Red Hot Chili Peppers rock Egypt’s pyramids

Californian group Red Hot Chili Peppers is currently on a world tour and working to complete their 12th album (File photo: AFP)
Updated 16 March 2019
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Red Hot Chili Peppers rock Egypt’s pyramids

CAIRO: Californian group Red Hot Chili Peppers played in front of Egypt’s great pyramids of Giza on Friday, entertaining more than 10,000 people at the site and many more over a livestream link.
With the three ancient monuments silhouetted behind the stage, the funk-rock band opened with “Can’t Stop” from the 2002 album “By The Way” and followed with “Californication,” “Dark Necessities” and other hits.
The concert, held under tight security, was promoted by Egypt’s tourism ministry, which is trying to put the country back on the map as a prime destination after an uprising in 2011 and years of subsequent turmoil scared many visitors away.
“It was a lot of work to get here but it was absolutely worth it,” said fan Christina Robertson, from Madison, Wisconsin, who left five children at home to make the trip.
“I’ve always wanted to come to Egypt, I’ve always wanted to see the pyramids, it’s spectacular, it’s a dream, and to see Red Hot Chili Peppers here, my favorite band of all time.”
Singer Anthony Kiedis, bass player Michael “Flea” Balzary and drummer Chad Smith join the likes of The Grateful Dead, Scorpions and Frank Sinatra performing at one of the seven wonders of the world.
The concert is the first international gig to be held at the ancient site since pianist Yanni in 2015.
Fans traveled from 67 countries, said concert organizer Karim El Chiaty, Vice Chairman of Travco Group.
“I think there’s a big fan base in Egypt and I think for what we’re trying to achieve here today, which is to promote tourism in Egypt, we needed a band of that kind of scale and that influence,” said Chiaty.
Red Hot Chili Peppers have sold more than 60 million albums, won six Grammy Awards and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.
The band is currently on a world tour and working to complete their 12th album following their 2016 release “The Getaway.”


Bong d’Or: Korean director wins Cannes’ top prize

Updated 25 May 2019
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Bong d’Or: Korean director wins Cannes’ top prize

  • French-Senegalese director Mati Diop’s “Atlantics" wins festival’s second place award, the Grand Prize
  • Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne shared the best director for “Young Ahmed”

CANNES, France: South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s social satire “Parasite,” about a poor family of hustlers who find jobs with a wealthy family, won the Cannes Film Festival’s top award, the Palme d’Or, on Saturday.
The win for “Parasite” marks the first Korean film to ever win the Palme. In the festival’s closing ceremony, jury president Alejandro Inarritu said the choice had been “unanimous” for the nine-person jury.
The genre-mixing film had been celebrated as arguably the most critically acclaimed film at Cannes this year and the best yet from the 49-year-old director of “Snowpiercer” and “Okja.”
It was the second straight Palme victory for an Asian director. Last year, the award went to Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “Shoplifters.”
Two years ago, Bong was in Cannes’ competition with “Okja,” a movie distributed in North America by Netflix. After it and Noah Baumbach’s “The Meyerowitz Stories” — another Netflix release — premiered in Cannes, the festival ruled that all films in competition needed French theatrical distribution. Netflix has since withdrawn from the festival on the French Riveira.
The festival’s second place award, the Grand Prize, went to French-Senegalese director Mati Diop’s “Atlantics.” Diop was the first black female director in competition at Cannes.
Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne shared the best director for “Young Ahmed.”
Best actor went to Antonio Banderas for Pedro Almodovar’s “Pain and Glory,” while best actress was won by British actress Emily Beecham for “Little Joe.”
Although few quibbled with the choice of Bong, some had expected Cannes to make history by giving the Palme to a female filmmaker for just the second time.
Celine Sciamma’s period romance “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” was the Palme pick for many critics this year, but it ended up with best screenplay.
In the festival’s 72-year history, only Jane Champion has won the prize in 1993, and she tied with Chen Kaige’s “Farewell My Concubine.”