I’m not well-versed in the subject of hosting a concert by any means, but I like to think that I have a fair estimation of what can be expected by performers ready to take people to another place through their music before the show.
Besides what I’ve learned through movies and during my brief stint as a drummer in a punk-pop band back in the ‘90’s, the last personal experience I had with an artist performing on my bill (relatively speaking) was with the overrated, uninspiring Shwayze… until this last weekend that is.
With the (financial) backing of the KAUST Administration, we brought the Jeddah Legends to Thuwal for a show of unprecedented proportions.
As one of the major proponents of the show, I was invited to spend time with the Saudi hip hop pioneers before the performance. Except for the lack of scantily-clad sorority girls, an over-abundance of Corralejo Tequila, and an under-sized rapper; the pre-game was exactly as I imagined it to be in the KSA.
Sipping green tea while nibbling on homemade cupcakes, the entourage and I made small talk in the living room of a staff home, talking about the craziest shows they’ve performed (including a Red Cross show in Florida less than two weeks after 9-11) and the logistics of being a musical performer in Saudi Arabia (which involves getting the blessing of the Ministry of Information, whose kids just happened to be fans of the JL).
The scene following the routine preparations was something that not even I could’ve foreseen in all of my enthusiasm. In a moment, with lights flashing, the bass bumping, and EVERY student moving with the music, months of pent-up energy and frustration was immediately released into the room and all was right at KAUST.
Having become a “KAUST Legend” in a matter of hours, the best feeling of the night was the feedback from the Saudis, especially the women; who kindly challenged me to one-up myself and bring another performer to KAUST, ASAP!
Elissa, did you hear that?