Iranian band plays progressive rock at Hatbox

  • Also at the Hatbox, comedian Steven Bjork performs Friday. Courtesy

  • Iranian progressive rock group Mavara will perform Saturday in Concord. Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 1/25/2017 5:05:02 PM

Iranian progressive rock band Mavara returns to the Hatbox Theatre on Saturday.

Considered “subversive” in Iran because of the music they play, Mavara has been in the U.S. for the past four years on an artist and entertainer visa.

“In our country, you could play pop and traditional music or some kind of soft rock music but without vocal (if you play soft rock); as soon as you play rock with vocal, especially with English lyrics, it is illegal, like metal music,” said Farood Ghadiri, founder of the band.

“I like progressive rock music because you can listen all kind of other genres in this style of music; you can play whatever things you like to play from jazz, blues through metal and electric music in with rock foundation,” Ghadiri said. “You can create a world, like painting . . . and tell stories and ideas you have in your mind, like books.”

Ghadiri formed the band in 2001 and it performed underground in Tehran and Karaj. He has played the keyboard since he was 8 years old and studied music at the Tehran University.

He’ll be joined in Concord by Ashkan Hamedi as vocalist and guitarist, Anis Oveisi on keyboard, Sina Khodaeifar on bass and American Jim Welch on drums.

In 2003, the group recorded a Persian-language album, Ultimate Sound, which was released in 2005. They then recorded English albums Forgotten Inside and Season of Salvation.

In the last four years, the musicians have played in clubs and theaters from Maine to North Carolina. They previously performed in Concord in April last year.

Mavara recently released its fourth album, Consciousness.

“The album is a departure from our previous three albums,” Ghadiri said, noting the 10-song collection is a concept album tackles a journey of reincarnation.

The songs follow a story of a soul that is reincarnated beginning from the day of the Battle of al-Qādisiyyah in 636 between the Arab Muslim army and the Sassanid Persian army.

The next song, Ghadiri explained, was about a man who left his wife and went to war to stop the Arab invasion and is killed. He is born again a child in the present day.

The “whole album’s story is about that souls touch different bodies in different lives from past through the future,” he said.

Mavara will play some songs from that album this weekend.

The concert will be Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $16.50 or $13.50 for members, seniors and students.

Also at the Hatbox this week, Boston comedian Steve Bjork will perform Friday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $16.50 or $13.50 for members, seniors and students. Joining him are Suzi Berlin and Greg Boggis.

For information on either show or to make reservations, call 715-2315 or visit

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