Entertainment

Review: Persian-Armenian Singer Helen Captivates Fans at Glendale’s Alex Theatre

Iranian-American singer Helen (pictured center) performed with a full band at a concert promoted by Stage 1 Production on Sunday, May 12th at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, CA. Helen is managed by Jerry Khachatourian. Photo by Mark 1 Design and Stage 1 Production

Helen Matevosian, mononymously known as Helen, brought her unparalleled energy and infectious charisma to the stage at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, CA, on Sunday, May 12th. Presented by Stage 1 Production, the Iranian-Armenian pop star, nicknamed “the Voice,” entertained and satisfied a crowd of approximately 1,200 fans with her dynamic vocals.

From the moment she stepped onto the stage at 8:30 pm, Helen commanded the audience’s attention with her magneticism and powerhouse singing. Dressed in a sparkling silver dress in the first half and a gliterring gold gown after intermission, Helen demonstrated a multifaceted expertise as she covered not just her setlist of hits, but impressively sang in a multitude of languages: Farsi, Armenian, English, Spanish, and Italian.

Iranian-American singer Helen (pictured center) performed with a full band at a concert promoted by Stage 1 Production on Sunday, May 12th at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, CA. Helen is managed by Jerry Khachatourian. Photo by Mark 1 Design and Stage 1 Production

The concert kicked off with zest as Helen opened with one of her favored tracks, setting the tone for a notable affair. Backed by guitarists (electric and acoustic), percussionists, a bassist, saxophonist, keyboardist, pianist, and even a string quartet, Helen effortlessly transitioned between songs, keeping the predominantly Armenian and Iranian audience engaged and, at times, on their feet over a two-and-a-half-hour span.

Throughout the concert, Helen showcased her musical gracefulness by blending elements of Middle-Eastern music with Mediterranean, Latin, jazz, and even contemporary pop sounds. From traditional 6/8 time signatures to synthesized beats, each song was a fusion of cultural influences that reflected Helen’s unique musical identity.

Among the songs performed were “Megoftee,” “Adat,” “Ooje Parvas,” “Hesse Tazeh,” “Atre Tane To,” “Aroose Darya,” “Zendegi,” “Ormak,” “Olgooyeh Eshgh,” “Tardid,” “Sedam Bezan,” “Bidari,” “Ba Man Mimooni,” along with more well-known smashes like “Koli,” “Khooneh Eshgh,” and “Maa.” These songs, known for their catchy melodies and memorable lyrics, resonated tremendously with the audience, eliciting sing-alongs, clapping, finger snaps, applause, and even enthusiastic dancing (or “ghering”) in the aisles.

Iranian-American singer Helen (pictured right) performed with a full band at a concert promoted by Stage 1 Production on Sunday, May 12th at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, CA. Helen is managed by Jerry Khachatourian. Photo by Mark 1 Design and Stage 1 Production

Helen, moreover, had her fair share of surprise song choices, like those sung in her native Armenian tongue, in addition to “Un Amor,” “Caruso,” and “I Will Always Love You” — an exclamatory ballad written by Dolly Parton but made world-famous by Whitney Houston. The evening’s musical variety meant there was something for every audience member, each of whom felt compelled to become an active participant at one point or another, augmenting the concert’s festive atmosphere.

Another highlight was Helen’s ability to connect with her audience on a personal level where she was able to evince her humorous side. In between songs, she took the time to interact with the crowd, answering song requests and expressing her gratitude for not just the fans’ unwavering support, but those offered by her musical peers (also seated in the audience), as well as her songwriters, lyricists, and arrangers. Her humility was well-received, creating an intimate atmosphere inside the relatively large theatre.

Iranian-American singer Helen (pictured center) performed with a full band at a concert promoted by Stage 1 Production on Sunday, May 12th at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, CA. Helen is managed by Jerry Khachatourian. Photo by Mark 1 Design and Stage 1 Production

Incredibly, Helen’s vocal agility expanded in range as the event wore on, as she delivered flawless renditions of both her upbeat dance tracks and heartfelt ballads. Whether she was belting out powerful high notes or delicately enunciating a soulful melody, her voice soared effortlessly, captivating the audience with its emotive depth and range.

The production value of the concert was similarly top-notch, with a rectangular screen playing a video package before Helen’s introduction. Not to mention, roving laser lights, geysers of smoke, and the occasional pyrotechnics enhanced the overall experience. Every aspect of the performance was meticulously coordinated, creating a feast for the senses that kept guests enthralled from start to finish.

Iranian-American singer Helen performed with a full band at a concert promoted by Stage 1 Production on Sunday, May 12th at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, CA. Helen is managed by Jerry Khachatourian. Photo by Mark 1 Design and Stage 1 Production

As the festivities came to a close on Mother’s Day 2024, Helen delivered a show-stopping “Dooset Daram” finale that left the audience buzzing with excitment long after the final notes had faded away. The overall contentedness in the Alex Theatre was signified by a sea of smiles on the faces of attendees who on this day had their expectations fully met, and yet still have more to look forward to at a future date when Helen will perform more popular tunes from her decades-long catalog.

All in all, Helen’s concert at the Alex Theatre was nothing short of spectacular. With her terrific vocals, onstage warmth, and genuine connection to her audience on display, she proved once again why she is one of the most beloved figures in the Persian-Armenian music scene.

Helen is managed by Jerry Khachatourian. For more information on future Stage 1 Production-promoted concerts, please visit stageoneproduction.com.

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