East Coast reggae rhythms cascaded over the ecstatic Lake Park audience during an intimate performance – Review of the The Movement, New Kingston, and Resinated concert at the Kelsey Theater in Lake Park
Reggae rock veterans The Movement headlined the night’s performance, along with supporting acts New Kingston and Resinated. The night’s entertainment provided a wide array of different styles of reggae ranging from funky reggae jams to melodic roots reggae. Kelsey Theater has continued its effort to provide a musical haven for growing reggae acts and as owner AJ Brockman put it…“It was a killer show” and promises that more reggae and jam bands are to come to Kelsey in 2018. It was indeed a killer show watching The Movement headline an east coast tour after first witnessing them opening with The Green for Iration’s first headlining tour back in 2010 and gaining the respect of the new reggae fan-base and their fellow contemporaries.
As the crowd began shuffling into the theater room early in the night, funky reggae-rockers Resinated of St. Petersburg, Florida, brought the funk down on Kelsey Theater, opening with Every Day of My Life from their most recent and extremely popular Smoke Signals album. One of the most positive aspects of reggae music is it is incredibly family-oriented for the artists and the fans, and as they jammed out to their song Downtown, it wasn’t very hard to notice front-man Kenny Mullins’ one-year old son Jett attempt to run away from his mother and climb up on stage to jam with his father. It’s moments like these that allow a fan like myself to empathize with some our favorite artists who spend so much time away from their families to bring their music to fans all over the country. As their set continued onto more funkadelic tunes like Hands Off!, Paradise, and Waiting, bassist John Gray laid down some groovy bass lines all over the place along with Jeff Applefield providing passionate vocal harmonies and “resonated” keys that added electricity to their live “resonance.” Towards the end of their short but sweet set, the crowd continued to increase and Resinated introduced a new single Body Moves set to release in about a month or so and the band continued to break it down for the increasing crowd, climaxing with fan-favorites and funkiest tunes Sativa Feva and Nighthawk with John Gray continuing to gracefully slide up and down his bass and drummer Josh Hasak firing up with funky rhythms on the drums. Although a brief opening set, Resinated heated up the crowd for the next stunning act, New Kingston.
This family from Brooklyn, NY, consisting of brothers Stephen Suckarie, Tahir Panton, Courtney Panton Jr., cousin Kris Harmon, and father Courtney Panton Sr., rocked the stage with their combination of roots reggae, dancehall, urban R&B, and hip-hop style that had the crowd going wild. Each brother takes turns singing different verses and choruses of practically each song, delivering several variations of vibes, while patriarch, Courtney Panton Sr., grooves next to his sons on the bass with the biggest smile on his face and cousin Kristoff “diMondemFrass” Harmon endows their sound with a percussive masterpiece of congas, woodblocks, shakers, tambourine, and later on an epic Djembe solo. New Kingston commenced with i, a single that was released before their latest album release Come From Far and then followed with the title track from that album. After some jams and participation from the crowd, New Kingston continued on with a couple hits from their penultimate and #1 on the Billboard Reggae chart release, Kingston City, with Key to Life and Mystery Babylon (which features Madd T-Ray and E.N. Young, both from Tribal Seeds), and the powerful Honorable.
All throughout their performance, fans witnessed the passion and fun flow from this family band through Courtney Jr.’s animated facial expressions on drums, guitarist Stephen and keyboardist Tahir’s vocal harmonies, Courtney Sr.’s hot-stepping, and Kris’s grooving rhythms. The family band concluded with their fire jam, Kingston Fyah, from their last EP of the same name with Courtney Jr. coming down from his drum set to lay down more passionate vocals and words for the audience, reminding us that “It is a good time to be alive and a good time for reggae music,” while the crowd cheers on in respect for their positive words and performance.
Rounding out the night’s festivities, South Carolina/Philly reggae-rockers, The Movement, transported the audience to a new level of reggae stimulation. Performing a sundry 19-song set, including a couple songs from their first album, On Your Feet, all the way to their chart-topping Golden album, released last year, The Movement left no stone unturned when it came to diversifying their set-list. The Movement has made it a “habit” now to commence their recent sets with their newest single, Siren, (featuring Scott Woodruff of Stick Figure) with the song delving into recent political outcry over fake news and social media negativity and the song is also the first single off of their upcoming album being produced by Stick’s new guitarist Johnny Cosmic.
The Movement’s set consisted of many grooves, more funk, and chill reggae vibes. Front-man Josh Swain’s vocal talents range from chill solo vocals to hip-hop verses with a hint of grunge twang, while his guitar gently vibes to the rhythms of bassist Jay Schmidt and drummer Gary “Dread” Jackson’s cadenced musical styles, while newest member Ross Bogan on the keyboard arranges all of the bubbling melodies and background electronic resonances that make The Movement’s sound differ from the rest of the genre. Coming out of the classic hit Green Girl from the classic Set Sail album, Josh loses the guitar to go up to the crowd and sing title track, Golden (featuring Elliot Martin of John Brown’s Body), off their most recent album, an electro-style reggae groove and continues guitar-less into a slow crowd favorite and newly re-released Habit 2016 (featuring Collie Buddz and Bobby Hustle), before picking his guitar back up to venture next into yet another funky jam that includes a hip-hop groove Livest Shit from their very first album, On Your Feet (No. 9 on The Pier’s 10 Essential Reggae Rock Albums). While introducing a brand new track, Loud Enough, that will be featured on the same album as Siren, Gary Dread (who is also a solo DJ artist) beats the drums vigorously on this song. By the end of their set even the security personnel are bobbing their heads in unison with the enticed crowd and they close their set with a tribute to Jamaican dancehall music, titled Dancehall, followed by their most popular song Set Sail. After the crowd cheers for an encore they end up with even more than they could ask for…New Kingston appears on stage and each of the brothers take turns singing verses and Kris and Courtney Sr. jam with The Movement’s instrumentalists…and they’re not done! The Movement concluded the night with Fair Warning off of their latest album and diametrically delivered a melded chill and intense performance that continued to solidify their position as one of the top rockers in the new reggae “movement.”