Rock the Casbah
Rachid Taha - Södra teatern
Stockholm 16 September
Yesterday evening i had the opportunity to see The king of Punkrock-rai ! It was actually not my first time - this was a happy reunion. My first live experience of Rachid was 33 months ago on the 18 of December 2002. He gave a fantastic concert here in Stockholm and it was a vintage moment for me, absolutely a top 5 of all the concerts i´ve seen in my life, toghether with Prince, Michael Jackson, Khaled, Marcel Khalife and Imperiet. I knew from the outset, that this would be a different experience, a new venue, altough in the same house as before. The acronym for the venue is KGB, wich is preety close to the truth of the place itself, it could actually be misstaken for being a long lost warehouse, somewhere in the middle of nowhere, used by clandestine agencies for interegation purposes. Minimalistic in terms of furniture or decore, the bar in the other room reminds me more about my family´s pharmacy in upper Egyypt with the simple wodden bardesk in some shade of grey, than a concert hall that is about to be conquered by the unrivaled superstar Rachid. And then the concert begins, with a song that actually feels more like a continuation of the soundcheck, a rather slow, soft song , not the usual Rachidobasitc trademark, and one starts to ponder about him being to high, or just high enough to make this concert a fantastic memory that one can remember and cherrish during the ordinary, boring days and nights ahead of us. Suddenly the intro to Barra Barra, the crowd goes ballistic for the first time , and two minutes later, my thoughts disorient and dissolves somewhere in the back of my mind , never to return during the comming two hours. The band is so intuned, Hisham , the Oud player, charismatic and starqualitylike. Rachid in a of psychedelic-hawaian shirt that would have made Nelson Mandela proud, sunglasses and the tormented face of a man who carries the collective responsibility of our planet on his shoulders just minutes after world war III begins.
His communication with the crowd, as usual problematic, not as political, still confusing, mostly because of the less than perfect english blended with french urban slang and algerian machinegunarabic.
Rather early in to show comes ya Rahya, his emencely popular cover of an arabic folk song. To slow version i think, but the crowd goes ballistic once again ! Now the party is on, and after that we are given five or six trademark Rachidopowersongs, and then Medina another favourite of mine. I totally forget that he has not played Ida, my special favourite yet, and then he says, this is the last song....
He plays another song and leaves. The crowd calls out for RACHID,RACHID
The intro to Ida , lovely but to slow, anyhow very nice and then Voila Voila - the crowd reaches it´s peak, and the final song another cover.......... Rock the casbah , and rather than being a clash of Civilizations , this is the perfect mix of Racidoian reorientpunk and Clash´s urban revolution.
here you can read about Rachids concert in Beirut two months ago