Friday, February 8, 2008

Israelity Tour: Seattle -- UW and Nectar

[at left: Kobi Shimony (Subliminal) meets with a fan and U-W student after his lecture]

I didn't know that much about Seattle before we arrived here on Wednesday.
I don’t have the connections here that I have in other cities, and I had no clue whether the young Jews in the community would come out to hear Israeli bands play at a club, or what kind of reception rapper Subliminal (Kobi Shimony) would get at the class on Israeli culture at U-W, or if students would show up at U-W Hillel to hear Michelle Citrin and Coolooloosh, and hear from our mifgash participants. There was also the persistent rumor that on the night of the performance, Nectar was going to be surrounded by left-wing protestors who were against having Israeli bands play.

But I needn’t have worried. The young Jews turned out in veritable droves for the concert events at Hillel and Nectar, and the U-W class was extremely receptive of Kobi (report to come)--an auspicious start as we kicked off our first major Israelity Tour concert.

Nectar’s two levels began to fill quickly after doors opened at 8, with the upper level devoted to 21+ and the floor open to all ages. One of the bar’s features, a large wall length garage style rolling door opened to reveal beautiful outdoor garden with tables, chairs and a full bar; despite the cold night air, many braved the patio for a drink or a cigarette under the heat lamps. Downstairs, the no-alcohol-served bar was no competition for the packed dance floor. Upstairs, the temperature climbed as visitors climbed the stairs to a VIP-style area with chairs, tables and a full bar for the guests of legal age.

And oh, the music! Michelle's popular set, again prefaced by fresh comedy from Mo Mandel, was followed by the first collaboration between Michelle and Coolooloosh, as she accompanied them with additional vocals on their first song of a set of eclectic tunes. After a phenomenal set, Subliminal and T.A.C.T. closed out the evening with some shoutouts of thanks to the executive team of the Israelity Tour. The long line for merchandise formed as patrons tried to extend the evening even after the encores, leaving with stacked armsful of signed CDs, t-shirts and hats.

Seriously, if you haven’t bought your tickets yet for the concerts in the other cities, you’re tempting fate. Get online and make sure to reserve your spot as part of this remarkable experience. See you in Berkeley and then in San Francisco

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