Posted by Aaron Wynne on 10/29 at 10:08 AM
Rebelution, Tribal Seeds, and Zion I jammed out the State Theatre this past Wednesday night. It was a festive gathering fostering a friendly atmosphere. Even though I was a foreigner to the reggae scene, I quickly found myself synchronizing to the rhythms and enjoying the tranquil atmosphere.
Tribal Seeds was the first band to come out and instantly brought some groovy cadence to oscillate the crowd. The guitarist got the crowd involved with participatory clapping. Their reggae roots were apparent in both their style and appearance with four members sporting reggae-inspired dreads. The vocals appropriately reflected the genre, while the guitarist zested the music with simple, but well designed, solos. The two keyboardists played off each other, distinguishing themselves while maintaining the flow of the music.
As members of the sellout crowd continued to pour in with beers in hand, I found myself gaining a strong appreciation for Tribal Seeds. As the end of their set drew near, the band amped up the mood with their song “Dark Angel.” Then their final song, “Vampire,” elicited a strong reaction from the crowd with a grandiose intro. During the tune, a few members from Rebelution came out to help with the lyrics and bass. This really rose the crowd to its feet. Then the bassist added the cherry on top with a bouncy Spanish rap. Their set-list lasted about a half hour, and by the time they were done, the sold out crowd was in full attendance and anxious for more.
The hip-hop group Zion I was the next band to take the stage. Normally I’m not that into the hip-hop genre, but the atmosphere and vocal talent of this group really got me going. They made it clear that their priority was to entertain; the group put crowd involvement at the forefront of their performance. Vocalist Courtney Holliday really stole the show with an eloquent vocal range displaying great expertise.
Everything was going well with Zion I, and I was enjoying tunes such as “Antenna.” Then the band ran into some technical difficulties. Fortunately they didn’t let that slow them down or tamper their spirits. They busted out some impromptu freestyling with crowd-pleasing antics that included “we are” chants. The band displayed a real knack for their practice. When technical difficulties persisted, the band called on some friends. The drummer from Tribal Seeds came out and laid down some fresh beats, and their tour man took over on a keyboard to keep the State Theatre alive. After this impressive improvisation, the band left on a message of peace.
The first two bands really impressed me and instilled a calm sense of invigoration. The entire crowd was definitely ready for the main act to take the stage.
Rebelution came out around 10pm and decorated the stage, not just with pumpkins and plants, but with their music. One of their first songs “Lazy Afternoon” provided me with the serene feeling of kicking back on a beach. I guess it was a tribute to their Californian roots. The band brought life to the stage as the guitarist danced around while performing his solos. It’s always nice to see a band enjoying themselves on stage—it shows they really care about what they do.
The music seemed to pervade consciousness and instill powerful meaning with lyrics of peace. I really appreciate when a band is able to make a message out of their art. The crowd was thoroughly enthralled with the band’s exploits, singing along with many of the tunes. Rebelution continued the night’s trend and brought members from Tribal Seeds and Zion I to the stage for “Too Rude” and “So High.” The lead vocalist/guitarist was able to show some musical ingenuity with both his sterling voice and some crafty solos in songs such as “Running” and “Bump.”
As the show came to a close, the band performed “Moonlight.” The song’s intro filled me with wonder before moving into the verse. Their next song, “Bright Side of Life,” instilled the energy right back, animating the crowd. As they left the stage, a strong chant of encore pursued. To the crowds delight, Rebelution took back the stage. The crowd went into a frenzy for the peppy beat and funky solo of “Out of Control.” The band added one more number, “Attention Span,” to cap off an excellent showcase.
It was a great performance, and a memento to why Penn State should support more acts like this that fall just out of the mainstream circle. With a sell out crowd and enjoyable atmosphere, it was a win-win for everyone involved.
In support of WPSU and Blue Robot:
Author: Aaron Wynne
Bio: Aaron is a senior at The Pennsylvania State University and is originally from Wells, Maine. He is studying public relations and psychology. His hobbies include playing music, particularly bass, playing and watching sports, and watching movies, his current favorite being Inception. His music tastes are wide spread but his favorites include progressive metal, experimental rock, instrumental rock, and alternative. His favorite bands currently consist of Between the Buried and Me, Animals as Leaders, Red Sparowes, and Dysrhythmia.
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