Music isn’t fireworks, we’re told. And Ethno-Jazz Band Iriao seem to agree. They let their music speak for itself during their first rehearsal, standing amid red lights and simply singing their song. That song includes some of the best harmonies of the year, which are delivered by confident performers unfazed by the mammoth arena around them.

The song has one of the best instrumentals of the year and embodies traditional Georgian music. It’s delicate and light, but builds to an eventful final minute where their resonant voices create a powerful wall of sound. It’s somehow inspired and inspiring, and proves you don’t have to give it away all at once to keep viewers’ interest. This is a slow build that’s definitely worth the wait. At the conclusion of the song a pyro shower rains down, adding a bit of spark to the pared-back performance.

Fans of the song — and its simple staging — will be even bigger fans after these rehearsals. Those who weren’t so keen previously — and considered it better suited to a Georgian street festival — will think they look like waiters performing alongside the dinner buffet on a seniors cruise. But in this wide-open semi-final, the latter could well push Georgia through to the final.

Ethno-Jazz Band Iriao — “For You”: Reviews and Reactions

Georgia: First rehearsal at Eurovision 2018

Georgia: First press conference 2018

Read all of our Eurovision rehearsal reviews

Read all of our Georgia Eurovision news here

Photo: Eurovision.tv (EBU)

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Briekimchi
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Briekimchi

They are so good.
Definitely would like it to qualify over some of the more throwaway songs in Semi Final 2.

AngieP
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AngieP

Basic staging, nice red lights though. Beautiful vocal performance.

EscAU
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EscAU

nice national identity and showcase but not for meee

Jo.
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Jo.

I would be surprised, but not totally in shock, if they qualified.

fugu
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fugu

A suggestion for people who don’t ‘get’ this song – listen to it in complete darkness once. Listen to it with your full attention. If you don’t get goosebumps/shivers/hair-raising, call a coroner to come make a pick-up.

Hada
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Hada

Simply beautiful. I hope the juries and at least part of the televote appreciate them and send them to the final because they deserve it (and because I wanna see them live).

Miguel
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Miguel

The staging looks fine. It’s very posh and sober. Appropriate for a soothing popera. Their vocals are also good.
The problem is the song itself. I don’t see it qualifying.

Kat
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Kat

I don’t have high hopes that this song will qualify, but all things considered, it’s probably my favorite of the year! The first time I heard it I just thought it was nice (“haha it sounds like a Christmas song”), but one evening I listened to it back-to-back a few more times, and each repeat it climbed about fifteen places in my ranking. Finally, I watched it with an English translation of the lyrics – and something about it just hit me right in the heartstrings, and it cemented a place in my top five :’) Even if I don’t… Read more »

Sabrina
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Sabrina

I had the same experience. I also went from the “this sounds like a Christmas song” to profound respect and admiration. I can’t say it’s one of my favorites or that I will listen to this on my daily life, but I appreciate what I see as a statement and it would be nice if Georgia gets rewarded for thinking completely outside the box.

Lady Gaga
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Lady Gaga

This might just be a sleeper hit. I just like how the Georgian delegation has this IDGAF attitude on their entries: sometimes it hits the bull’s eye, sometimes it’s sorely off the mark. Nice effort. I won’t be bothered if this sails through

Sabrina
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Sabrina

That’s a beautiful piece of music and they already sound great on the snippet even if the audio is not “treated”. But I think it lacks some impact to succeed on Eurovision. Though there will be people that will be drawn to them and feel that this is a mature alternative to the whole circus concerning other acts. And so it makes sense to keep things very simple like they did with the staging. I hope the juries give it respectable evaluations, because they deserve it.

Vrede
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Vrede

Why is Ethno-Jazz Band part of the band’s name? Isn’t Iriao enough?

Or should we start calling AWS Post-Metal Band AWS? And how about Vocal-Pop Common Framework Equinox? Indie Pop Collective Zibbz? Cheeky-Pop Threesome DoRedos?

Ally
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Ally

btw, where is jazz part in this church song, that mistery will be unsolved.

James
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James

Iriao’s catalogue of songs skews a little niche so the group’s leader, David Malazonia, wrote a song that is more accessible while keeping it authentically Georgian. The jazz element of the song is in there, supporting the more dominant orchestral sound.

Hada
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Hada

Clerical error I guess. Someone probably wrote on the form that they were sending an ethnographic-jazz band called Iriao and some paper pusher thought their name was literally Ethno-Jazz Band Iriao. They also probably wrote the name of the song in English because the form was in English and so For You it is.

James
Guest
James

When the music video came out, title and the description listed them as just “Iriao”. It was only a week or so later that they started getting branded as “Ethno-Jazz Band Iriao” in every video related to them. It could be due to trademark issues, I don’t know.

jim
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jim

horrible song, horrible staging, congrats!!!

Netta is a feminist, bad bad. Im not a toy.
Guest
Netta is a feminist, bad bad. Im not a toy.

COME ON GEORGIA!! THE BEST SONG EVER IN THE HISTORY OF EUROVISION!! THE WINNER!!

Netta is not my toy you stubid girl
Guest
Netta is not my toy you stubid girl

I agree so much!

jim
Guest
jim

you agree with urself? you need a psychiatrist

Netta is a feminist, bad bad. Im not a toy. Jim
Guest
Netta is a feminist, bad bad. Im not a toy. Jim

Omg are you serious? I am not a toy Jim. I dont need a pschykiarist.

M_K
Guest
M_K

I still can’t really seem to get into this song. 🙁 I appreaciate their vocal skills, but the song doesn’t seem to actually transport any emotions. I can’t even tell if it’s supposed to sound happy or sad or ambiguous. From the lyrics I can guess that it’s supposed to reflect on a transition from cold into warmth/darkness into light but I’d wish that this idea would be told through the music as well.

esc1234
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esc1234

A led screen would help this but the backdrop looks seriously boring…

James
Guest
James

Just heard Iriao’s vocals through the stream. I can imagine it being good and that it is. 🙂

Denis
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Denis

Unfortunately nothing can save this. One of the weakest songs.

NickC
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NickC

I think this semi is getting more and more hard to predict.

Frisian esc
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Frisian esc

I’ve said it since the start and i’ll say it again: this can easily sail through to the final. Especially with yesterday having quite a lot of dissapointing performances.

frysk
Guest
frysk

Ik bin it hielendal mei dy iens

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Haha, wêr yn Fryslân wennesto?

frysk
Guest
frysk

Ik bin in Frysk om utens! Ik wenje yn Frankryk. Ik mei stimme op Nederlân mar ik prakkisear der net oer! Georgia is myn favoryt!!!!

Polegend Godgarina
Guest
Polegend Godgarina

I wouldn’t rule this one out yet. It’s not like I’d miss it if it stayed in the semi-final, but Georgia seems to usually qualify when they send random songs like this one.