Yaakov Shwekey Takes Over Nokia Arena [Photos]
Translated by Mordechai Tiefenbrunn
During the past few years he conquered every single stage possible in Israel and in the world, including the national amphitheater in Caesaria, and just recently came back from a concert tour in the entire world that began right after releasing his album “Cry No More”. This past week though, he wrapped up his tour in the Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv with a huge production that anyone who was there will definitely remember for many years, and without a doubt established new records in all things relevant to the genre of Jewish-Chassidish.
Many people have spoken about the frantic preparations that the concert staff have gone through to get the show, dubbed “Shir La’Chayalim”, ready. This was Shwekey’s way of expressing his appreciation to the soldiers, about whom he said are “people who give their lives daily for the sake of the Jewish People and the Jewish Land”.
Until now, we have only described the plans for the concert, but after it was all over successfully, we are sure that anyone who participated merited to take part in a historical night of pure musical pleasure.
The concert began on a huge stage upon which were the enormous video screens, lighting rigs, and sound systems that were imported specially for the concert. All this and more with the combination of an absolutely enormous symphony orchestra, made up of almost 200 instruments, which were all conducted under the talented staff of Yochi Briskman, for a unique composition that has never been seen before in Israel.
Among the many benefactors of the concert from around the world that partnered together that concerned themselves with getting as many soldiers to participate in the concert was Sharon Daniel Productions. This included the director Ziv Dali, who together with the organization “Ma’Agalim” and the newspaper “Mekor Rishon” helped achieve the concert’s success. When the concert opened, the audience had the pleasure of hearing an instrumental overture of the biggest hit songs from Shwekey.
During the course of the evening, the audience were treated to incredible performances of Shwekey and his greatest hits, along with special duets with the Chief Cantor of the IDF, Lt. Col. Shai Abramson, accompanied by the IDF choir. Later on, Shwekey was joined by the wunderkind Mishel Cohen. Lastly, the band Metalish brought the crowd to its feet with the hit song “Lo Yaavod”, from which pieces of the Youtube clip that was recently released played on the screen in the background.
Without a doubt the highlight of the evening as expected was when the Mediterranean Soul-star Shlomi Shabbat came on stage with his thrilling song “Ein Od Milvado”, which was incredible to hear the crowd join in for, and then continue into the hit song “Vehi Sheamda”, about which Shlomi said he had not slept for two days since rehearsals began to sing it in front of the crowd. The song finished with an incredible improvisational duet accompanied by the enormous choir and orchestra, creating moments of Jewish music history that will never be forgotten as music at its best. The crowd didn’t let the two get off the stage until they had gone through multiple repetitions of the special composition of Yonatan Razel.
In the middle of the concert they played a short, emotional video clip from IDF Reserves Officer Aharon Karov that was filmed specifically for the evening. Karov revealed in his personal frightening story about his difficult injury that he sustained during Operation Cast Lead, only several days after his wedding. Shwekey said that he had already met the couple three years ago during the early stages of the rehabilitation process and had since maintained a relationship with them.
Shwekey was the first performer of the genre of Jewish-Chassidish music to take over and fill up Caesaria. He was also the first performer to meet the non-simple task of performing a huge and colorful show in the Nokia Arena, which sold out quickly, and the production staff had to stop ticket sales already a week before the show. Sources from the staff told us that were it not for something already going on in the basketball stadium already the day after the concert, they would have made a second concert, which also would have had a long list of people who did not manage to get tickets for the first performance.
In the custom of these huge shows, this performance was also recorded, filmed, and photographed with tens of cameras spread throughout the sport stadium, for the purpose of releasing a DVD in the near future. Immediately after the concert the videos and the music files were sent straight to the recording studios to begin mixing and mastering all of the music.
We can only wait to see the video which will be released in the future and to wait for the next concert…
Shwekey on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SHWEKEY
Conductor and Musical Director: Yochi Briskman
Management and Production: Sharon Daniel
Technical Director and Producer: Ziv Dali
Lighting Designer: Ronen Najar
Lighting and Sound: “Killim”
Building and Construction: “Itzuv Bamah”
Multimedia Director: “MediaPro”
Video Art: Dorian Nathan
Photography for Television: Uzi George and Eitan Ashkenazi
Advertising and PR: Yoel Berkowitz