It is true that Heat #6 had the lowest attendance so far in GBOB 2011, but the night turned out to be enjoyable, even if bands ‘Blue Yeast’ and ‘Rebellious Phoenix’ withdrew their GBOB entry, limiting the participating bands to only 3: ‘The Passive Standouts’, ‘Agitators’ and ‘Doors To Aspiration’.

In fact, there was no intense competition vibe at all, as the jury members set their eyes early on contenders ‘The Passive Standouts’, a trio Punk / Indie Rock band with an interesting blend of energy and attitude. The band’s two tracks in the first round were in my opinion enough to swing the odds in their favor, as it lived up to its name and stood out amongst the other bands. I believe that ‘The Passive Standouts’ are going to be that unique wild card in the finals.


While ‘TPS’ showed great stage performance that went hand in hand with their energetic music, Rock band Agitators were slightly shy with their music delivery and stage presence. Musically speaking, their style was more akin to Survivor‘s Rock era and less related to Modern Rock in general. Indeed, the jury didn’t vote Agitators to round 2, mainly due to the lack of on-stage expressiveness and experience, and it’s fair to say that the band needs to hit the local pubs for a while to acquire some experience. I’m sure they’ll become less nervous on stage and show some signs of enjoying their own show.


Last but not least, ‘Doors to Aspiration’ went on stage and played two enjoyable Soft Rock songs that earned them a spot in round 2, largely due to their ability to spread a good vibe, aided by the night’s best vocalist, Mike Arab. Their lyrical topics of hope and patriotism surely created a lovely atmospheric ambiance, but as we learned so far in the competition, bands must present a more interesting package and try not to sound too generic, in case they’re hoping to win.

After the crowd’s votes (less than 20 votes in this heat) were added to the jury’s ratings, round 2 was underway with both ‘The Passive Standouts’ and ‘Door to Aspiration’, and a clear difference in musical approach. TPS were even better in round 2 as they convinced both the jury members and the audience that they deserve a shot in the finals, due to their fresh and exciting music. Their rhythm section, which was awarded both best drummer / best bassist awards by the judges, was really tight throughout both rounds, and played a major role in keeping the energy level flowing as a trio (a somehow rare treat we get nowadays, but so far two heat winners are in fact trios – ‘Episode’ and ‘The Passive Standouts’). On the other hand, DTA also resumed their good show from round 1 and ended the event on positive note, however not convincing the judges that they are what GBOB is looking for.


In the end, the final scores were ready and ‘The Passive Standouts’ was announced as winner of GBOB 2011’s Heat #6. This heat might not have been such a good followup to the previous ones which had better competition amongst the participating bands, however, it brought one strong contender to the finals, one that other bands should look out for; in case you weren’t there, you missed it!


With the final heat #7 scheduled at Nova Pub this Tuesday August 2nd, GBOB 2011 is entering its final stages, which will be concluded with a big concert at Zouk Mikael’s Amphitheater, a place which will host this Summer’s most important local events: GBOB 2011’s Finals and the Beirut Rock Festival 2011.

  • Local band merchandise is being sold at the stand at this year’s National GBOB. Currently available merchandise include:

    – Kaoteon – Veni Vidi Vomui (2011) ($15)

    – Kimaera – Solitary Impact (2010) (CD for $15, T-shirt for $25)

    – Kimaera – Ebony Veiled (2006) (CD for $12, T-shirt for $20)

    – The Hourglass – To The Land Of The Free (2004) (CD for 10000 L.L)

    – The Hourglass – Resurrection Of The Horrid Dream (2007) (CD for 10000 L.L)

    – The Hourglass – Ancient Hope (2010) (EP for 10000 L.L) (or all 3 The Hourglass CDS for 20000 L.L)

    Save 30% and get all 3 ‘The Hourglass’ CDs for 20000 L.L

    – December Dies Alone – When Memories Fought To Dissolve (2010) (EP for $4)

    – Moe Kabbara – Understated Imperfections: Three Songs & You (2011) (EP for 10000 L.L)

    Local bands wishing to sell their merchandise can contact the administrator on