Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Salim Nourallah and the Noise April 22nd at Jovitas


The World Is Full of People (Who Want to Hurt You)
All Waste The Days
A Way To Your Heart
Life In A Split Second
I'll Be Around
No Guarantee
Never Say Never

My husband and I were lucky enough to get to see Salim Nourallah and his band, the Noise on Saturday, April 22nd at Jovitas. We had seen Salim perform an acoustic solo show at the Red Eye Fly back in October which was most enjoyable, so we looked forward to hearing the whole group. There were 5 bands on the list that night and I managed to catch the first 3. The atmosphere was friendly and laid back in this cantina that featured a stage in the middle of the main dining area offering a good view and intimate setting for all of the restaurant goers. When I arrived Travis Hopper was finishing up his set of catchy folk-tinged indie rock. I found his reedy voice pleasant and made a mental note to purchase a CD to study later.

I found my lovely gal pal Lisa, a good friend of Salim's (and president of the Salim Nourallah fan club if I'm not mistaken), and her husband Lee, exchanged hugs and then hunkered down at the table next to her with other friends and fans. It was then that I realized that Salim was sitting at the same table. "Hey, thanks for coming!" He said genuinely extending his paw for a shake.

It's moment like these where I am so appreciative of the indie scene. The past few concerts for me were arena sized, full of insatiable fans and uncomfortable lines. Being within a 10 foot radius of the moment's rock star usually involved an enormous bald body guard bridging the gap or a bounty of passes, stickers, stamps and wrist bands affixed to one's appendages. And here I was, unabashedly wolfing down two entrees (I hadn't had lunch that day) in front of this moment's rock star while listening to him, his long time buddy, Mark and my husband chat easily with one another. (By the way, from that conversation I learned that Salim does have one rockstar-ish quirk. He refuses to perform when the sun is still out.)

"I've known him for years...we met under serendipitous circumstances. Salim is just a great guy and his music is simply the best." his friend Mark said to me at one point. How's the food? I asked. "Eh. So so."

I'd hear similar stories (on Salim...and the food) multiple times as I conversed with various people at the restaurant in between good old-fashioned unadulterated rock tunes churning out of Jayson Bayles and the Revival.

When the group finally took the stage and started playing "The World is Full of People" I was overjoyed as that is one of my favorite songs of all time. I had heard Salim perform this during a solo act and it was quite good, however, with his band, it was phenomenal. The members on stage, Chris Holt(guitar), Danny Balis (bass), Rich Martin (keyboards) and
Chris Carmichael (a friend filling in on drums...their regular drummer is Daniel Hopkins) played with the type of ease that is only existent when one truly enjoys what they are doing. Everyone was incredibly competent offering their own types of stylistic shading on top of the Beetles influenced pop-rock without being overbearing or trying to outdo one another. Fans were singing along, children were dancing and by mid-set, I found myself not critiquing any of the songs but rather, just sitting back and truly enjoying the show.

Salim Nourallah is like Claude Debussy. His music is inherently romantic and easily accessible, but not shallow. I also don't mean romantic as in mushy gooey lovey dovey, but rather sentimental and meaningful. Take for instance this section of lyrics from the song "Never Say Never" which closed the set:

do you remember when the angels spoke to you
and they said "don't be frightened…"
your mother kissed your cheek
and said a prayer for you in the night
you made it through
it turned out alright
we were with you

so i say…
never say never
'cause you never know
just when you're thinking
that it's time to go

something pulls you back to this life
step in to the light

you made it through
you made it through

Even though the lyrics were spurned from a difficult time in Salim life (he and his wife's first child had undergone surgery for a life threatening condition) the words themselves are relevant to anyone.

I found myself humming the tune to "The World is Full of People" as my husband and I drove back home. It really was a good show I then said to him. To which he replied "It was...and Salim really is the nicest guy."


Salim Nourallah's Official Site
Salim's Myspace
Fan Club for all things Nourallah