So as I said before, I was expecting a crazy crazy week with the Nitzanim festival and all that. And indeed, I did have a crazy motherfucking week. But I had the best time ever. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had more fun in my whole life than this past week.
First on Sunday, I went to work. Not palpitating but worth mentioning. On Monday, I took a day off, so that I could, in a way, take a deep breath before diving into the crazyness.
At around 2 p.m. I left for Nitzanim. From Jerusalem, it’s not exactly a staight line. I had to take the bus to a nearby city called Ashdod and from there I took the bus to the main road in Nitzanim, and from there anybody who turned the road was eventually heading for the festival, so I hitchhiked to the ticket counter with a couple of other people going the same way.
Getting the tickets took forever. I was so hot and thirsty on the count of they confiscated all the water bottles and any food anybody had when we went through security. Assholes. This is why sponsorships are shit. This Nitzanim festival is actually called the Coca Cola Festival and God forbid you don’t buy drinks from them. They have to be sure that all profits go to that bigass American company to help it in its crusade of the Americanization of the world. But I’m digressing…
So I got my free ticket, because I’m a big time journalist 😛
We had to take the bus again to actually get to that place they call the Kfar Hamuzika. When we got there, we had to go through security yet again (assholes yet again).
The place was huge. They had all these booths and tents selling all kind of useless shit (useless except for food and drinks). I actually bought a couple of rings and a rather conveniant pouch that makes me look kind of hippyish, but I like it.
At around 5 p.m. I headed for the main stage and found 2 people sitting there next to the fence in front of the stage. I sat there with them for the remainder of the time until the beginning of the concert at 10 pm. We were basically not doing anything except for talking and frying in the sun.
When the concert actually began, there were so many people there and we got squashed in the front, literally. I got the living Christ squeezed out of me from every cavity, but I was front and center so I can’t really complain.
Monica Sex was the first band to perform. They were quite alright but the only song I knew was the last one they played – Maka Afora. It’s a cute little song but I was happy it was over because then came the main act – Aviv Geffen.
The dude is a God. I was mad about him like 5 years ago and saw him perform in New York, but it was an acoustic concert. And a couple of weeks ago, when I saw him perform in Haifa, he was singing in English with Blackfield. So in Nitzanim, it was the first time I saw him perform in all his glory, taking off another piece of clothing after every couple of songs, with his band, singing his songs, in his language, Hebrew.
So basically, if my adoration for him faded away over these five years, this performance brought it all back, and proved to me why I was so crazy about him back then. He’s an artist like no other. He performed incredible songs. Some of them which are not my favorite but he made them my favorites after the concert because he turned them into kickass versions. Any description would not do justice to the real deal.
At some point he told the crowd that after the show, he has to go live in a settlement called Gush Zion, as part of a reality TV show which should air in August. He said he would try to "tenderly" (im hamon ahava) convince them that the disengagement is a good thing and that Eretz Israel is a beautiful place and they should go live there and stuff. And then he sang "Hope Song" which was the last song he sang. It was an incredibly touching performance.
At some other point he asked the crowd if any of there are any girls who came by themselves. I of course was one of the very few ones, so he obviously heard me scream, and he dedicated a song to those who came alone (that is without boyfriends or husbands). And he said something along the lines of "guys are stupid, they think through their dicks, and girls are better off being lesbians." I was like, AMEN! This dude is a straight up feminist. Represent! The song he dedicated to us (or to me, for that matter) was Atsuv Beladayich (Sad Without You) which is my alltime favorite Aviv Geffen song.
He of course sang the song that made him famous in the first place "It’s Cloudy Now," but before the part where he screams "we’re a fucked up generation" he paused for a longass 3 minutes and then yelled "Atem rotsim shinuy?" (Do you want change?) at least 3 times to which we all responded in a loud YES! And then the song resumed with a blast of sparklers which lit up the dark Nitzanim night.
I came back home the next day at 7:30 a.m. starving like a dog, stinking like shit and aching from head to toe because of all the smashing and pushing and shoving. My throat was also soar because I was screaming so much. I was also tired as hell and pissed off because these assholes security shits didn’t let anybody take any pictures whatsoever, which explains my lack of pics over here. Sorry…
I went straight to the office to write up my review and then went home to eat, sleep, take a shower, eat again and leave for Nitzanim again for the second show.
I went through the same ordeal, but this time I came a little later and considering this show was by Hayehudim, I had to expect there was gonna be a hell of a lot more hardcore moshing. So I just went up to sit in the chairs in that amphitheatre thingy. I was far but I had my glasses and they had big screens so we could see better. This show was also incredible. They had more visual effects with a lazer show, fireworks, and crazy lighting and stuff. Or maybe it was because I was further behind so I could see the stage as a whole as opposed to the first show where I was looking up Geffen’s nostrils the whole time.
The last song was really the best: Od Aron Echad (One More Coffin) ended the show after two encores when the crowd almost got disapointed thinking the band will not sing it. There were blasts and crazy drums and guitar and lots of fucking screaming.
But eventually, nothing topped Aviv Geffen.
After that I went back home at 7:30 again. I actually fell asleep on a bench in the bus station. I probably looked like a bum considering I was wearing the same clothes for 2 days, didn’t eat, hardly showered and hardly slept. But I was happy by the end. I’ve seen two Israeli performers who are out of this world and I didn’t pay a dime (The Post is also paying my bus fare which amounted up to NIS 110).
On Wednesday night I went to yet another concert of this band I had to interview called Coolooloosh. They’re really awesome, and they gave me a free copy of their CD.
Man, if I have to do this for the rest of my life, bring it on! Free shows for life! Hurray!
Peace, love, and Aviv ha-homo, Aviv ha-homo, Aviv ha-benzona… (he actually sang that!)