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With members hailing from Moshav Mevo Modiim as well as Nahlaot, Hamakor is an alternative rock upstart that is beginning to make an impression. Following a short set at the Shlomo Festival this past Sukkot at Mevo Modiim, the band rehearsed heavily and developed its sound further before making its full-length concert debut. A few weeks ago, as part of a double bill with Jerusalem indie outfit Teiku, Hamakor's second premiere took place at the Barnasush bar in Jerusalem's Russian Compound. A sizeable crowd packed the venue for an evening of original guitar and heavy grunge jams, a few Carlebach tunes and some recognizable Pearl Jam and Guns 'N' Roses (that's right) covers that got the audience moving.
Son of the Diaspora Yeshiva Band's Bentzion Solomon and brother of the Moshav Band's Yehuda Solomon and Soulfarm's Noah Solomon, Nachman Solomon is Hamakor's front man and lead vocalist. After personnel changes, new songs and different creative directions (including the addition of rap elements and hippie jam experimentation), Hamakor is taking things to another level.
Teiku, the older band, also benefited from the Barnasush show, following up with a high-intensity Mike's Place appearance later in December, occupying the coveted Saturday-night slot there. Now the two English-speaking acts are sharing the stage again, this time at the high-profile Ma'abada Theater near the old Jerusalem station across from Abu Tor. Aside from its ability to handle audiences that far exceed downtown Jerusalem's bar venues, the Ma'abada is a step up for both bands in terms of sound and light production.
Teiku is comprised of talented immigrants from all over North America, and the band is looking to work its way up with an approach appropriate to the local industry. Rather than trying to stick to English-speaking audiences, which severely limits the opportunities for mass appeal, Teiku front man Shimon Rapaport says: "We're looking to enter the Israeli music scene as Israelis, and the Ma'abada is one of the centers that is nourishing Israeli music."
The Ma'abada opens its doors on Monday at 9 p.m., with tickets costing NIS 40/45. Hamakor's set begins shortly thereafter, with Teiku closing out the event.
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