The jazz guitarist Al Di Meola
, whose music has crossed over into other genres, gave an evening concert in downtown Yerevan in Republic Square. I did not get there until after 10:30 pm for work related reasons unfortunately. But when I did finally arrive I could not stay any longer than 15 minutes, as the performance lacked the energy I was expecting. There was nothing at all in the music that compelled me to stick around, although his playing sounded great. I think part of the reason was due to the sound--it seems the technicians at the soundboard were asleep. The rhythm guitarist that accompanied him was completely drowned out as well as someone who seemed to have been playing the washboard from what I could tell while watching the jumbotron monitors. Only Mr. Di Meola and the accordionist playing along with him were noticeably clear. Even Arto Tuncboyaciyan's unique drumming style was completely inaudible, except for an occasional crash of the cymbal (the audience was thankfully spared from his ridiculous yodeling or whatever it is that he does). It was great to observe that several thousand people showed up to see an excellent, world-renown guitarist, even though the overwhelming majority of them didn't know who he was before they arrived. But at least they do now.