With his first-ever performance in Washington, D.C., Lazer Lloyd brought a message of love, unity, and care for veterans to the Museum of the Bible on Nov. 8.
Close to 100 people came to hear the American expat, who now resides in Beit Shemesh, Israel. Lloyd ran through his musical catalogue, which fuses blues, bluegrass, and classic rock n’ roll into a folksy sonic identity imbued with peaceful messages.
During his North American tour, the artist is highlighting the importance of caring for veterans, an issue he said he feels strongly about after meeting dozens of veterans who were wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I see how much they’re truly suffering,” said Lloyd. “There are lots of things that need to be taken care of in the United States, but this is urgent.”
“The American-Jewish community has so much to give,” he said. “Living in Israel, everybody knows somebody who was injured in the military, so it makes the whole problem more visible. But it’s important that we help veterans here.”
Along with his latest hits, “Backstreets” and “America,” Lloyd and his backup band performed a unique rendition of Bill Withers’s “Lean On Me.”
During the show, the guitar virtuoso told the audience it “wasn’t easy” for him to perform a night after the shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, having also performed after last month’s shooting in Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue.
But despite these events, the artist said it’s important for many – and the Jewish community in particular – to remain positive and see how they can help others.
“I try to help wherever I can, and where it’s natural for me, so I use my music,” Lloyd said after the show. “Maybe things aren’t perfect, but never in history has there been a place where a Jew can walk around so freely.”
In the same strain of his profound optimism, Lloyd said that “the best cure for anti-Semitism" is helping others. "The smallest efforts are where it starts.”
After the show, Lloyd stayed on the Museum of the Bible “Pure Flix” stage for almost two hours, taking pictures, greeting people, and even playing a couple of songs with two enthusiastic young fans. In between a quick rest at home and a few shows across Israel, Lloyd said he is hoping to put on a concert together with the two fans.
For Lloyd, genuine connections like these are his way of helping others – one concert at a time.
“The world is ready for a connection,” Lloyd said. “I feel that, with all the mess going on, people are looking to come together in a positive way.”
By Anis Modi
Anis Modi is a staff writer for Kol HaBirah.