As millions chanted for the fall of President Mohamed Morsi’s regime, Cairokee entertained hundreds of thousands with songs of revolution, hope and courage in a performance held on Monday evening at the protest outside the presidential palace.
The popular band was invited by volunteer organisers to boost the festive atmosphere of the sit-in calling for the ouster of Morsi, and played five songs. With lyrics like: “we are the people… and our path is right,” “stand your ground and sunshine will return,” “you say ‘justice,’ and they call you a betrayer.” Their performance seemed to capture the emotions of a nation feeling abandoned by its politicians.
Amir Eid, lead singer of Cairokee, said that he decided to perform at the protest because music gives him a way of expressing his views. “The situation is getting worse and the people can no longer accept it,” he said. “Everyone wants to express himself, this is how they and we chose to do it, and I think that is the beginning of democracy.”
The set list of Cairokee had an undeniable political undertone; in one song the band made a direct attack on the Muslim Brotherhood, saying: “And suddenly they are against us, when they were standing by us and sleeping next to us … Turns out we are ‘betrayers’, why don’t you come see with your own eyes those in the street, I swear we are Egyptians.”
During its performance, the band called the audience “the best in the world,” and the crowd brought to life the concept behind the name ‘Cairokee,’ singing along with the band. The audience served as backup singers, shaking the ground with their noise while managing to stay completely in tune.
Cairokee’s music was a perfect fit with the atmosphere of a city in revolt. Many in the audience, despite the overcrowding, managed to make space to dance along to the music, whereas those left with barely room to breathe simply jumped up and down out of enthusiasm.
“The performance was great and very relevant to what we are going through,” said Mohamed Farahat, a protester. “This amount of positive energy and amazing vibe makes me wish we would have a revolution every day.”