Club Viva, Feb. 13, 2003
Once again, Midnite blew through town last nite and it was another
incredible performance. Believe me, it's been a long day at work with not
much sleep, but I'll try to put some thoughts together...
Almost one year to the day that Midnite played their first gig in St.
Louis, they came back to a packed house and were truly "Ras To The Bone."
Anyone who reads my posts on this group know how I feel about their
musical abilities. No one, in my opinion, can touch them - and that's
saying a lot. This was I think their 4th date on this tour and they are
true soldiers as they travel non-stop to get to their next date. They
drove in from Carolina around 4 p.m. or so and did their sound check at
6:30 (I heard their show in Atlanta a few nights back was from like 2
a.m. til 6:30 or so, then they drove straight to Carolina)...
Anyway, the place is getting crowded and is packed by 10 p.m. or so
(starting time was scheduled for 11). Usually not much is happening by
this time, but with the return of Midnite - and on this tour the addition
of Dezarie - the buzz in St. Louis was intense. I crammed into the middle
of the packed floor at 1/4 til 11, figuring it would be 15 minutes til
show time. The DJ was instructed to play some roots which he did, so the
vibe was right on. By 11:15, I was bummin, knowing that the curfew was
1:20 at the latest, and every minute wasted meant less time skankin...
All of a sudden at 11:20, here they come and the show starts. Midnite
(without Vaughn) starts off and begins with "Most High." The place was
crammed and the lights were basically non-existent, but Dezarie was
sounding incredible. Played a couple new tunes, then "Woe!" and that was
it. Sounded tight. To be honest, I (along with about 450 others) would've
loved to have heard more, but it was time for Vaughn to take over...
Hard to stress again how incredible this band is when Vaughn steps to the
mike. He's got the coolest voice in reggae and the most intense and
passionate lyrics I've heard in a long time. He is the absolute perfect
lead singer in my opinion...
Can't remember, but I think they started with (or 2nd song was)
"Gratitude," a slow re-working of "Begin The Day" from 'Jubilees Of
Zion." They were awesome. I kept looking at my watch thinking, "shit,
time is running out." Believe me, if the curfew wasn't in place, they
would've played all night. They were really feeding off the audience
which was incredibly loud and vocal. I didn't get to talk to them this
time after the show, but I can't imagine any audience with a better vibe.
St. Louis loves Midnite...
They must keep track of songs they haven't played here, because they came
at us with some new ones (and ones we hadn't heard since their first show
here a year ago today). "Jubilees Of Zion" was brilliant. "New Life" and
"Late Night Ghetto" were first timers and were killer. The
above-mentioned "Gratitude" was crucial and they also played a song that
sounded like "How To Keep One's Self Maintained."
Sounded intense. "Earth Cycle Now A Rasta" also blew me away. They played
tons of others ("Bushman" with another audience sing-along, "Meditation,"
"Propoganda," "Love The Life You Live," "Mama Africa" which was late in
the concert, "Love Right (Live Right)" and others. Probably one of my
favorite tunes was "People Iz I" off the latest release, "Geoman," by the
Midnite Branch I (a side project of Vaughn, bassist Phil and drummer
Dion). That tune knocked me out...
At 1:15, Vaughn was intense doing his accapella of "Grapes Of Wrath." He
is so fast and lyrically potent, I was just amazed. Before that, a guy
was screaming at him and getting his attention and causing Vaughn to lose
focus. The guy was an idiot. Vaughn extended his fist in peace, but the
guy was wacked. Other people around me were talking while Vaughn was
doing his thing and I wanted to just say, "listen! Vaughn Benjamin is 8
feet away. Pay attention." But obviously everyone's not into the lyrics.
Kind of a shame...
Anyway, at 1:20 they had to end it. Seriously, if there wasn't a curfew
they would've probably gone all night. Where they get the energy only Jah
They flew out to Washington today and are ready to tear up the West
Coast, I'm sure. Anyone within a 300 mile (or larger) radius is highly
encouraged to check em out. Last night was just another crucial
performance by the hottest band around...
Reporting from the Midwest
FREE SKANK SAMPLER
POSITIVE VIBES ON KDHX
GET IN TOUCH
WHO IS PROFESSOR SKANK?