Written by Bill Whiting
Rebelution’s appearance at Covington, Kentucky’s Madison Theater on March 28 brought out a diverse mix of dreadlocked fans, spring break students, and Bengals NFL players. The Santa Barbara, CA quintet is on the road supporting their excellent long player, Peace of Mind on the Rebelution label, 87 Music. The recording debuted at #13 on the Billboard charts, and was the #1 Independent and Reggae album in it’s first week of release. The group’s entrance on to the Madison’s stage was unique, as each musician walked on playing their instrument until they wrapped their island rhythms around the pumping jam, “Attention Span.” With the denizens on the floor singing each lyric back towards the stage, Rebelution launched into “Safe and Sound” from the underrated 2008 LP, Courage to Grow. As the ensemble tore into “Sky is the Limit” from Peace of Mind, bassist Marley D. Williams and drummer Wesley Finley produced a wicked groove that continued through the album’s next two compositions, “Comfort Zone” and “Good Vibes.” Laser lights projected throughout the aged facility, and Rebelution’s crystal clear sound bounced straight to the back of the theater’s bars. Two of the evening’s highlights came from both Peace of Mind as the song “So High” transfixed the dancers twirling on the floor, and “Bump” from 2009’s stellar project, Bright Side of Life was a throbbing masterpiece accented by saxophone player Khris Royal’s improvisational blowing to the steady rocking beat. Jesse Kosterman’s intricate keyboard contributions filled out the Rebelution cool, spacey vibe on the trend setting “Suffering” from Bright Side of Life and the back to back slamming renditions of “Nightcrawler” and “Green to Black” from Courage to Grow. Guitarist and singer Eric Rachmany leads the Rebelution experience, and he nailed down the new material, “Closer I Get” and “Meant to Be,” with a scintillating, vigorous vocal attack. By the time Santa Barbara’s finest came back to encore with “Outta Control” and “Lazy Afternoon,” the packed multitudes inside the Madison Theater were in a self possessed state of reggae infused delirium. It left one in feverish anticipation of the next return visit of the multi talented troupe, Rebelution, from sunny California.
Attention Span- Safe and Sound- So High, Sky is the Limit- Comfort Zone, Suffering- Good Vibes- Bump, Closer I Get, Feeling Alright, Nightcrawler- Green to Black- Lady in Black, Dub the System, Meant to Be, Other Side- Bright Side of Life
Encore: Outta Control- Lazy Afternoon