On Thursday, December 20th, In Santa Q – Live Rock Show took place at The Quadrangle Hazmieh. This concert marked the end of a one-year hiatus by local Rock/Blues/Metal band In Sanity Q. Let’s see how it went.
First off, let’s take a look at the venue. The Quadrangle is a lovely space for Blues and Rock enthusiasts to gather, grab a drink, eat some pizza, and check out some local talents. It is also a safe space for In Sanity Q, who have performed there many times before and knew they could climb back on the saddle in the comfort of a cozy get-together with some friends.
I would not recommend The Quadrangle for anything other than a semi-intimate gathering. The way the tables and stage are aligned make it difficult for everyone to be focused on the band and easier for people to sit and chat and occasionally throw glances at the stage.
However, in this specific case, the place was completely and utterly packed and everyone seemed quite happy, save for those who were trying to stand or walk in the very tight spaces left by the gathered masses.
Now, onto the show.
The band had advertised that the festivities would begin at 9:30 PM. However, it took some time for the entirety of the crowd to arrive and for the venue’s order to give the okay to start, so In Sanity Q took the stage at 10:15.
Their all-original setlist for the night:
The Way I Am
God Damn Rock n’ Roll
Burial of a Happy Man
Sound of the Guitar
Clown of the Town
Cigarettes Are Burning
Revenge of the Pope
Last Man Standing Upside Down
Doctor of the Family
Impulse and Gains
People Are Going
She Wants My Sex
As you can see, the set was quite long. But In Sanity Q was the only band present and the audience consisted almost exclusively of people who had missed them and wanted to see them. The last track, Blow, was requested by the crowd as an encore.
Almost all of these song names should sound familiar to fans of the band, as the latter tend to play long sets that include most of these tracks. However, this show introduced two never-before-played-live newcomers: Sound of the Guitar and Bank Heist.
(Side-note: for those who have read my previous article about In Sanity Q, “Sound of the Guitar” is the new song of which the lyrics, according to the band’s vocalist, best describe what the band’s all about. For those who haven’t read it yet, I’ll link it right here.)
As usual, the boys were dressed for the occasion. When they went on stage, they all had their beards spray-painted white, save for their drummer Ramsey Khattar who already rocks a naturally white moustache.
They were also wearing Santa hats, which they eventually took off, most likely due to the possibility of heatstroke induced by playing twenty Rock songs live in an overpacked venue while wearing Santa hats.
Additionally, vocalist Chris Khatschadourian was sporting a “traditional” Santa jacket while lead guitarist Dany Al Achy went for a slightly more understated but almost equally as jolly bright red sleeveless vest.
There were also props involved for some of the songs. “Taxi” was introduced by a honking horn, “Clown of the Town” was preceded by Khatschadourian blowing then releasing balloons, and “Doctor of the Family” saw him donning a white doctor’s vest and black latex gloves.
One of the band’s most iconic songs, “She Wants My Sex”, was preceded by an additional gimmick: Khatschadourian introduced the song as requiring a talk on consent due to its sex-heavy nature. Consequently, he brought Anthony, one of his friends who allegedly possesses sexology-related knowledge, to climb on stage and do just that.
While this could have been interesting (although it could easily be seen as being in poor taste if not done properly), it kind of got lost in the chatter as we were nearing the end of the night and virtually no one was listening to him.
That aside, the show went just as In Sanity Q fans would expect and want their shows to go. Their wonderfully catchy originals were played perfectly, their stage presence was on point, and their interaction with the crowd was just what it should be.
However, the show didn’t offer much novelty. The tricks and gimmicks used during the songs would be easily recognizable by any relatively seasoned In Sanity Q fan.
But this was their comeback. They’ve been gone for a year, they went back on stage, and it was great. Having seen what they were capable of before, I’m anxious to see what they’ll do next.
(No pressure, guys. We love you either way.)
And they’ve already gotten busy since the concert.
One of their staple tracks, “Fuck Peace”, has been leaked on Metal Bell’s website.
Also, they now have a website of their own, where they’ve just posted a delightful read on the importance of jam sessions for bands. Make sure to check it out!
In Sanity Q, we positively cannot wait to hear more from you. Thanks to you, to the Quadrangle, and to everyone who participated in this rocking comeback. We hope to see you again very soon!