Club Viva, September 15, 2004
About 2 years ago I went to St. Croix to see the VI reggaefest and a guy named Irving kept tellin me how great these guys were. They played that time, but came on at 6 or 7 a.m. and there was absolutely no one there at that time. I was beat too, so i took off after a song or two..
they played here at Viva about a year ago and maybe it was a bad night, but i wasn't impressed. Since they're from the hotbed of the U.S. Virgin Islands (St. John to be exact), I decided to check em out again at Viva last night. let me tell ya, it was one of the best shows I've ever seen. They just totally blew the place away...Just incredible.
Viva's a small basement club. They started at 10:30 and it was a sparse crowd. Not sure what's going on in town here, but it was a drag and i was kind of embarrased at the turnout but the band played on and believe me, they played. the man they call Jupiter was front and center playing a mean bass all night long. To his left was Grasshopper and this guy is one of the best guitarists I've ever heard. From searing notes to real rootsy licks, i just couldn't believe how good he was. Some lead vocals, too. The man Ras Paul was on his right and he was great. When he took over lead vocals his stage presence was mesmerizing. he'd let the spirit move him and would go off on these tangents and he really blew me away. I told him later how good he was and he was just a humble rasta (as they all are).
The drummer was strong, too. I think his name was Akibo. They laughed and called him Hollywood. he was definitely hitting the skins hard and just jammin. Can't recall the keyboardist's name, but he was layin down some great sounds, too. The sound was just great last night and these 5 guys just meshed perfectly together to create some of the most crucial sounds I've heard in awhile. I asked them for the playlist afterwards but apparently they just play whatever's on their minds. And they dub out some of the tunes and their musicianship is just over the top. Just crucial...
Some of the songs i remember were "Love One Another," "Slow Down," "I Cry," "School daze," and they closed down with "Spiritual dancer." Near the end they also played "Hotel California." When Grasshopper introduced it I thought why would this band play that song? Their originals were so tight I just couldn't figure it out. But as soon as they started playing it, i was hooked. They then played marley's "Waiting In Vain" and that one blew me away too. they were just hard-core roots with Grasshopper's amazing guitar work. Man, it was a great show...They'll be back in town again this saturday at the Show me reggae fest, so that'll be cool.
Gotta roll to work. Check em out if they come to your town. believe me, they lay down some crucial vibes...
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