Date: Friday, March 23rd, 2012
Line up: Rebelution, The Green & Pep Love
Location: The Pageant. Sant Louis, MO
As the eager and inebriated trudged through the sodden streets of Saint Louis’ prime entertainment district in The Delmar Loop this fateful Friday night, I realized a few things. One, the Walk of Fame plaques embedded into the concrete are slippery. More notably though, I was about to endure heaving amounts of rhythm and harmony from the perspective of two largely-admired reggae bands on one of the “Ten Greatest Streets In America” during Rebelution’s Peace Of Mind tour, in celebration of their highest charting album.
A typical Friday night in any entertain district implies copious consumption of alcohol. Whether it was the all-famous Budweiser beer or the six-dollar death potions, self-indulgence became a blatant theme at The Pageant to many. Rebelution even hosted an after-party in The Halo Bar following the event. As the Hieroglyphic’s Pep Love began to spit his verses, the floor and the bar-area were mysteriously thickening. It only got louder when the rapper made an appearance later in Rebelution’s set.
Pep Love connected to the audience just as well as band mate Del The Funky Homosapien once had during Rebelution’s 2011 tour. The hip-hop veteran invigorated the crowd with a mellow style and a dynamic flow that fans embraced. Definitely bumped the young audience up to an appropriate level for the harmony-invested Hawaiians, The Green.
It was about 8:30 when the mildly-entertaining stage-prep man made his way backstage. The Piece Of Mind tour took form to last year’s Winter Greens tour. The stage was decorated with numerous plants, banners, and decorations as the Hawaiians took over the show. The energy was high and you could tell the audience was excited for The Green’s first-ever visit to Saint Louis. They kicked off with some popular tracks from their Self-titled album including my favorite Runaway Train, What Will Be Will Be, and Never, pulsating our senses with back-breaking skank rhythms. Overall, I was excited to see The Green play more music from their self-titled album. Near the halfway point, The Green played Love and Affection one of my favorites from their most recent album Ways And Means.
What really exceeded my expectations was how well The Green imported their illustrious studio vocals into a live setting. Four of The Green members are listed as lead vocalists, and each has an appropriate mood to match with their vocal cords. Guitarist and singer Zion Thompson voice had the best voice to belt out the closing song Rootsie Roots, while Caleb Keolanui’s less edgy voice was fit to drive the Runaway Train.
After the Green performed Gotta Be and closed with a remixed and extended version of Rootsie Roots, I left for the bar and noticed Rebelution’s Marley Williams, worry-free and gleefully talking to fans minutes before he was to take his talents to the stage. Many people had taken after the trend made popular by Rebeultions bassist by sporting all types of basketball jerseys at the show. No wonder Marley decided to start his own clothing line called Hill Kid!
Once I thought my expectations were totally trampled, Rebelution picked up the baton. The Green left the stage with a shout out to the 2011 MLB National Champs; Cardinals fans held on to this vigor for the twenty minutes of setup until Marley and Singer Eric Rachmany greeted Saint Louis.
Rebelution kicked off with two of the classics that initiated their worldwide fame; Attention Span and Safe And Sound. Rachmany was able to let the fans do the singing during multiple songs, and Marley Williams was more synergistic than I’ve ever seen. I would love to get my hands on a live Peace Of Mind tour album in the future. New-Orleans’ Khris Royal was terrific on the brass and electric Saxophones. In addition to adding a new twist to some older songs, he ripped solos throughout the entire set. I especially enjoyed his solos during The Suffering and The Otherside. With this addition, parts of their set were like listening to an unreleased album.
On multiple occasions, I heard fellow audience members mention their impatience for the hit Lady In White. When Rachmany hinted that the following song was “something new” for them, the audience immediately caught on. Sometime later, Rebelution faded into Bob Marley’s Jammin’ during an instrumental session. It was clear that the fans still embrace the “old” as well as fans begged and were met with songs such as Feelin’ Alright, Green To Black, Nightcrawler, and Running.
Rachmany and Marley Williams invited all the performers up to stage at least once. Pep Love joined Eric Rachmany during an acoustic performance of Closer I Get. Rebelution turned to their album Bright Side Of Life for the nightcapper. Rachmany exposed the mic to the audience during their single Bright Side Of Life, and then Rebelution exited the stage.
It wasn’t long before Rebelution was dragged out by the cheers of the Saint Louis crowd. All plugged in again, Rebelution again resorted to their 2010 album. After getting Outta Control, The Green flooded Rebelution’s stage for the finale. The crowd once again began to spark their lighters as Rebelution concluded with Lazy Afternoon, featuring verses from Rebelution’s Rachmany and The Green. Each singer took the mic for a verse; I couldn’t imagine a more appropriate end.
To accompany the #13 charting album Piece of Mind, Rebelution hit the road to perform across The US. Rebelution, The Green, And Pep Love are on their last string of shows for the official Piece Of Mind tour. In Saint Louis on Friday, they proved to not be taking their last few shows for granted.
Article By: Matt Emodi
Photos By: Bob Dunnell
MORE PICTURES FROM THE NIGHT….