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Battle of The Bands: "Monsters of Rock"

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Since the 70s, music competitions and music festivals in Egypt is something we are all waiting for, like Sand-Stock in 70s, Marlboro Rock Festivals in 90s,

as well as, for the well-known SOS Music Festivals, El Sakia Rock Festival and Nokia Xpress Music Festival. Here now new born organizers of young men; Pierre Nassar, Joe Khoury, Mina Ashraf, Omar Samhan and Elie Naggar, had created the “Battle of the Bands” Vol. 2 which is held at College De La Sainte Famille aka Les Jésuites.

The main concept of this volume is; "to help the sick poor people of El Sharabeya district of Cairo, also because there is no rock concerts so we wanted to make different stage to give the Rock/Metal music a chance, and to spread rock music more!" Elie Nagar.

 

In which, Elie assured on many differences between vol. 1 and 2: "There is a whole difference, first of all, Vol. 2 was much bigger (stage, sound and light system). And the organizing is different as well, but we took the idea of the last year and added within it, besides extra sponsors. Another thing; in vol. 1 there was no time to let people know more about the event, but on vol. 2 we started our marketing campaign like a month before the event" In addition to, the finest choice of the competition jury's and they are; Ahmed Hani, Ahmed Hesham, Hesham Zaky and Shereef.

 

There were about ten Egyptian bands, well known with their talents and stage performance. What we -Rock Era- really liked that the event was organized with different bands, talents and varied with many genres, such as; old school hard rock/heavy metal, alternative, hardcore, screamo, progressive, and many more.

Diminished was the opening act for Battle of the Bands, this band has got really a very unique vocal but the band still got to work with their timing and harmony.

Profile were the 2nd band to perform after Diminished and the 1st band in the battle's competition, they are really nice and talented but they still need a little more spirit and performance on stage especially Ahmed Ghaleb the vocalist, though his voice is really great and very powerful but he performed with his hands in his pockets! And that wasn't suitable for the spirit of the battle

Yesterday Lied plays nu-Metal, they covered two songs for MJ and Muse, which is a bit far from nu-metal, but their original song about Gaza was a great nu-metal song. Their lead vocals have a strong voice but we don’t think it fits really well in nu-metal, the drummer had his special moments as well as their bassist, which gives us a good impression apart from their weak performance in this gig, which we might blame it on the sound!

Sea of lies were the fourth band to perform and hell they made the crowd jump with their Deep Purple coverage like Highway Star, Burn, Woman from Tokyo and others.

 

Massive Scar Era aka Mascara, every time we see this band, they grows more into us. We can classify them as hardcore punk, they play unique music with wide variations of elements. This time their new originals contained some oriental touches which we didn’t see before. The performance was very tight. Everything fits well, from brutal vocals to clean vocals. Their front woman, Sherine, is very talented even on guitars, their violin work provides great atmosphere, and these girls overall performance is as beautiful as they look.

Your Prince Harming, should we blame it on the sound engineer again? Or should we blame it on their immaturity? We don’t know, but what we know, that their performance in the event was a joke! Although, YPH performance were always strong and tight, this band is growing as one of the big names domestically and we may say they have the potential to hit the charts globally! Playing hardcore/screamo, they always had their fans, and always will, but what happened on the event’s day was certainly a page to erase.

And with the event's winners "Medic", took about an hour sound checking, and preformed Regrets and Woman on Fire. Then they got angry from the sound check and suddenly left the stage!

Then Varden the band who faced many troubles before in their two last events, made a great payback with their amazing performance and their powerful spirit on stage, and in every song they looked very happy because they knew they made it up to their fans in this event.

Finally Karma set the crowd on fire with No surrender and in the middle of Can't Let Go, the sound engineer unplugged the wires saying the police was waiting outside!

Additionally, Tap.Sum.Bong was supposed to be the last band, but they didn’t even get on stage. Because as it was mentioned above, it was alleged that the police was outside, there was no time for them. And as Elie Naggar said, the time was ruined because of the rain of Thursday’s night. But as Tap.Sum.Bong are the organizers of the battle, it was okay for them not to play to save what is left of the day.

 

A lot of people saw that the event wasn't organized very well as well as the sound system that added a huge effect on the audience to dislike the show, but others saw that if there was a bad sound engineer why other bands did not take much time with their sound check. Adel Samakia, Massive Scar Era's sound engineer, stated that B.O.B lacked professional organizing. He said, "Despite of the weather conditions that occurred a day before the concert, organizers should have reacted more positively. Besides, the gig timing was incorrect, to me, because it was mid-winter, and weather could've shifted in split of a second."

 

"Moreover, where are the rest of the rock genres?? And, my band and I, and Sea Of Lies took only 15 minutes sound checking, and we sounded good. Why did the rest of the bands take more than 30 minutes sound checking? Finally, how can a band that apologized of playing there share of time win the first place? That will remain a mystery to me" Adel added

 

"Actually, I did not like the sound check that much, but I think in general the event was fine!" Sherif Hawary

 

No one can deny that the heavy rainy day before the event - in which Cairo did not witness for many long years– had affected the band's sound check a lot and the whole preparations for the concert. “We were already here the day before and trying to move the water and to let bands make their sound check but it was so difficult because of the weather’s circumstances!” Elie El Naggar.

 

And because of that, there was no time for many bands to make their sound check and of course it did affect their performances as well! However, other bands did not face the same trouble like some people said that Sea of Lies, Karma and Mascara their sound was fine and we were enjoying them.

One day after the Battle, a messege was sent from Elie Naggar with the winners of the battle. Which are;

  • Best Band : 1st place: Medic
  • 2nd place : Varden
  • Best Guitarist : Ramy Salah from Medic
  • Best Male Vocalist : Ahmed Ghaleb from Profile
  • Best Female Vocalist : Dalia El Menshawy from Yesterday Lied
  • Best Keyboardist : Omar El Motawakkel from Varden
  • Best Drummer: Youssef Altay from Mascara
  • Best Bassist : Omar Salah from Medic 
  • Best Violinist : Nancy mounir from Mascara

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