“2 birds, 1 stone”: Bambir + Lav Eli, in the “Russia” cinema

Amali Khachatryan

On the evening of Friday the 13th, it seemed that three “birds” were waiting for rock fans instead of two. on the same stage, the bands Bambir and Lav Eli. But venue was not a club or an outdoor stage, but it was the hall of the former cinema “Russia” (Airarat). “An area that we all knew about, but no one had been to,” Narek Barseghyan, vocalist and guitarist of The Bambir band said to the audience. During the entire concert the vocalists of Lav Eli and Bambir repeat the same sentence several times, they are extremely happy that the concert in Yerevan is taking place in the hall of the “Russia” cinema. They are the first Armenian rock bands to play here. After the collapse of the USSR, the cinema hall had never been so crowded. In just nine days! One day before the concert the tickets were already sold out. 1,200 entrance tickets were sold: in the once luxurious cinema hall, now there are concrete stairs instead of seats.

The fans of Bambir and Lav Eli have “merged”: during the performances of both bands, the same people sing and dance equally.

The two bands go on stage, the sounds of Bambir’s song “Arev e elel” are played, then there is a sharp transition to “Jahel Azatutyan Yerge” by Lav Eli.

The audience sits and enjoys a few songs, but that’s enough. Lav Eli performed the song “Girls have no brains”, 90% of the audience stood up, started jumping, dancing and singing along with Mher Manukyan. Bambir continues in the same atmosphere with the song “The Death of Kikos” (the name is Kikos! The hat is popoz…).

The fans of Bambir and Lav Eli have “merged”. during the performances of both bands the same people sing and dance equally.

This collaboration was planned a year ago. Lav Eli’s guitarist and vocalist Mher Manukyan talks to us about the details before the concert.

“One day we realized that we haven’t performed with Bambir for a long time. We have known each other for a long time, when we were on the same stage together for the first time in the 90s, the members of Bambir were still children. Some of our band members were discussing this topic in the car when we decided to call Narek immediately. We told them about the idea of performing together and immediately got the answer: it’s a very good idea.”

At first, they aimed to organize the concert at the Sports and Concert Complex named after Karen Demirchyan. The motivation was as follows: in recent years, no local rock band has filled the complex yet. Rehearsals had already started when they accidentally learned about this “crazy structure”, visited and liked the hall from the first seconds and stopped.

“Rock bands in Armenia have a problem of a place to perform, there are no rock venues in Armenia, and the small hall of the “Rossia” cinema is the place that can be turned into a rock venue. It is a very interesting combination: both there is a past and there is no past, but it is an impression that something new must begin,” says Mher.

The name “2 birds, 1 stone” was again chosen randomly like the area. When they started doing several rehearsals together, they published videos on Facebook and informed about the concert. The most frequently repeated comment was this very phrase: “2 birds, 1 stone”. Mher admits that maybe there is a bit of complacency in the name, but all the same, they liked it so much, they couldn’t help but choose it.

It is very easy to work together, Narek tells us, and now they seem to have fallen in love and want to continue cooperating in the future. After the concert in Yerevan, they will also perform together in Vanadzor on September 20, in Gyumri on September 21, and in the future they may take this project outside the borders of Armenia.

They hope that they will return to this hall again, according to Narek, this is a masterpiece of Soviet architecture, he is sure that many more bands will perform here and it will be actively used. During the concer Narek compares the structure of the former cinema with their song “Castle” and the band starts performing it. At this event, the old and new songs of the bands are played, Lav Eli presents songs from the new album “Andzrevashun”, Bambir performs his new song “Tsov”… Different compositions are constantly involved in each other’s songs, they add new instruments to each other’s songs and perform several songs together.

After two hours the concert is coming to an end, it’s a full rock concert, everyone is standing, dancing and moving their heads to the rhythm. (Your eyes have made me crazy…). finally, the long-awaited song “Your Eyes” by Lav Eli starts, the excitement in the hall has already heated up: everyone knows the words, they sing along with Mher. Bambir continues and ends the concert: “Let’s sing just like that” (let’s sing, let’s sing, let’s sing, today just like that…).

Amali Khachatryan Photos by Emin Aristakesyan Source: Mediamax.am