Back in 2011 when Prog Rock/Metal was having its best year since the golden 70’s era, we at LebMetal were preachin’ (check 2011, the undisputed year of Prog! and LebMetal’s ‘Prog 101′ Free Compilation CDs at the Made Of Metal III event), and numerous years later, we are seeing Prog Nights at Metro Al Madina, major Prog releases (Amadeus Awad) and more Prog events like the Porcupine Tree/Tool/Dream Theater Tribute event which happened this past Saturday the 27th at Animal City in Zikrit.

Crowd – Photo by Nancy Jdid

While we were not able to cover the Prog night at Metro Al Madina, I took it on myself to review this one, mostly to check out this new event venue. Indeed it is a public Zoo with local Reggae band Beiroots taking charge as event organizers. I admit I had to call a friend to get some directions; it’s a 10-minute car drive from the historical Naher el Kaleb tunnel on the highway. There’s a large paid parking out-front for both the Zoo and the Arabic restaurant near it. The zoo itself is relatively spacious, the stage area fits 250+ people, and the restaurant’s festive Arabic music does not reach the stage area (yey!).

Moving on to the show itself, who was playing what?

April played Porcupine Tree, Tool and Opeth – our recent interview with April.

Dirty Enzyme played mostly originals – Dirty Enzyme on Facebook.

Turbulence were scheduled to play Dream Theater (more on that later in the article) – Turbulence on Facebook.

  • Random Thoughts

– Loved the Shawarma stand | 3+ hour events need to have food.

Rebels motorcycle club made their presence clear with their loud Harleys (very cool, until they stormed off in the middle of April’s show, we couldn’t hear anything but roaring engines – still, very cool).

Rebels – Photo by Nancy Jdid

– Turbulence were selling Porcupine Tree / Opeth / Dream Theater t-shirts to raise funds for their debut album recording (apparently a lengthy album with 5 tracks).

– Talking with currently-off-duty Freak Show main guy Wissam Abboud about their status, seems like they’re preparing a re-launch with a focus on event organizing!

– Age limit anyone?

  • Band-specific Thoughts

  • Dirty Enzyme

I am not an expert on Post Grunge, but one thing’s for sure: these guys are still finding their sound. I heard a mix of Grunge / Alternative / Blues Rock which wasn’t an ear-friendly mix. They were the only non-Prog band playing that night, which makes me wonder why they chose to be the outcast in the bunch. Still, they finished off their set with a groovy Post-Metal-ish noisy segment that I found interesting and worth exploring for them to find a cool sound. These guys are one of the active young bands around, so kudos for that.

Dirty Enzyme – Photo by Nancy Jdid

Dirty Enzyme – Photo by Nancy Jdid

  • April

We all know that April can play Porcupine Tree with a refreshing approach given the female vocals, they pull them off with no sweat and enjoy performing them. Same goes for their soft Opeth playlist that goes well with April’s “Symphonic Prog” sound. Tool however, is a bit too much for April, although the band technically pulled off time signatures and riffs with their eyes closed. However, matching Maynard James Keenan’s vocal style is tough, and their Tool covers seemed rushed and at times slightly loose (tempo wise). April definitely got everyone in the Prog mood and pumped the energy levels up a notch!

April – Photo by Nancy Jdid

April – Photo by Nancy Jdid

  • Turbulence

The crowd felt a bit restless at this stage, it was past midnight and Turbulence were still not on stage. Suddenly, they kickoff their set with an instrumental atmospheric intro, slowly building up their setlist to what they do best: technical wizardry. AND… that was it! Technical difficulties in form of NO ELECTRICTY prevented the band from performing, it was a sad day for humanity, nevertheless a usual occurrence in a dysfunctional country. Sorry Turbulence, you could have rocked. Here’s both the organizer‘s and the band‘s statement on what happened.

Turbulence – Photo by Nancy Jdid

Turbulence – Photo by Nancy Jdid


ِAnimal City is a cool place, some technical difficulties should be solved for future events, the sound could be better but hey, you can’t be picky when there’s so little outdoor venues available for Rock/Metal music lately. We salute the bands who performed well on stage and had to deal with sound problems throughout the night, keep up the good work gents!

Special thanks to Metal Bell Magazine for providing the pictures!