A 40-year-old musical and cultural phenomenon came to an end Thursday night in Tel Aviv, with the final concert of legendary pop group Kaveret.
The band, which soared to fame in the 1970s and has remained popular despite its subsequent breakup, performed in front of 50,000 people in Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park in what group members promised was their very last joint concert. Thursday’s gig was the last in a series of five reunion concerts Kaveret gave over the summer, all of which were sold out within hours of tickets going on sale.
“We received a huge compliment,” said band founder Danny Sanderson after the concert. “The idea that something we invented became something that is considered so Israeli is a bit weird, but it’s very flattering.”
“This image will never leave our minds,” guitarist Ephraim Shamir told the crowd from the stage. Backstage, with tears in his eyes, he said it would take them time to digest what they’ve been through. “It’s like a car accident when the windshield shatters in front of your face. We are in shock,” said Shamir.
“It’s over and that’s good, but it’s also sad,” said front man Gidi Gov. “We are a whole that is greater than its parts,” he added.
Drummer Meir Fenigstein, who left his permanent residence in the US to take part in the reunion tour, said he would have been happy to carry on for another two hours. “I always believed that we could make a big comeback,” he said.
Keyboard player Yoni Rechter and bass player Alon Oleartchik agreed that the reunion tour was their best organized tour to date, but said that they allowed themselves to let loose in the final gig.
The tour had taken its toll on the aging rockers. The busy schedule of rehearsals and preparations resulted in injuries to Gov and Rechter, combined with guitarist Yitzhak Klepter’s long-term infirmity, which required him to play the entire concerts seated. But the difficulties seemed to only endear the group more to its fans, who danced nonstop and sang along to every verse of the group’s rich repertoire of songs, both those written together and the best of the individual members’ rich solo careers.
The tour, which included two concerts in Tel Aviv after three in Jerusalem’s Sultan Pool, was estimated to bring in NIS 28 million (almost $8 million) in ticket and record sales. Overall, 120,000 people attended the concerts.