Leb i Sol
Novi Sad, Serbia
November 18, 2006
There was power to spare when the band momentarily reformed for a brief tour that began in Novi Sad on the 18th of November, and the atmosphere in the full house was charged with excitement. The concert took place at Novi Sad's Spens Shopping Mall, a sports hall that is probably the only indoor place in the city with a capacity for occasions such as this one. This would be one of the last locations they played at before they quietly retired in 1995.
With the first notes of "Aber Dojde Donke the band exploded onto the stage with a youthful vigor and for an amazing 3 hours kept the energy up. They played with the hunger of a band "who are about to be the next big thing and not some 50-year-old veterans. They played for observing enthusiasts, annoying crowd surfers, dancing couples, guitar players, bassists, drummers and keyboardists, old and young.
The list of songs Leb i Sol blazed through was long and covered their expansive career. The mood ranged from up-tempo burners like "Aber Dojde Donke, "Kokoshka, "Devetka, "Kako ti Drago, "Dikijeva Igra, "Jovano Jovanke, "Kao Kakao, funk like "Kalabalak and "Skopje, masterpieces such as "Bistra Voda and "Kumova Slama to ballads such as "Nisam Tvoj, "Talasna Duzina, "Ziva Rana, "Cuvam noc od budnih.
No one displays the high level of mastery of musicianship intertwined with such a wide range of musical styles, all executed with creative improvisation, precision and ever- present grace as these guys do. No live DVD nor live CD is capable of truly presenting the magic when they play live along with the excitement (and noise) they generate.
The regular part of the concert ended with "Uci Me Majko Karaj me, a traditional cover with delicate rhythms, soulful guitar and keyboard riffs on which, as in the past, the musicians one by one left the stage. I think Kokan left the stage dancing. But the crowd wanted more, so they did the new track "Raspukala Sar Planina for the first encore, next "Skopje, "Country," and finally "Si Zaljubiv edno mome.
Everything Leb i Sol offered in passionately and exquisitely executed compositions, the audience returned in praise. They exhibited a great amount of charisma, with laughs and smiles abounding on each of their faces as they let the crowd in Novi Sad feel the full, head-on assault of their music.
Overall, these guys put on an impressive live show. Like everything these master musicians offered us, it was perfectly formed and lovely to behold.
Related reviews at AAJ
DVD review: Leb i Sol:Live in Macedonia