The Note in West Chester, PA rocked the reggae! The Expendables (Santa Cruz, CA), Echo Movement (Asbury Park, NJ) and Among Criminals (Philadelphia, PA) all shared in the island gyration. Maybe the first memorable concert of the summer, the season is still warming up. Keep in mind, brass ensembles have been known to cloud one’s working memory. I will say the island flavor blended clearly with The Note’s state of the art, stadium sound system. As one would expect, thunderous bass swelled the dance floor, while higher frequencies whizzed by like bolts of lightning. Taking shelter underneath an upstairs balcony, I did my best to cover this late breaking music event.
Blessings in disguise, Philly’s Among Criminals have a punk/reggae sound reminiscent of The Clash. Beautifully harmonized, rhythmic strings round out intelligent choruses for a melodic blend of punk and reggae. The first song of the night, “Time Bomb” taught me the value of independent thought. Another song, “War” gave rise to perpetual indulgence. More than a half-baked body of influence, Among Criminals have contradiction for a best friend. Lyrics like, “Water, water, shut off the intercom” are novel approaches to thinking outside the box. Other songs like, “Cold Soldier” helped me mature reasonable doubts into a strong male identity. My progress as a man indemnifies female participation in Among Criminal sing-alongs, for that I am most grateful.
Echo Movement is a band from Asbury Park, NJ. Intelligently composed, detailed rhythm gives way to restful melodies and peaceful lyrics. Cool, confident marijuana supporters, Echo Movement started their set with a song title “Ganja“. Passing from the extreme left, “I Think God Smokes Weed” brought a smile to everyone’s face. Politics continue to shape the lives of everyday American citizens. Music, on the other hand helps people share and identify with the physical world. Finishing out their set with “Just Gotta Keep My Head High“, Echo Movement calmly exited the stage. A secure embrace is an ageless contradiction.
Palm trees yield stranger fruit, breezy island punks The Expendables toured nonstop to get here. Swaying rhythmically all on their own, these Santa Cruz locals still rocked the reggae sound. Winding things down with “Head In My Hands“, these living dead performers played with proud conviction. “Ganja Smugglin’” traded vice for lifestyle in a nailed down version of freedom. “Wide Awake” proved to be an intense examination of leadership. Resilient in nature, these beautifully tragic performances are all too real. The band even came back on stage for an encore! The crowd could not get enough.
Living on the floor of a gymnasium is not the safest alternative to home ownership. Temporary shelters do make for great sports and entertainment venues. If your home does get swept up in a hurricane or some other type of disaster, do entertain yourself. You and your best best friends will build a new home, together.