If the sounds and sights of tourists, Whatsapp notifications, and people on the bus aren’t entertaining you like they did in the past, use this September to treat your eyes and ears to live entertainment acts across Israel. Whether you’re listening to the funky jams of an artistyou’ve never heard of before, or a beloved member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, musicians are filling the Holy Land with tunes that are worth a ticket. If you’d rather feast your eyes on a performance, go see an innovative dance show in Tel Aviv or a dramatic play in Jerusalem from the London stage. Before your senses are overwhelmed by High Holy Day celebrations, experience all that Israel has to offer with your eyes and ears this September.
September performances to hear and see around Israel
Expect the unexpected when Peaches comes to the Barby this September. The Toronto native – who attended Jewish day school prior to her rise to fame – first made international headlines with her series of alternative rock and punk albums, such as The Teaches of Peaches album released in Berlin. Her bold sound, original lyrics, and exploration of the themes of gender and age, have catapulted her to individual success, and made her an icon in the alternative music scene. Whether you are a cult follower or recognize her music from the many popular shows and movies where it is featured, this night of entertainment is not to be missed.
This January, the legendary shoegazing group Slowdive released their first single in 22 years. Nearly eight months later, with promises of a fourth album on the way, the band is performing in Israel as a stopover on their European tour. Slowdive began as the creative endeavor of lifelong friends Neil Halstead and Rachel Goswell, and gained popularity for their ambient melody and free flowing lyrics, which made them a notable name in the English shoegazing scene. Their upcoming concert at the Barby promises indie vibes and ethereal music from some of the original musical hipsters.
A street and stage artist, Lior Shoov’s creativity dazzles regardless of performance venue. The 27-year-old Israeli artist began her career on the streets of Tel Aviv with a whimsical mix of acrobatics and music, and has since lived and performed around Europe. After appearing everywhere from cafés to renowned music halls, this September she’s bringing her unique performance style and lyrical music to Mount Zion as a part of the Mekudeshet Festival. Since she bases her flow off of the energy of the audience, no two performances are exactly the same – you’ll (literally) have to see it to believe it.
Over two decades after Dire Straits disbanded completely, the legendary British rock band is making a partial comeback in The Dire Straits Experience tour, featuring original band member Chris White alongside 6 other notable musicians. Throughout the 80’s and 90’s, the group were responsible for timeless hits like “Brothers in Arms” and “Romeo and Juliet” that catapulted them to fame internationally and within the U.K. rock movement. This September the Menora Mivtachim Arena will be filled with the blues rock music of Dire Straits, including the legendary saxophone sound of Chris White. Come pay homage to the magic and music of classic rock and roll.
As a part of their ongoing concert series, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art is hosting the Oslo String Quartet, an elite chamber ensemble that is well-regarded for their vast repertoire. The Scandinavian group gained notoriety outside of Norway when they won a prize at the prestigious London International String Competition. Since then they have brought melodic renditions of Beethoven, Mozart, and contemporary Norwegian composers everywhere from Oslo's New Opera House to Carnegie Hall. Come to explore the visual art of the museum, stay for the impressive classical music.
This year’s Mekudeshet Festival concludes with an epic celebration of Girl Power, including performances by some of the biggest voices in Middle Eastern and African music. Khaira Arby, Ester Rada with Marina Maximilian, and Yael Deckelbaum & Prayer of the Mothers Ensemble, will fill the Tower of David with soulful melodies influenced by a variety of traditions and cultures. Just before Shabbat descends on Jerusalem, celebrate the voices of these powerful women and the culmination of a festival of Holiness.
In the 90’s, a year after his immigration to the US, Hailu Mergia recorded a funk-jazz album using a drum machine, Rhodes piano, and 1980’s synthesizer–all of which he assembled alone. The result was music that blended his native Ethiopian style with the faster paced tempo and chords of musical technology. This September, Mergia is bringing his Ethiopian-funk jams to Tel Aviv, in a performance that promises one-of-a-kind music. For an evening of melodies that are at once nostalgic and futuristic, join him at the Barby and prepare to be at a loss for words.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Chrissie Hynde is making her debut in Israel alongside her rock band The Pretenders. The English-American band has changed members since its formation in 1978, but Hynde–a founding member–has always remained a part of the group. This September she’s bringing her distinctive punk style, and attitude, to Tel Aviv, in a performance that will feature 80’s rock classics and new singles from their 2016 album Alone. Roll through for some classic rock vibes.
Less than 10 years old, Peter Hook & The Light make up what they lack in age with talent. Formed in 2010 under the guidance of former Joy Division and New Order bassist Peter Hook, the band has gained popularity for performing hits from both groups live. Their current tour “Substance” promises a compilation of singles from Joy Division and New Order’s albums by the same name. End September in musical style, and come to The Barby for a show that is guaranteed to please Joy Division and New Order fans, and alternative rock and dance lovers alike.
September performances to hear and see around Israel
It’s the 1960’s and change is in the air–the fight for Civil Rights is underway, body-positivity is on the rise, and the sexual revolution is sweeping society. Hairspray, the eight Tony Award winning musical, tackles all these themes as it follows the trials and tribulation of fictional teenager Tracy Turnblad, living in Baltimore, Maryland. The upbeat performance known for its 60’s dance and music flair, is a perfect show for the whole family, inspiring nostalgia in older viewers, and introducing a powerful narrative of activism and tolerance in younger viewers.
If I were to use one term to describe Venezuela, it would have to be 'uncanny.' Not simply in the strangely mysterious, unsettling manner, but more so in Freud's understanding: the 'familiar, yet unfamiliar.' The work is divided into two distinct 40-minute acts; each of which draw on the same sequence of movements (the familiar), yet the dancers, music, overall atmosphere, time feel, and energy level in the second half veer far from the first (the unfamiliar). "As anything that contains aspects of uncertainty, [Venezuela] is exuberating and exciting," says 24-year-old Batsheva Company dancer, Nitzan Ressler. Not only does this sense of unfamiliarity empower the dancers, it keeps audience members on their toes from that very first slow, swaying group movement cast against an eerie backdrop of Gregorian chant through to the final explosive scream from veteran dancer Bobby Jene Smith, as she lets out the communal anxieties and frustrations of all 17 dancers. In the first 40-minute act, the slow monophonic drones of Gregorian chant set a very solemn tone; paired with the stark black costumes, the dancers appear to be in mourning. As with many Naharin creations, the audience is not meant to necessarily understand the dancers' world, but rather empathize with it. As the group reaches upstage, two dancers break off, striking a ballroom pose. Suddenly, the familiar Gaga style ascribed to Batsheva is thrown out the window, replaced by elements of Argentine tango – perhaps a hint
Just when you thought you’d seen it all, along came PIXEL–a performance by the French dance company Kafig, which puts lyrical movement to hip-hop music. This striking performance is a combination of urban dance and music plus circus-style illusions, which adds up to a theatrical performance unlike anything else. PIXEL will be shown three nights in a row the last week of September, so get a ticket before it’s too late to witness this magical spectacle.
In 1997, psychologist Arthur Aron and a group of researchers published a now infamous study, asserting that there are 36 questions that, when discussed between two people, lead to intimacy, and then love. In her performance “Q&A,” choreographer Rachel Erdos explores these questions–as well as the greater themes of intimacy and relationships–through movement. 4 dancers, 36 questions, one profound performance.
From the prominent London National Theater to the stage of the Jerusalem Cinematheque, comes an iconic piece about the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The fictional play follows the life of Mozart, including his complex relationship with Italian composer Antonio Salieri. Tackling themes of jealousy and success, this play honors the life of a musical genius through song, dance, and performance.