RIGA - The most popular Russian language radio station in Latvia, SWH Plus, has assembled an impressive lineup of stars for a special concert to celebrate its 10th birthday. A whole load of big name Latvian bands will be performing at the Nov. 5 bash, including Cosmos - the winners of the 2004 New Wave Stars competition, Fors, Nicol, Jay Stevers, Ainars Mielavs, A-Eiropa - the best-selling pop band in Latvia - and NePlagiat, which was responsible for the smash summer hit "Leto."
In addition to all the homegrown talent on show, there will also be several special guests performing, including the popular Russian singer Batyr, who made his name as the lead singer with the once popular group A-Studio, and Zapreschenye Barabanshiky.
But without doubt the highlight for most people will be a performance by the Russian rock band B-2. The last time B-2 performed in Latvia was during the New Wave Stars concert in summer 2004. The group was the last up on stage in the early hours of the morning, but the 15,000-strong crowd went absolutely berserk when they came on. This time B-2 will be playing songs from their most popular albums "Inomarki" (Foreign Cars) and "Poslednyi Geroy" (Last Hero).
B-2 became famous in 2000 after writing the theme song for the cult Russian movie "Brat 2" (Brother 2). "Polkovniky nikto ne pishet" (Nobody Writes to the Colonel) is basically the band's calling card nowadays and if you had to bet on which song will drive the crowd most wild at the SWH concert, it will surely be this one. It always is.
"Riga is one of our favorite places to perform in: great atmosphere, great people, great fans. We enjoy every concert here, and we are really happy to come to Riga again for SWH Plus birthday and for our fans," said B-2's Leva and Shura about their forthcoming date.
Throughout the evening SWH will also be dishing out awards in various music categories, although in the extremely insular world of Latvian music these shouldn't be much of a surprise.
The show is due to kick off at 7 p.m. with a performance by the Benson Brothers. Quite when it will finish is anyone's guess. But with tickets going for just 3 lats (4.50 euros), it should be worthwhile going. If you're a fan of Latvian music then fine, since just about everyone who's anyone in Latvian pop music will be there. And if you're not, well maybe this concert will win you over. It's not often that concerts on this scale take place. The show will also be going out on television in the other two Baltic states, so smile and look happy if you see a camera pointed at you. o
SWH's 10th birthday concert
Skonto Hall, Riga
Nov. 5, Starts: 7 p.m.