Review: Moshav at Highline Ballroom (12-25-2016)

Sometimes a good show can be ruined by the audience enjoying the show around you. Such is what happened during Jewish rock band Moshav’s  annual Hanukkah show at the Highline Ballroom on December 25, 2016.

The show started out great. Rapper Kosha Dillz opened with his tongue-in-cheek style. I rather enjoy the fact that when it comes to improvising, he is quick on his feet.Through persistence, Kosha got a hesitant crowd involved in his set, engaging them in call-and-response sing-a longs. He took requests, even for a song he wasn’t prepared to perform (he ended up letting someone from the audience perform with him). Finally, he ended with his trademark freestyle, creating a rap off the top of his head using items audience members put on the stage.

Noah Solomon’s set was a bit more off-the-cuff. The Soulfarm frontman’s set was filled with cover songs about light and fire, inspired by the Hanukkah holiday. It was a pretty carefree set, as he basically picked and chose songs from a list he had written down on a piece of paper in his pocket. He even had Moshav’s guitarist accompany him while he played the mandolin for a couple of songs. I was a little surprised at how many country songs he chose, but in retrospect that’s not surprising given the kind of music Soulfarm plays.

For all intents and purposes, Moshav’s set was stellar. The band was on their game: they played off of each other well, they improvised, the guitarists noodled around on their instruments. It was a set filled with as much character as it was with hits. Kosha Dillz and Noah Solomon both reemerged on stage to accompany the band with a few songs, as did a renowned Israeli guitarist. It should have been a great show.

But my personal experience was terrible. When Moshav came on, people started pushing their way to the front, moving in front of others, including my sister, who probably likes Moshav more than I do, trying to see the show. I even overheard someone wonder outloud why my sister was standing up front, right after this person screamed right in her ear. No matter how good the show itself is, it’s hard to enjoy a show when you’re distracted by the rude people around you.

Outside of the rudeness of the crowd, Moshav put on an exceptional show. It was the perfect start to the 2016 Hanukkah holiday.

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