The magic of the evening was further enhanced as Reza, an extremely talented writer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist who easily could have let his ego get in the way of his music or his backing band, but instead he chose to let the music take centre stage. He is an amazingly accomplished and gifted artist, playing the tar, setar, kemancheh and ney in addition to an electric guitar, which Reza himself customized in order to be able to play it on Persian pieces.
One song that brought enthusiastic participation from the audience and shouts of joy as they clapped along, was The Moonlight, a folk song which Reza has reworked. Another piece that had the same stirring effect on the crowd as they again sang and clapped along was Boland Bala. Reza played this song in Tehran 3 years ago and had to rework the lyrics as the authorities there refused to let him play it, feeling it was inappropriate! This song, Reza chose for the one-song encore for which the crowd managed to pull them back on stage.
Just taking in the diverse crowd who came out to hear Reza perform, it was evident that his sensuously-sultry music has crossed cultural and language barriers as well as borders, awakening the hearts of fans while perking up and exciting their ears.
As for the up-and-coming Beatmap who so effortlessly accompanied Reza on this sensual musical voyage, we are certainly keeping our ears open for surprises in the works from this very talented, warm and hypnotic group.
Sadly for the concert-goers that evening, as they say: all good things must come to an end. And that evening's performance came to a close much too quickly for a crowd not yet ready to leave although the journey was wonderfully magical carrying the audience to far away places evocative of hookah pipes, sultans' tents and the desert. Add all of those images to the passionate, percussion-drenched melodies provided by Reza and Beatmap, and one could not help but get stirred!