Written By: Kiki Ferguson
Photos By: Greg Horowitz (Gallery)
Light Jah fire, sit back and skank to a wonderful reggae evening with Proverbial and Easy Star All-Stars. First up was Proverbial, hailing from Virginia to show the south how they get down. Breezing through countless originals, Proverbial demonstrated their unique soulful sound, dragging you closer like a magnet when you hear the horns blast.
Towards the end of the set the crowd started coming closer as they began to cover some classics from Jay-Z. Taking it back fourteen years to Jay-Z’s The Dynasty: Roc La Familia album covering popular track “I Just Wanna Love U.” The band did not miss a beat while rapping the lyrics. These guys sounded great. A Reggae cover of older rap songs capture the souls of most old school hip-hop heads bringing the crowd together before they briefly went into an old JD and Jay-Z track “Money Ain’t A Thing.” Playing these old tracks brought me back to an earlier time in my life. It’s not often a band could recreate not only the sound, but the vibe and feeling that come along with these aged classics.
Finally the floor was packed and the stage was set for the Dub Side of the Moon. This being the 10th year anniversary of the album, it was a special tour for the fans as well for the band. Bassist Ras “Daniel” Ray has been with the band from the beginning. The second he stepped out on stage, the crowd roared.
After starting with Electioneering and Just A Little Song, the band was ready to give us a taste of what’s in store for later. Soon after, they dropped Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” causing everyone to sing as one and dance to a classic song which had been dubbed just to our liking. ESAS continued to play an assortment of songs; tracks off Lonely Hearts, Thrillah, and Radiodread.
They also mixed in a couple of originals, not keeping the schedule strictly to Floyd which kept the crowd anxious while dancing around the room. Eventually they played Dub Side of the Moon in its entirety before exiting the stage. Although everyone was satisfied, no one was leaving until we got an encore.
They came back out and introduced the whole band before blessing us with a cover of The Beatles “Lovely Rita” right into Radiohead’s “Karma Police.” Stunning the crowd all night, this encore was a perfect cap, ending their set with favorites by MJ, The Beatles and Radiohead, simply proving anything can be done.
Mixing the impossible to create a wonderful sounding version of familiar classics that can be appreciated by all. Easy Star All-Stars combine their reggae dub sound with many different genres, taking what they need to make the songs obvious, yet leaving some out to create their own exceptional versions of timeless classics.