Forum de Beyrouth witnessed an interesting event organized by Red Bull on the 23rd of November: SoundClash. Mashrou’ Leila vs Who Killed Bruce Lee.
There were several activities outside that kept the crowd busy while waiting for the event to start.
Around 3000 people showed up. It was massive and I could hardly move to get closer to one stage or the other without bumping into anyone. It also featured DJ Jade and comedian Nemr Abou Nassar.
Originally, according to Wikipedia, a “sound clash” is a musical competition where crew members from opposing sound systems pit their skills against each other. Sound clashes take place in a variety of venues, both indoors and outdoors. Primarily featuring reggae dancehall, or Jungle music. The object is to beat or “kill” their competitors.
In Jamaica, sound clashes date back at least to the 1950s. Sometimes these clashes were violent, with one system destroying the other system’s equipment.
Red Bull picked up this tradition and made it’s own version of the show bringing together two bands with different styles to compete on opposing stages for different rounds.
Custom applause-o-matic cheer meters are supposed to measure which band the crowd cheers louder for: This how the winner of each round is chosen.
The competition starts with a Warm Up where each band get to perform three of their original tracks.
Round 1: The Cover
The DJ drops a well-known hit to the ears of the crowd and the bands that they must play in their own version.
Round 2: The Takeover
The first band will play one of their hit songs and half way through the track the second band must pick it up and finish it off.
Round 3: The Clash
The bands play their songs in three different styles the DJ drops.
Round 4: The Wild Card
Each band gets to add a new element to one of their songs. It could be anything or anyone.
In the end, well, one winner was supposed to be announced…
…but it was a TIE! And so, for the Grand Finale, both bands played TOGETHER!
I think it was a well organized event all in all.
The only “but”s of the event :
- There was some cheesy “love exchange” between the singers
- At a certain point, I think Who Killed Bruce Lee faced some technical issues with the sound
- Masrou’ Leila’s singer went a bit overboard with his “fucking” vocabulary
- but, but, but… a TIE? :/