Mashrou’ Leila @ Hopkins Center for the Arts
September 28 @ 7:30 pm - 11:00 pm
Saturday, September 28th @ 7:30 pm
Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College | Hanover, NH
With guitar, bass, drums, violin and the smoldering vocals of lead singer Hamed Sinno — who is openly gay in a region where that can provoke persecution and worse — the group mixes rock and Arabic music. Founded 10 years ago by students at American University of Beirut, Mashrou’ Leila challenges the status quo in the Middle East and busts Arab stereotypes in the rest of the world.
Mashrou’ Leila (whose name roughly translates to Overnight Project) fills their live performances with some of the most bittersweet ballads and raucous anthems you’re likely to hear. The band’s music works on two fronts: tackling subjects that are considered taboo in the Arab world and breaking the Arab image out of its orientalist mold. Their lyrics, in Arabic, are outspoken: “My life spent with rights mortgaged off to your sentiments / My history erased from our books like they were yours to claim,” Sinno sings in their song Tayf (Ghost), a solemn but defiant tribute to a Beirut gay bar that was shut down by Lebanese authorities in 2013.