Yes, the concert was undersold. And, while some said that it was just OK, that Jagger’s voice is showing its age (71, to be precise), that Keith Richards’ guitar licks were a tad uninspired, that the set list could have been better (perhaps too many relatively obscure songs), it doesn’t matter.
Why? Because it turns out that the most important words that emanated from Mick Jagger’s throat were not the words that he sang.
They were the words that he said.
I’m referring, of course, to this week’s Rolling Stones concert in Tel Aviv. Dayennu that the Stones bucked the BDS movement. Dayennu, as well, that the Stones decided to begin the concert later so as to accommodate fans who wanted to observe Shavuot. Dayennu, as well, that Ronnie Woods and Charlie Watts took a pre-concert detour to Jerusalem to visit the Western Wall.
But back to Mick Jagger. What was it that he said to the crowd in Tel Aviv that was so memorable?
Erev tov, Tel Aviv (“Good evening,Tel Aviv!)
Chag Shavuot Sameach, Yisrael (“Happy Shavuot, Israel”)
Anachnu HaAvanim Hamitgalgalot (“We are the Rolling Stones”)
Todah. Shukran (“Thank you”, in Hebrew and Arabic)
Hakol Sababa? (“All good?”)
Referring to sneakers that guitarist Ronnie Wood was wearing, he asked: Kanita Na’alayim Bashuk? (“Did you buy shoes in the market?”)
Jagger went on to refer to backup vocalist Lisa Fischer as maksima.
Not only was Charlie Watts al ha-tupim (“on the drums”)…
Jagger reminded the crowd that it was also the drummer’s Yom Huledet (“birthday”).
Jagger asked the crowd Atem Nehenim? (“Are you enjoying yourselves”?)
And told them Atem kahal meturaf (“You’re a crazy audience!”)
And then, it was Layla Tov, Ve’Shalom Tel Aviv (“Goodnight and goodbye, Tel Aviv!”)
But here’s what’s most impressive about Jagger’s foray into Hebrew:
First, he made the effort to inquire about how to say certain phrases. They’re not even standard phrases — did he go to some quickie ulpan in order to learn how to ask Ronnie about his shoes?
Second: he actually took the time to learn them.
And third: he spoke in both Hebrew and Arabic, reminding the world of the linguistic, ethnic and cultural diversity of modern Israel.
And now, the big, disturbing question: How is it that Mick Jagger, an English gentile rock star with no detectable Jewish background, actually spoke more Hebrew in one night than most American Jews will ever speak in their lives?
Because, as we all know ( or at least suspect), when it comes to Hebrew, American Jews have utterly failed the literacy test. Leon Wieseltier, the literary editor of The New Republic, has called this generation of American Jews the “spoiled brats of Jewish history” — not only because of our failure to create a Jewish culture that is rooted in Hebrew, and not only for having the historical hutzpah to think that we are the only Jewish civilization that thinks that it can dispense with Hebrew, but for not even having the basic desire to learn Hebrew.
Now, I’m not going to get all Eliezer Ben Yehuda on you, and remind you of the miracle of the resurrection of a language and how that resurrection of a language mirrored and echoed the resurrection of a people in its land.
Why should I? Mick Jagger did it for me.
Just twelve phrases in Hebrew (one for each tribe of ancient Israel?). To paraphrase the Stones themselves: it’s only Hebrew, but I like it.
Rabbi Jeff Salkin is a well known writer and rabbi of Temple Beth Am in Bayonne NJ.
No one — not even the Biebz — has ever made me feel what you did the other night. And you know I have a thing for baby-faced blondes.
I have to admit that I worried when you turned up late. I was really afraid you were going to pull a Rihanna on me. But before I could say “hurry up ‘cause you’re taking too long,” you finally showed up, and music never felt so good.
Thirty songs in an hour and a half, you definitely didn’t waste time. I didn’t care much for the Elvis cover, but after “What goes around comes around,” “Cry Me a River,” “Summer Love”, “Senorita” and your adorable attempt at Hebrew slang, I was TKO’d — and in a good way.
You brought sexy back to Tel Aviv and you didn’t even need a “Suit and Tie.” That white button down was just right.
But Justin, there is something more you need to know. It’s about that girl who asked for a selfie mid-concertso that her boyfriend would propose to her. They played you. Yes I know, you don’t understand. How could they be so low? Turns out they’ve been married for like 2 months, and well, they just really wanted that selfie. Some people have no manners.
When you got off stage, I lingered. I knew you wouldn’t cut us off so quickly. And I’m glad you picked “Mirrors” before saying goodbye. By the way, you really got to be careful next time, my uncle who lives 6 miles away said you woke him up with that last one, he was a little pissed.
Anyway, I just wanted you to know that you rocked more than just my body last night and that, aside from the sweaty guy next to me who couldn’t stop moving (I had to take a much needed shower), I had a blast.
Come back and show us a few things anytime you want.
Photo: Getty Images
Israel’s summer concert lineup just keeps on getting better.
The latest famous name on the list is Lana Del Rey, who just announced she’ll be performing August 20 in Tel Aviv’s Park Hayarkon.
According to Haaretz, tickets will range from 400 shekels ($116) for standing room to 1,000 shekels for seats closer to the stage. Tickets go on sale Wednesday at 8 a.m.
The “Born to Die” singer will be closing an impressive concert season, which starts June 4 with The Rolling Stones, followed by Passenger (June 10), The Pixies (June 17), Hugh Laurie (July 7), Neil Young (July 17), Paul Anka (July 24) and the Backstreet Boys (July 29).
And let’s not forget Justin Timberlake, who may play a song or two if his Twizzler needs are satisfied.
“Summertime Sadness”? Sounds like anything but.
If you’re heading to Israel this summer (or already live there), you’re in for quite a concert lineup. The Rolling Stones, The Back Street Boys and Justin Timberlake have all announced tour dates in the Holy Land over the coming months.
But before the first note is played, some demands must be met. Ynet has a list of 34 things that Justin Timberlake cannot possibly live without on his trip to Israel. These include:
No Twizzlers, no song.
(JTA) — Pop superstar Lady Gaga has plans to perform in the Holy Land in the summer of 2014, Israel’s Channel 2 reported.
The show, which will be Gaga’s second in Israel, will likely take place in Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park, and will likely not feature a kosher meat dress, although that would be pretty great.
In other American music news, Beyonce, who was set to play Israel in the spring, may not make it due to what Haaretz calls a “snag” with an Israeli concert production company. But it’s not all bad on the concert front — Israeli Beliebers will be pleased to learn that Justin Bieber’s previously announced show has an official date: May 14.
It is safe to say that after the Alicia Keys Fourth of July performance on Thursday night, the audience went home satisfied.
Keys performed all her hits, the band was a blast and together they enchanted the 8,000 concert-goers at the Nokia Arena in Jaffa.
It already appeared from the start of the evening that most Alicia Keys fans were females of all sorts. From the somewhat religious to the hard-core secular, from young girls with “Girl on Fire” ringtones to women who dragged their husbands or kids along to the concert, they were all in the crowd.
Overall, there appeared to be a female to male ratio of eight to one. The photographer complained that there weren’t any celebrities in the audience or anyone else to photograph. The degree to which the crowd was straitlaced was extremely impressive. No pot, barely any beers to be seen, a quiet audience in which one can hear the noise of iPhone camera clicks before the performance.
The concert began to the sounds of Ethiopian Israeli musician Ester Rada as the warm-up act. Indeed, Rada warmed up the crowd with her excitement and polished sound, accompanied by seven excellent musicians. Rada had a stage presence much greater than the limited amount of time in the she has been in the spotlight would suggest. She began her set with a venue one-third full and finished it in front of a packed venue of fans. Hats off to her.
For more go to Haaretz
Apparently Auschwitz, symbol of the Final Solution and gravesite to over two million Jews, is now a hot concert venue.
Last weekend marked the third annual Life Festival Oświęcim 2013, which seeks “to build peaceful relations beyond cultural and state borders where there is no place for anti-Semitism, racism, and other forms of xenophobia,” according to the festival’s website. “The message of a peace and tolerance comes from the town where during the Second World War (WWII) was the largest Nazi concentration and extermination camp - Auschwitz-Birkenau.”
With this celebration of music, Darek Maciborek, an Oświęcim native and broadcast journalist for RMF FM radio in Poland, intended to “break the spell” of his beloved hometown, usually associated with unpleasant things like mass-murder and Nazi atrocities.
This year’s line-up of stars included Sting, Ray Wilson and Brodka. The Red Hot Chili Peppers were supposed to appear, but did not.
Have you ever seen a real, live legend? I have. This Saturday, I went to see Barbra Streisand live in concert. Earlier in the week, she landed in Israel to participate in President Shimon Peres’s birthday celebration. But unlike many of the other famous guests, Streisand spent the week in the Holy Land, toured the country and gave us a once in a lifetime opportunity to see her performing live.
She does not perform very often. In fact, this performance was roughly her 100th concert ever. But that was just another reason to pay an unreasonable amount of money to go see her. Though I’m not a die-hard fan and only know a few of her songs, I waved goodbye to 1,500 shekels for two seats (one for my Grandma, the true fan in the family) and what I knew would be an opportunity worth taking. After all, as Fanny Brice once said: “I gotta fly one, I gotta try once, only can die once. Right, sir?”
The Bibi-Bieber summit is off.
Contrary to yesterday’s reports, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not be meeting Justin Bieber this week before the pop star’s Tel Aviv debut. The pair were set to have a tête-à-tête today, but the meeting has been called off amidst what’s turning out to be another PR fiasco for Israel.
According to Netanyahu’s office, Bieber had requested a meeting with the Israeli leader this week, as part of the Christian singer’s first trip to Israel. Netanyahu obliged, but then — perhaps to justify meeting with a teen singer — invited children from near Israel’s volatile border with Gaza. The move appears to have displeased the singer, as have overly zealous local paparazzi.
The Bieber has landed.
After months of hysterical anticipation among Israel’s tween girls, the Canadian pop star has arrived in Israel, where he will perform Thursday in Tel Aviv - and, it turns out, meet with Benjamin Netanyahu.
The prime minister’s office, sounding somewhat defensive, has let it be known that the singer and his manager requested the meeting, and not the other way around. Either way, Netanyahu plans to get some political mileage out of the event, inviting children from near the rocket-strewn border with Gaza to attend.
It sounds more like a wish list than something to plan on, but Lady Gaga and some other major stars could be on their way to Israel this summer.
Today’s Yediot Aharonot reports that the “Born This Way” singer is being courted by “operatives in the American and Canadian Jewish communities” about a concert that would take place in one of the country’s biggest venues. The show would be the 24-year-old’s second performance in Israel, following a 2009 music-festival appearance that took place just as she was becoming a global phenomenon. This time, the article says, concert organizers are hoping the singer’s visit could be used to help promote tourism to the country. If Gaga does go, The Shmooze simply suggests that any meat in her outfits be kosher.
Bieber fever has hit Israel.
Tickets to the country’s first-ever Justin Bieber concert went on sale Thursday evening - but remained available for only a few minutes before leaan.co.il, the ticketing website for the Tel Aviv show, crashed due to overwhelming traffic.
Bieber, the Canadian pop singer with a tween fan base more rabid than Old Yeller, announced the concert at the start of December part of his My World Tour.
His wife, the Canadian jazz pianist and singer Diana Krall, is to perform in Ra’anana in August, and the international pro-Israel advocacy group StandWithUs has offered Elvis Costello a “five star VIP tour of Israel” if he accompanies her on the trip.
The Forward recently reported that Costello canceled his June 30 and July 1 performances in Tel Aviv, describing his decision as “a matter of instinct and conscience.” In a statement Costello also blames the decision on “despicable acts of violence perpetrated in the name of liberation.”