Line up 2018: Mashrou’Leila
by Miriam Rossius
When these five guys formed in Beirut in 2008 they had probably no idea they would very soon stir a musical rebellion. Now with worldwide success they are still very much down-to earth. Their songs though were political right from the start: Stories about corrupt politicians, religious terror, violence against women, sexual attraction, but also loneliness or the death of one’s father. They can be subtle and poetic or baldly critical; soulful ballads or with a stadium rock attitude; between pop, indie, Arab roots and a classic appeal. Lead singer Hamed Sinno is openly gay, but the Lebanese band doesn’t live on calculated provocation. They simply express and share what is important to them. Through their commitment they won cult-status with their fans and became a nightmare for guardians of public morals. Jordan authorities banned their performance, in Egypt there were detentions among the audience. But the echo caused by Mashrou’Leila’s music and message gets even louder. Welcome to Rudolstadt!