You could sense something was eminent, the feeling that at any moment the hair on your arms would stand on end, there was something different but yet welcomed and wanted about to occur. Some familiar faces among the crowd and band members swirling in and out... the energy in the air was strong enough to keep your head going left to right, constantly waiting the release of what had been built up.
The bar and dining area of Cibo was well filled, it almost seemed as though all you could hear was nervous laughter and expressions of anticipation. Whoever was there, knew it was about to go down. It was a sensation of being a part of the wave that was about to crest and leave a high water mark. There is no greater feeling than being a part of an experience like this, no greater reward than being able to look back and say...I was there.
The back music dropped, the hum of the amps could be heard as the eyes of the patrons all focused on the stage... eye to eye all the band members of Ancestree connected, with one unified body surge the band signaled to start up and fire off.
It was like a unexplained sequence in nature, the unification of the band lifting the energy and releasing it all at the same time with the first sounds of their set, like watching birds all turn at once in the air....out of chaos, organization and unification, comes harmony. The ripple hit the crowd, drinks were left on tables and at the bar to be replaced by an undeniable urge to dance. The floor in front of the stage filled with everyone moving to the music as if some natural and unstoppable force took over. The bands energy is one that moved the crowd in a unique and remarkable way... everyone seemed to move and react in unison to the melodies and high energy music. I realized seeing Ancestree a few times that this is a power that they have. An energy so strong that the band and the crowd become one. This wasn't their first time to the area to play and they consistently bring a vibe and energy that is hard to explain in words. Every time the door opened to admit another excited patron, the music spilled out into the street, drawing more and more people, the sound pulling them in as if the movement was a simple natural reaction.
Ancestree worked the house up and got them on their feet as well as the people coming through the door. What a magnet for positive times and vibe and for lack of a better term...celebration for nothing more than smiling, dancing, good music, good times and good people. An experience not to be missed.
Ancestree cleared the stage, the back music came up, patrons returned to their seats and awaiting cocktails and beverages, they all seemed to be in awe of what they had all experienced. Smiles from ear to ear on all their faces.. Looking often to the stage the crowd could see another band setting up... it was like knowing the tide was about to change ... and the waves increase.
Irie Fuse was second to take the stage. The stage was a bit more packed with band members this time, the amps buzzing a little louder. The crowd looked to be anxious, almost restless...the energy in the air was thick...all eyes were on the stage. Time, for a moment...was suspended.
Irie Fuse blasted off into their first song...the crowd seemed stuck and jaws dropped. Then with no cue or anything they all fell into the groove and danced as one. Absolutely amazing. The band carried on and in each song focused on one member of the band as if to explain how special each member was and to give insight as to how they all worked together through a beautiful unison of individuality. The crowd was non stop, the band was relentless. Outside you could hear the windows cavitating. They were loud but so talented that they were not loud enough. At one point a song blended into Bob Marley's "Stir it up"... shocked and unified the crowd even more and gave more excitement to the night.. Several songs later the crowd wanted more and more... they played a long late set and didn't disappoint in the least. Irie Fuse made a mark in the 831 for themselves and will continue to do so in further shows.
The night was ecstatic, energized, positive, unified, and I will easily say magical. You had to be there to understand. So great to see these two bands do so much with their talents beyond just playing music, they bring people together, they break that barrier between each of the members of the crowd and make them friends, family, bonded by a unique shared time together unmatched in any other way that I can imagine.
We cant thank both bands or everyone who came out enough, but I do know for those who did come, they got a reward greater than words can express.
***This night was dedicated to Thrive Reggae Rock Saxophonist Scott Schipper who lost his 2 year battle with cancer in late December. Scott leaves behind a legacy with his program Unify to Thrive, which helps young adults battling cancer. A portion of the proceeds from this event were donated to help Unify to Thrive. #effcancer ***
Aaron M McGilloway