Concert review: Rona Kenan in Tel Aviv

Israeli rock star leaves the crowd crying for more at Tel Aviv's Barby.

Rona Kenan 521 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Rona Kenan 521
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The evolution of Rona Kenan continues, and the latest venture of one of Israel's most promising rock artists is a true treat.
The 31-year-old has been one of the more intriguing voices in Israeli rock in the 21st century. She firmly established her place on the fringe of the mainstream with her second album, Through Foreign Eyes (2007), before being selected as singer of the year following the award-winning Songs for Joel (2009).
Her fourth album, Hamraot Venechitot (Arrivals and Departures), was released to mixed reviews last summer, with some critics disappointed it wasn't the breakthrough they expected from Kenan.
However, the concise and personal texts and the passionate melodies are all still there and Kenan reaches new heights with the original and outstanding concerts complementing the album.
Following up from the debut show in January, Kenan recently took her three-hour mini-festival to another level with Hamraot Venechitot Take 2 at the Barby in Tel Aviv.
Once more, Kenan hand-picked her two opening acts of Digital_Me and The Compromises, branded as Terminal 1 and 2, before taking the stage with her band and special guest Asaf Avidan for Terminal 3.
After Digital_Me (Shay Librovski) warmed up the crowd with a 15-minute electronic set, The Compromises upped the intensity with four songs, one with Kenan, which got all in attendance buzzing.
You know something special is coming when a band begins its show with a sousaphone solo and The Compromises left no doubt why they are regarded by many as one of the best up-and-coming Indie-rock bands in Israel.
Their unique sound and desire to dare was mesmerizing and surely there is still plenty more to come from this band.
However, while The Compromises were the revelation of the night, there was always only going to be one star, and Kenan shone as brightly as ever.
With a varied selection from her different albums, Kenan delighted the crowd for almost two hours, peaking with her collaborations with equally talented singer-songwriter Avidan.
After pleasing the audience with her melancholic hits, including an acoustic version of "Through Foreign Eyes", Kenan was joined on stage by Avidan and the two rocked the Barby.
Their collaborations left the crowd crying for more even after a riveting encore which included a Tom Waits rendition and the Kenan staple "Flood."
Hamraot Venechitot Take 3 couldn't come soon enough.