Last night Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills presented a concert Starring Avraham Fried, Baruch Levine, Eitan Katz and the NY concert debut of 8th Day, featuring Master of Ceremonies Nachum Segal, music by the Neginah Orchestra conducted by Steve Bill. Concert chairman Yosef Poplack , Concert Coordinater Sharon Ganz, A Dove Productions (Avram Zamist). The concert opened with the NY Debut of 8th Day. Bentzi & Shmuel Marcus were amazing. They started off with Babenu and were filled with energy. Being the opening is hard because you have to get the crowd into the music right away, but 8th Day had no issue with that. They moved on to perform “Wake Up” to which the fans were already singing along. Bentzi then stops and says the next song is something new and the song is called ” That Day”. It had the same feel as every 8th Day mega hit and it wasn’t long before everyone was following along. They finished their set with the world renown “Tracht Gut” off thier first album and the applause was thunderous.
Benny Friedman & 8th Day backstage before the show [l to r: Benny Friedman Shmuel Marcus, Bentzi Marcus]
8th Day performing
8th Day performing
Nachum Segal got back on the mike thanking everyone for coming out in the bad weather and introduces singer, composer and arranger Baruch Levine. Baruch starts off with the title track to his most recent album “Chasan Hatorah”. Baruch has this warmth that connects him to the crowd and it’s amazing. He then moves into Vehu Keli playing on the piano. Vehu is a very moving melody and when he plays the last keys everyone is clapping and whistling. Baruch then mentions that his arranger the talented Yanky Briskman arranged a special fast medley collection for the show. The collection starts with Higid Lecha, a nice fast moving hit and moves into Boeis, and finally finishes with Sholoim. Baruch starts saying how he is often asked whose music he listens to. He then invites someone on stage that he listens to – Eitan Katz! Baruch and Eitan sing together “Mi Yaaleh” and it was something. Their voices surround each other and the harmonies just gave you goosebumps. For his last 2 songs Baruch sings Kol Haberuim, and is accompanied by child soloist Ami Eller to sing Vizakeini. This kid had some pipes and well, the song is world famous and women everywhere are inspired by the composition. When the song ended the crowd was demanding an encore, but unfortunately it was intermission time.
Baruch Levine & Eitan Katz
Baruch & Ami Eller (child Soloist)
Everyone is back in their seats for the second half and Nachum Segal announces that the next performer brought his very own band, give a hand to Eitan Katz. Eitan and his “band” start off with one of his mega hits “Yisborach Shimcha”. Eitan puts us all in a good place to relax and enjoy. He then says that we had a terrible tragedy a few weeks ago in Mumbai and he wants to dedicate the next song to those kedoishim and we should all have good news in the future. He plays his Lemaancha, a very haunting tune which hits us all in our hearts. For his last song of the evening Eitan introduces a New niggun that will be Iy”h on his upcoming album in a few months. He makes sure the crowd can sing the chorus and by the second round everyone is singing and people are dancing in the aisles.
Eitan Katz warming up backstage
Eitan Katz & His Band
Eitan Katz performing
Now it’s time for the final and main act. Nachum announces that Avremel is here. Avremel comes out singing his signature Sholom Aleichem and well everyone is into it. He looks over at Steve “Simcha” Bill and tells him that he is ready for some swing. The swing set was amazing and consisted of Swing – Uvnei Yisroel, Ani Maamin and finally Odom Doaig. What a set! Everyone was bouncing in their seats and just feeling happy and smiling. Avremel starts talking about the tradegy in Mumbai and says how rm’l this is our Holocaust not 6,000,000 but 6 kedoishim. He proceeds to sing a chilling Alei Katan Sheli which pretty much had everyone in tears by the time he was finished. Now Avremel announces that he will sing a NEW song that he has performed only once before on this very stage. “Playing with Fire”is the title and he invites his nephews, 8th Day, to join him since Benny MArcus helped him compose the song. The song will Iy”h be on an all new English album he is working on. The song was on fire, people were loving it and singing along. 8th Day really enhanced the performance and well it was amazing. Next was more like a “leibidik” medley which consisted of Yerushalayim, Baruch Haba, Lebinyomin and Chazak. Wow! Steve who obviously put this all together is a genius. The songs flowed so well and the energy was crazy. Avremel next called out Baruch Levine & Eitan Katz to sing Moriah with him. Who would ever put those 3 together for that song? The producers have some crazy ideas but they were all amazing! Avremel finished off with Never Alone, Matzliach Moshiach, and Al Hanisim as the finale. I have to say with the economy the way it is and so many concerts each year this was one of the better ones that I will continue to go to year after year. Thanks again to Yossi Poplack and Avram Zamist.
Avraham Fried & Steve “simcha” Bill backstage going over the music
Nachum Segal & Avraham Fried
Nachum Segal & Avram Zamist (show producer)
Avraham Fried & 8th Day singing NEW song “Playing with Fire
8th Day performing their NEW song “the Day”
Eitan Katz singing his NEW niggun