Tribal, traditional, ethnic, dark — Bulgaria is giving us flashes of it all. And during their first rehearsal it all came together in an atmospheric piece of dark art. In that darkness there’s a lot to cling on to: strong voices, on-point harmonies, a memorable instrumental and plenty of presence.

Trey Campbell kicks off the performance mostly in darkness. His face flashes onto the camera as he introduces us to the intoxicating sound of the song. Producers experimented with a variety of camera cuts, angles and on-screen effects to introduce the other artists — from split screens (that reminded us of Georgia’s “Midnight Gold”) to an effect wear the screen wipes away with a black ink effect, they’re trying a lot. It didn’t always work. In my mind the strong costumes, which remain true to pre-existing branding and promo, create strong enough visuals without the various cuts, which at time seem to be too much. But, as with Kristian Kostov last year, they will tweak and refine in the days ahead.

The performance, which sees the group standing on a glass platform, comes with lots of fog and smoke. At times the group appears to be standing on clouds. Green accent lights give this added mystery, while white strobes add drama. There’s a lot to take in, but it feels cohesive indeed.

Equinox — “Bones”: Reviews and Reactions

Bulgaria: First rehearsal at Eurovision 2018

Keep checking back for more reviews of Bulgaria’s first rehearsal

Bulgaria: First press conference 2018

Read all of our Eurovision rehearsal reviews

Read all of our Bulgaria Eurovision news here

Photo & Footage: Courtesy of EBU & RTP

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65 Comments on "Bulgaria: Equinox give darkness life during first stage rehearsal of “Bones”"

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Paul
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WTF is wrong with a song being “dark”? It suits the melody and the concept. It’s a breath of fresh air compared to all the other mainstream club bangers we see from year to year. That being said, I don’t like what I’ve seen so far in terms of staging (though we haven’t seen much). I think they need to play with lights in a much more dramatic way. This year’s setup and the lack of a large LCD could not be more perfect for a song like this that’s supposed to be all about lights – USE THEM! Darkness… Read more »
Nantia
Guest

So good in top 3.

AngieP
Guest

I don’t quite get why they stand on the platform. It feels like it has no sense. Not impressed, I expected sth great! But there’s room for improvement.

Mr Gold
Guest

Not good stage.

WillDoThisLater
Guest

I didn’t realise there was an offstage backing singer for this group, does anyone know why they don’t just have her in the group and on stage? I mean, the two Bulgarian guys don’t have their own verses and are pretty much just backing vocalists, so why do they get to be part of the group proper, and on stage, when there is an invisible 6th singer?

Ria
Guest
The song is based on a film called the 5th element. Zhana is of course the fifth and she symbolises the female energy that unites the strong male spirit. This is why you don’t see the 6th person. Also the 6th person does only the folklore elements and the last note which is a harmony with Zhanna. The Bulgarian vocalists of course have their parts. Each of them sings a part of the song as a leading vocal with backing vocals the other people in the group. This is very obvious when they sing live in the rehearsal videos and… Read more »
Héctor
Guest

Why my last comment from this evening is awaiting moderation? I didn’t say any bad word.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Hmmm, possibly just that it was a long post? Anyway, your comment has been published now! 😀

Héctor
Guest

Thank you, Robyn! Not that long in fact, but could be 🙂

Malin
Guest

Noticed the same thing many times when I write to long posts.

careen
Guest

Easiest way of getting dowvotes here, just say anything bad about bulgaria.

Music is Art
Guest

I have no doubt they are great performers and have great voices. But I don’t know why this song does not develop nor grow on me. Maybe too dark? I don’t get any ethnic feeling here either as you mentón wiwi… well, good luck anyway!

Ket
Guest

barbara dex alert.

Jamala
Guest

I like the song but the outfits is ridiculous. 😀 Fired Sacha Jean-Baptiste immediately!!!

Ghhfy
Guest

Well, she could have thought of more original stageing…

Ghhfy
Guest

Actually only the girl wears a costume, the guys are dressed normally

bsk
Guest

Technically correct but lacking in charisma and emotion … just flat. That chorus is really boring.

Kappes
Guest

Love the song. My winner this year. Wasn’t impressed by the staging at first. But less could actually be more. The camera cuts sound promising. Really looking forward to it.

Matthew
Guest

Awards for the day
Most disappointing: Albania
Most unimpactful: Iceland
Most surprising: Lithuania
Best performance: Estonia
Most wowed: Azerbaijan
Biggest improvement: Belarus
The rest were pretty good as well

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

Just like everything else about Bones, this looks overly calculated and I’m not sure how it’ll be received by the public.

Ghhfy
Guest

All of the countries that are serous about eurovision have ‘calculated’ entries – the song, the stageing, the costumes, the interviews, everything. At least Bulgaria is all about music, and not about a sob story behind a song or politics

Marcelo
Guest

Here we go again…

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

How is it all about music when the ‘artists’ they send have zero artistic freedom and everything is decided by the same stale team of producers?

Ria
Guest

Polegend – you were one of the biggest and nastiest haters of Bulgaria even before the song was released. And after ..
Now you are softer because most people are supporting it and you’re too afraid to say what you want to say. Instead you try to discredit the team…

Ghhfy
Guest

And you really think that producers of the countries that are serious about Eurovision give them any artistic freedom? 😀 Oh my sweet summer child… And also most of the songs in the esc were not composed / produced by vocalists themselves so why single out Bulgaria? Oh and I think one of the guys from Equinox actually did take part in writing and pruducing Bones.

Anya
Guest

Great Bulgaria, top 5 again for sure!!!!

Ghhfy
Guest

I really liked it, they have so much energy together on stage.. and the focus is on the song / voices, and not on stageing or a sob story behind the song or performer

Well well
Guest

More ugly clothes, all in a day…. Azeri diaper, Bulgarian trashbag, Israeli kimono, Czech backpacks, Albanian bargirls, Belarussian body horror (wtf), Belgian grandma. Based on my algorithm everyone -except Estonia- will turn into Bulgaria 2009 by the final.

Héctor
Guest
I’ve got some issues with this entry since it was revealed. Yes, they sound perfect (maybe to much scream sometimes), the staging looks promising and I love dark athmosphere songs, but there are some things I’m not getting: – Why is this song dark? Just for the sake of it! It talks mainly about love and live, the only reference to justify it is the “black hole”. Also, the writer has tried too hard with the lyrics to the point they don’t make sense at all. – They sell the group like somekind of “family” where Zhana is the “conection… Read more »
Sabrina
Guest

The snippet doesn’t show much. Anyway, I guess I would agree with Chris and Padraig. It’s a very respectable act, but I can’t develop any affection for it.

Denis
Guest

I think they need to work more on being a group. Cause so far they are 5 people trying to up-stage each-other. Like Armenia 2015..

careen
Guest

Why on earth did this get downvotes? it’s a valid point.

nauportus
Guest

Or how about Bulgaria’s own infamous 2009 entry, where back-up singers all sounded like they tried to outsing one another.

please
Guest

is just bland. i mean i have nothing against a dark song as long as it gives me the dark feeling or any feeling for that matter. this just doesn’t. kinda feel like meh. it’s not bad but it’s not that good also. It has room for improvement thou

Radakiel
Guest

B0i she’s packed
I like this very much. I thought they wouldn’t be able to deliver the atmosphere of the video to Lisbon, but they did
Zhana’s lines seem randomly picked, but maybe it’s just me and I am half deaf or something idk

Diana (UK)
Guest

One word: Terrible!

Jamala
Guest

As your face 😀

Malin
Guest

Not ok, agree that I find her commens negative. But your comment Jamala are not ok at all. You are cute Diana, but negative.

Rasmus
Guest

Is there something you like? i have read your comments. Not one of them is positive. Why are you even here?

careen
Guest

Well, why cant people respect that not everyone is gonna love bulgaria? every *bad* comment gets downvoted by annoying bulgarians.

Jon
Guest

You are so negative. I guess you think it’s ok to be disrespectfull towards towards UK and UK fans aswell. You won’t be affended, angry or sad. Or perhaps you think you can tell your trouth?
I suppouse you ate the same way outside the esc bubble. Negative, smoking whithout education and friends.

Try someting new. Try to see the best in the acts and be respectfull towards escfans from other countries.

Miguel
Guest

I agree with Pardraig on this one. The whole performance is very dark and uncomfortable.
I don’t like this song, so I won’t say much more.

Ghhfy
Guest

Really? You think this is dark? I think Finland’s military dancers are much more creepy and dark

NickC
Guest
Here is an update on the algorithm. Israel and France are neck and neck on the top, but the winner of the day, without a doubt, is Lithuania. They moved up 10 places. They are ‘luna mooning up’ in the odds, their researsal video is one of the most watched, and they are qualifying ahead of Greece and Azerbaijan now. Losers of the day seem Belgium and Belarus who both slipped 2 places. Small movement up in Albania and Azerbaijan. Czech Rep is down the odds, but in the up algorithm because both Belgium and Austria slipped more than they… Read more »
Jo.
Guest

Can’t wait for France’s rehearsal…

Alfred5
Guest

FRANCE won the Tele vote last night at Eurojury , but only came 4th overall; nonetheless it shows the voting public like their song
In the French national finals the jury was not impressed with M M but they were saved from certain defeat by the tele vote !

Marcelo
Guest
Lithuania just moved to the tenth position on the Semi Final 1 qualification odds, relegating Finland. So, yeah, this was a very good day for them. I’m still bummed that despite the superb performances, Albania doesn’t seem to take a spike in the bookmakers’ eyes. Belgium is getting closer and closer to the “danger zone” despite somewhat improving their performances, right now they’re on the edge of the top 10 in winning odds, while they currently sit at #8 of the qualifying odds. Despite the “great but not amazing” rehearsal, Israel seems to hold their lead at the top, same… Read more »
NickC
Guest

Very good anlaysis Marcelo.

Marcelo
Guest

Thank you so much, NickC.

Malin
Guest

Agree whith William, this will absolutely quallyfy. Fantastic voices and IF the televoters won’t support it, well then will the juries save it.

Jo.
Guest

Ok, my conclusion of today’s rehearsals:
Best performances: Albania, Estonia;
Good, but still need to fix something: Czech Republic, Israel;
Grower: Lithuania;
Betting on the staging to qualify: Azerbaijan, Belarus;
Have a lot to fix: Bulgaria, Belgium;
No comments: Iceland.

Daniel
Guest

Agree with all except for Lithuania. That one is beyond any possible hope!

Marcelo
Guest

Lithuania just relegated Finland in qualification odds, so who knows what might happen on May 8th.

NickC
Guest

Lithuania is THE WINNER of the day, statistically speaking. Everything is UP, their rankings in odds, youtibe views, spotify streams. I have never seen such a surge in my algorithm since I started doing it

April
Guest

Equinox and Saara are the best

ted
Guest

Not overly wowed from the 30 second clip. Good singers standing on a box screams a badly staged x factor performance.

April
Guest

I have only two songs that i will that qualifes. BULGARIA AND FINLAND. Please vote 20 times for Equinox and Saara. Many songs are bad but these two must qualify.

Eurovision Voting Army
Guest
Eurovision Voting Army

We certainly won’t vote for those two just because of your idiotic comment. You have automatically lost 740 votes to them.

Elina April hater
Guest

Okay, then please vote for Cyprus and Belarus. The worst songs this year. Please vote 1000 times to Kyprus.

Jo.
Guest

From the snippet…there’s nothing going on. I’m not sure about the rest of the performance, but the snippet presented the chorus, and it was quite flat. I feel something like Armenia last year, could be even worse (Iceland 2016). Padraig and Chris say in the video exactly what I’m thinking… They really need to improve this.

Jon
Guest

Hmm, not that good in english. Love beond the bones. Don’t get it. They sing fantastic thou.

soul
Guest

Winners alert! They gonna slay the live concerts. Go in Equinox’s instagram page and watch them slaying the final note LIVE for all the playback experts!

Alex Snyder
Guest

This (awful) dark stage is actually working so good for them.

Darren
Guest

Again, just as Estonia, this was as expected.
The song isn’t in my Top 10, but it does have its merits and for some odd reason, that I cannot explain, I can’t help but think that we are off to Sofia next year.
I do miss Poli Genova though…….just saying.

Jack
Guest

Poli Genova could host next year if we’re heading to Sofia!