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Rock Music Goes Mainstream in Rouhani’s Iran

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In the 10 months since his band was given official permission to perform, Iranian rock singer Ardavan Anzabipour has learned when to cool things down.

“People want to see some action on stage but we must be careful not to overdo it,” Anzabipour, the 40-year-old lead singer of Thunder, said in a Dubai hotel last month before its debut show in the United Arab Emirates. “It’s a challenge. We bring the excitement up but they’re not able to move” as dancing in public is banned, he said.