group is as strong as ever, playing to large crowds in both Israel and the US, proving that Mashina is the ultimate comeback king.
After a recent successful unplugged tour, the band is starting a small, limited tour, traveling between clubs and performing in an electric format. The shows will introduce songs from the band's upcoming album, set to be released in the spring, alongside their most popular hits.
The tour starts at Kfar Saba's Barby. For Mashina it is the first time at the Barby, but for Barby Kfar Saba it's the venue's last. After six years of providing a stage for established and young artists alike, and after undergoing a massive renovation last year, this great open-air venue just outside Tel Aviv has to close down.
According to it's owner Shaul Mizrahi, the reasons for closing are not economical. Rather, managing two clubs - including this and Barby Tel Aviv - and trying to keep both locations' shows consistently versatile has proven difficult. Whatever the reasons are, it's a sad day for music lovers in the Sharon area. Luckily, it seems that the club will go down with a bang.
Mashina takes the stage on January 2nd at Barby Kfar Saba, 8 Yochanan Ha'sandlar St., (09) 767-2888 Tickets are NIS 140.