Concert Review: Hadag Nahash

Even English-language songs like “Little Man” couldn’t be more Israeli.

Hadag NahashTheatre ClubTel AvivMarch 25
Late last Thursday, Hadag Nahash preformed to an eager crowd at the Theatre Club in Tel Aviv. The audience they played to knew exactly what they wanted, and by around 10:30 p.m. they were impatiently chanting “we want ‘Hip-Hop Zioni’” – one of the band’s biggest hits.
The group recently released its sixth album, simply called 6. This time the Jerusalem-based hip hop band included not only songs in Hebrew but also a fair number of tunes in English. Rumors circulated before the release of the album that, in the hope of continuing the band’s newfound success abroad, the thing was going to be an English-only affair, but as the audience saw on Thursday, there was no need to worry.
Even English-language songs like “Little Man” couldn’t be more Israeli. The group also sang a bit in Arabic, employing an array of sounds and instruments. As the members of the group bopped around the stage to all the different sounds a terrific atmosphere was created.
The six-member group was joined by another five musicians, who have already become something of a permanent fixture, as well as producer Yossi Fine. Throughout the show several additional guests got on stage. This at times created a bit of a busy and confusing feel, yet all in all the guests complemented each other and Yehuda Keisar, one of the guest performers, actually almost stole the show – you could hear people talking about him all the way to the cab stand afterward.
From the moment he appeared you could hear the difference – although hedidn’t move much and was very difficult to actually distinguish underhis cowboy hat and guitar. Karolina, on the other hand, prowled thestage, and as she sang “Af Ehad Lo Ba Li” (No one came to me), the dimlighting, her sex appeal and voice wrapped all the sounds up into anenchanting melody.
Hadag Nahash also played a selection of old favorites as well as songsfrom the new album. It kept everything fresh with the added groove alive performance naturally gives. The band clearly hasn’t changedvision or lost sight of the smaller details.