Two of the songs which got the most applause happened to be in English. One was “Jesse.”
Lider, who has three gold albums, one platinum album and was named “Best Male Singer of The Year,” by Israeli music television and the major radio stations on several occasions, said the song is one of the reasons he is becoming more popular in America.
“I think it has something to do with Jesse,” Lider told The Blueprint before the concert. Anyone can like it. You don’t have to speak Hebrew.”
The song was released through Sony Music picked on a compilation album called “Music With A Twist.”
“Jesse,” is a song about the unrequited love between one man and another. Lider is an openly gay artist who sings about breaking boundaries and looking at life in a new light. The other English song that turned heads came toward the end of the concert. Lider gave a new look to Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl,” by slowing it down and having just the vocal with the accompaniment of an acoustic guitar. Surely his performance of the song has a bit of irony and the crowd’s appreciation was evident.
Lider ended the show wit “Bo,” his cover of Rita’s song. It was featured in the in 2002 film “Yossi and Jagger” and is on Lider’s album “Ha’anashim Ha’chadashim.”
In 1997, Lider came onto the scene with “Melattef Umeshakker,” and signed with Helicon Records. Five years later, he would disclose his sexual orientation to Maariv. He is a producer and composer, who wrote the score for 2004’s “Walk on Water.”
The concert was sponsored by Dor Chadash, an organization that brings Israeli and American Jews together in support of Israel.
“He’s not just a phenomenon in Israel,” said Erik Levis, Executive Director of Dor Chadash. “He’s known all over the world and now in New York, music industry people know about Ivri Lider.”
Lider seemed to be enjoying the ride and while he showed the performance ability of a star, he did not show the arrogance of one. Between songs he stopped to take a few pictures of the audience, something rarely done by musicians. What about getting hounded by fans?
“It’s all good,” Lider said. “It’s great to be in New York and get to see my family.”
In the VIP section, Lider’s brother, who lives in from New York City, watched in approval. After the concert, Miri Frankel said she hoped to see Lider back in the Big Apple.
“I’m not Israeli but I think the appeal is definitely there for him to come back and do more shows in New York,” she said.
Outside Webster Hall, one concert-goer was more than satisfied with the show.
“It was great,” said Liz Barak, an Israeli, who came from Boston to see the show. “I think what’s great about him, besides that he writes his own music, is that the issues are really significant. He doesn’t only write about issues of sexuality, he writes about how Ethiopians are treated when they come to Israel and how people are sometimes materialistic and focusing on the wrong things. He sounds great but the meaning of the lyrics takes it to another level. And of course, when he’s that hot, how could you go wrong?”