During my week of doing nothing on Sukkot Break, I went to two concerts: one featuring Matisyahu and one featuring Yaakov Shwekey (thought to be one of the best performers in the Chassidic world). Both were excellent nights.
Matisyahu performed at the Sultan's Pool, an outdoor amphitheater outside of the Old City. On the way down there, we got directions from a couple of sketchy guys and they wanted us to chill with them and take pictures with them. Welcome to Israel.
Picking up our tickets was a confusing escapade because the lines were divided by credit card numbers (last four digits) – it took us a couple of minutes to figure that out. I was about to go to the back of the line, like most polite Americans do. But we're talking about Israel here, so Seth had me cut to the beginning of the line. No problem. After we got our tickets, Seth and I took a couple of pictures, and some random kids decided to get in on one of our pictures. Crazy people around here.
We had seats in Row 16 and sat there for a little while. The opening band was solid, and they had a violinist, which was quite cool. During that performance we went down to the standing areas, but after they finished we went back up to our seats because it got very congested and we were getting stepped on by obnoxious people.
There was a long gap of time between the opening band and Matisyahu. Finally he came on, wearing an outfit I totally did not expect – a rain jacket, a white baseball cap, and we eventually discovered that he was wearing a one-piece white suit. Quite unconventional. He put on an unbelievable show though – he was on fire, dominated the stage like none other, even did some crowd surfing and climbed up part of one of the lighting towers (I think it was). I spent a bit of the concert with my friend Gabi and some of her friends from Gann fairly close to the stage – it was fantastic, to say the least.
Shwekey: the concert was a benefit concert for Hatzalah, which was very nice. The concert started at 7:30 Jewish time, so actually like 8:15, and opened up with the Shira Hadasha Boys Choir (a sort of small version of Miami Boys Choir in Israel), and Shloime Gertner (a British performer) was also part of the performance. He was good. But it all really started when Shwekey hit the stage. He has unbelievable stage presence and dances well; he also sings with as great quality as his voice on recorded albums. He performed some great songs from his new album, sang Im Eshkachech with the boys choir, did a great job with Vehi She'amada. I really enjoyed hearing his new Mimkomcha as well. I'm really glad I went – it was great to see him perform.