Rocking the Middle East Not so long before a pleasant surprise for the rock audience in Syria came into surface. Namely the rock trio of Greece’s Phase, performed their proximately 2 hrs. set on the stage of Zodiac Pub in old Damascus. The event attracted attention instantly within the circles of rock culture, as it gathered its importance on its own , since Syria is not blessed with hosting international acts really often, let alone an independent rock one. As a matter of fact it’s the first visit of an international rock group after the Gorillaz on July 2010. In the subject-matter, Phase helped us travel into a psychedelic, almost religious, rock experience, combining their powerful electrical sounds and trippy atmospheres into the mystic location of old Damascus that added so much to the vibes of the night. The band performed numbers from their album “In Consequence” as well as covers of monumental rock bands like The Doors, that the audience seemed to be far into. The night came about with floating intensity as there were transitions from electric to acoustic and to electric again and the band managed to maintain the enthusiasm in high levels throughout the entire event. Of course nothing is perfect and some informality couldn’t be absent, like the misfeasance of the time line leaving the venue without finishing the whole intended set, which of course seemed rather than a petty offence contrasting with the whole pomp of the ceremony. It was an overall stunning evening with great loads of musical excitement that at the very least touched if not moved even the most sceptic listener, and a beautiful marriage of the middle eastern and western cultures. A surprisingly interesting night in conclusion, which ended with the commitment that it would be repeated somewhere in a not so distant future.
(Taken form Syria Forward Magazine #56 January 2011)