Rock and roll aficionados in Kuwait had a night of great musical treat from one of the best young bands in the US, Filligar. The quartet composed of the Mathias brothers, Teddy (bassist), Pete (drummer), and Johnny who takes the lead at the vocals with their lifelong friend Casey Gibson, a multi-instrumentalist performed on Monday evening at the Bayt Lothan in Salmiya under the auspices of the US Embassy.
The Filligar had sold out shows at the nation’s most acclaimed venues. They have toured the US, United Kingdom and Azerbaijan and it was their first time to perform in Kuwait. The band’s latest record “Hexagon” (2013) has been named “Best New Music” by American Songwriter Magazine; their previous release “The Nerve” was nominated “Best Rock Album” at the 2012 Independent Music Awards.
In 2013, the United States Department of State appointed Filligar cultural ambassadors representing the “American people and their cultural values” and “the best of the US arts community.” They have played with artists such as The Black Keys, My Morning Jacket, Alabama Shakes, B.o.B, and were hand-picked by Counting Crows to join their Outlaw Roadshow tour in 2012 Spotted during the concert in Bayt Lothan were US Ambassador to Kuwait Matthew H.
Tueller and his spouse DeNeece Tueller, some members of the diplomatic corps and local press. The concert opened with fast rising local Egyptian rocker Mahmoud with his powerful rendition of Kings of Leon cover. He set the mood of the audience with his performance of two more soulful rock songs, paving the way for the local boy band Hashtags. Adel Al- Ansari (drummer), Moustafa Hassan (lead guitarist) and Mohammed Jasmie (Rhythm guitarist and Vocalist).
The Hashtags brought the audience to great musical heights with their rendition of three songs during the front act. The crowd greeted the Filligar with thunderous applause as they took centre stage and performed their first song. Their music infused with jammy tunes and solid rhythms had the audience stomping and clapping. Their electrifying performance of “Money on the Dark Horse” left a lingering stamp of a remarkably youthful and fresh alternative rock music. “Their music is fantastic. I enjoyed their performance tonight,” quipped Hassan Rawas, a local theatre artist and singer. The crescendo of musical instruments from the guitar to the keyboard brought the audience to musical euphoria. “It’s always refreshing to watch a foreign band like Filligar perform here in Kuwait.
We hope to see more foreign bands visiting Kuwait. It makes the local music scene vibrant,” stated Ingrid Matherson, a rock and roll fan. Aside from their original compositions, the Filligar also sang songs of Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones. For the finale, Hashim Al-Nasser, a well-known local musician joined Filligar on stage for Bob Dylan ’s “I Shall Be Released.” “What a night!!! I had the extreme pleasure of playing with these guys on their final song of the night at Bayt Lothan. Such an amazing band and wonderful guys too! For those of you came, thank you so much for your support of the show. “A huge thank you goes out to the American Embassy for bringing this wonderful band out and an even bigger thank you to Bayt Lothan for putting on yet another stellar show, I’m honoured to have been part of it!” posted Al-Nasser on his Facebook page. The Filligar had their second performance on Tuesday night at the Kuwait National Museum as part of the 20th annual Al-Qurain Cultural Festival hosted by the National Council for Culture, Arts, and Letters.