Concert Review: First Israeli Supergroup

A superb show.

Lunicidal Tendencies 390 (photo credit: Liav Zimelman)
Lunicidal Tendencies 390
(photo credit: Liav Zimelman)
Getting more than 20 of Israel’s top musicians together on stage for one evening may sound like a daunting logistical and musical challenge.
But that didn’t stop US-born music producer Bryan Steiner from pulling off the unthinkable when Lunacidal Tendencies played before a packed house at the Barby Club in Tel Aviv on Wednesday night.
Whether or not the ensemble goes down in history as Israel’s first-ever supergroup, Thursday’s show was an unforgettable musical experience for artists and audience alike. Led by Elran Dekel of Funk‘n’stein – whom Steiner says was the key to bringing the band members together – Lunacidal Tendencies navigated through a mix of funk, groove, soul, psychedelic rock, and even country to wow the undulating crowd.
Aside from Dekel, other Tendencies members include guitarist extraordinaire Geva Alon, drummer Issar Tennenbaum, saxophonist Shlomi Alon of Hadag Nahash, guitarist Ophir Kutiel (Kutiman), and The Voice quarter-finalist/guitarist Gadi Altman.
Coming on the heels of the group’s release of its only album, After the End, the one-off performance was the culmination of six years of effort initiated by Steiner.
And based on Thursday’s performance, all the hard work paid off.
With Dekel’s super-smooth vocals leading the way, nine members opened the show with “Common is the Sense,” the Tendencies’ pop hit, that smacks of Red Hot Chili Peppers. And for the next two hours, musicians shuttled on and off the stage between songs, much like football players coming on and off the field between plays, under the guidance of “Coach” Steiner.
Among the night’s many highlights, Israel’s groove diva Karolina – one of two Tendencies female vocalists – teamed up with Dekel in a riveting version of “You’re Not of This World.” The group’s second female vocalist, Mika Sade, pulled off an inspiring vocal/dance performance of “The Waiting Room” with the help of Altman. Altman was also instrumental in one of the harder rock pieces of the evening, “We’ve Come So Far,” which morphed into a rap version with special guest Sha’anan Street of Hadag Nahash.
And Alon showed his versatility by playing the country rock tune “Slow Down,” before launching into a multi-minute psychedelic solo, bringing back memories of a ’70s genre quite different from the same decade’s funk/groove genre heard most of the night.
The musical extravaganza climaxed as the effervescent Steiner personally thanked all those who helped make the show possible, before getting the audience to join the band in “A New Way to Rhyme” to wrap up a memorable evening. And while Lunacidal Tendencies may never reach the stature of one the world’s first and most popular supergroups, Cream, for at least one night, Steiner’s crew was the cream of the crop in Israeli music.
Lunicidal TendenciesBarby Club, November 14