Peace, love and Russian rock ‘n’ roll

DDT fans light another round of road flares at a musical peak during the band's concert.  Photo by Matt Stephenson.

DDT fans light another round of road flares at a musical peak during the band's concert. Photo by Matt Stephenson.

Last night we saw DDT, the cherished Russian band led by rock prophet Yuri Yulianovich Shevchuk.

Like some sort of well-respected hippie grandfather, Shevchuk preached an age-old gospel of love, peace and rock ‘n’ roll to his younger following, who wore his likeness on their T-shirts, waved flags emblazoned with the black-and-white “DDT” logo, and chanted the band’s slogan, taken from a line in the closing song: «Не стреляй!» (“Ne strelyai!”) — “Don’t shoot!”

In all the excitement, some attendees even experimented with low-impact moshing, although DDT’s brand of dreamy, uplifting classic rock hardly lends itself to extended “slam” sessions.

Slightly disheveled and beaming from beneath bifocals, a three-day growth of stubble and a shock of dark brown hair, Shevchyk ministered to his flock like a youth outreach pastor, condemning the war in Georgia and trumpeting the virtues of peace and understanding.

A sample of his rhetoric (translated from the Russian): “God created man for peace, not for war. Everything is in balance, against the evil one.”

To this effect, a local poet, bearded and robed like an Russian-Orthodox priest, emerged mid-set to declaim for several minutes on the theme of international brotherhood. This was one of several interruptions during the concert, as two “opening” bands also came out at different points to play their own brief sets.

The heady encore was followed by an Altamont-style crush of people at the narrow exit, as young men braced themselves against the wall to create a passage for their girlfriends. “Girls forward!” they cried as the masses poured out into the dark pathways and shimmering lakes of the unlit Park of Victory, phantom images of road flares burning into their retinas and the chant of “Ne strelyai!” echoing in their ears.


2 Responses to “Peace, love and Russian rock ‘n’ roll”

  1. hey there,
    My old peace corps buddy Jason Klocek told me about your website– i checked it out, and lo and behold, a pic from the ddt concert i just attended. Luckily i ride the rush-hour metro to class every day, so being crushed against a corner by the exiting hordes was just another ho-hum experience.

    Are you here studying, or just on your own?


  2. The style of writing is quite familiar . Have you written guest posts for other bloggers?

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