Aviv Gefen, one of Israel’s most well-known popish-rock musicians, is really a tough dilemma. On the one hand, there’s no doubt this is one very talented guy that writes beautiful lyrics and composes touching emotion-provoking melodies to match them. But, on the other hand, there’s this thing with him insisting of actually singing his own songs, and his voice is absolutely horrific. While in the recording studios they do a fair job of reinventing how he sounds, he doesn’t – unfortunately – do very well with live performance. But…

 

Aviv Gefen Live Performance @ Jerusalem Arts Festival 2010

 

Aviv Gefen Live Performance @ Jerusalem Arts Festival 2010

 

Still, I grew up on this guy, so when I went back to visit Israel I went to see him perform at the Jerusalem International Arts Fair 2010. Back in my time, centuries ago, it was a socially important decision how you relate to Aviv. You had the girly groupie fan club, you had the dismissing group and you had those who dismissed the dismissing group because the dismissing group were only dismissing him for being worshiped and misunderstood by the girl groupie fan club. I was one of those last ones. Where people shouted “cliché” I replied “gifted”, where people saw “cheap populism” and “fake” I found emotions and genuinely.

To the English speaking among you, the easiest way to get to know Aviv is from his Blackfield collaboration with Steven Wilson where some of his famous lyrics and melodies were converted into British English rock-style. For example, “It’s cloudy now” is a reinvention of his famous Hebrew song by the same name that made him famous for being broadcasted on national radio with a sentence that yells “we are a fucked up generation”. Back in my high-school days, during the dark ages, that was a big sensation.

 

Listen to it here …

 

 

What do you think?

 

Either way, bad voice or not, he does seem to have the right pose, with always interesting stage make-up and bodily gestures to convey how he feels.

 

Aviv Gefen Live Performance @ Jerusalem Arts Festival 2010

 

 

 

I took videos of two of his more famous Hebrew songs. Watch those here…

 

 

 

Aviv Gefen Live Performance @ Jerusalem Arts Festival 2010

 

 

By the way, just before Aviv went to stage there were an anonymous group giving a performance that I thought was pretty good, considering. See them in video here :

 

 

 

If you know their names, I’m interested…

 

Aviv Gefen Live Performance @ Jerusalem Arts Festival 2010

Aviv Gefen Live Performance @ Jerusalem Arts Festival 2010

 

If you’re wondering what the live performance looked like from afar…

Aviv Gefen Live Performance @ Jerusalem Arts Festival 2010

 

Hope to see more live performances next year at the fair.



Tags: arts festival; aviv gefen; black field; it's cloudy now; jerusalem; live; performance;


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