Alive 2010

Today at a venue in Mishref was supposed to mark the long awaited return of the Kuwaiti rock scene. The weather was heavenly, the stage was gorgeous and the place looked like a dream. In the audience, the boys and girls had their hair done and were wearing their nicest “rocker” clothing trying to look like they fit in. Even important figures in the old scene were in attendance, ranging from the promoter that brought everything out into the forefront Tazz, to guys like Katoolo, Dragon, Sam, Sarj and Salim that have all done their part in helping out in a majority of shows in the past. Even the legendary troublemaker Scarface was in attendance, sans his make up and over the top behavior.

The Show started a little later than anticipated, with a rundown of the rules of the show which pretty much boiled down to: Don’t have fun. Then a couple of words from the sponsors and organizers, which seemed very out of place. Finally after a humorous introduction from one of the more entertaining members of the crew we were off with Bloodstone.

Bloodstone was not a bad band, they had their issues but all in all, they were quite entertaining.  The next act, Hammad and Moe however, were probably an act that should have been saved for last. Uproariously funny and very charismatic, the duo charmed the audience with their renditions of famous sounds, improvised lyrics and crazy antics. Hammad was like a Kuwaiti Maz Jobrani, while Moe (also known as Sid by his closest friends) strummed along with his guitar and singing along with, or around Hammad.

What came next however was both unexpected yet typical of the Rock scene here in Kuwait.

The show got canceled by the venue holders.

Everything seemed like it was going to be a day that would set the stage for the days to come.

However from the beginning, familiar features of the old rock scene started to appear. First thing that started to show up were all the rules; Don’t scream, don’t dance, don’t stand up. The authoritarian tone didn’t help but a majority of the audience didn’t care, those that did, were ignored. Yet things seemed to be working out fine until the extremely long break that suddenly appeared.

After the announcement of the cancellation, rumors immediately began to spread, each one slightly different than the rest but pointing the finger at the venue themselves pulling out at the last minute. Some stated that the ministry showed up and was not happy,  others repeated the much quoted excuse of  “the show was too professional”, while the more reliable sources said that the venue decided that “the audience was difficult to control”

Whatever the reasons were, it was a fun day with a great atmosphere. This is simply a right of passage for anyone that decides to venture into the “cursed” rock scene here in Kuwait without learning from the mistakes of their predecessors.

For the rest of us old timers though, the cancellation brought back a very nostalgic feel to it, making the show feel genuine and home grown.

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