Concert Review: Matisyahu and Rebelution
By: Juan Barragan
Matisyahu and Rebelution
Open Air Theatre
10 August 2013
Conveniently located a few hundred feet away the San Diego State University Transit Station is one of two of the school’s music venues that hosts dozens of well known artists every year. The Open Air Theatre, much like its name suggests, is an outdoor music venue that seats several thousand people. On this particular night, a few thousand people were there to hear some reggae music from their favorite artists.
Matisyahu, the Crown Heights reggae legend from Brooklyn, New York, began the night’s entertainment by playing a few songs from his most recent album, Spark Seeker. The song “Crossroads” got the crowd moving very early in the set. Matisyahu’s set delivered a variety of songs meshed into a single song, with lyrics taken from several songs and played together in a creative way that makes each show unique and original. Matisyahu ended his somewhat short set with the two songs that catapulted the band to the popularity levels it now enjoys: “King Without a Crown” and “One Day.” The latter of the two was sung especially loud, particularly the chorus which says, “All my life I’ve been waiting for / I’ve been waiting / for the people to say / that we don’t want to fight no more.” Considering the constant turmoil that wars abroad have caused, it is only understandable that the people in attendance would identify with such peace-promoting lyrics. One notable difference from this show compared to other ones was that the crowd did not storm the stage to sing this last song, as is the case at other Matisyahu shows. Nevertheless, the crowd was pumped and ready to see Rebelution, the main act of the night.
Rebelution came on stage and did not waste a single minute setting the tone for the rest of the night. Opening with “Green to Black,” immediate clouds of smoke emanated from both the stage from fog machines, and from the crowd. The mood was set after this, the crowd was taken to a state of Irie with the sound vibrations that Rebelution created that night. The band immediately followed their set with their instant classic from the new album, “Sky is the Limit,” which the crowd danced and sang along to every lyric. The band decided to play “Counterfeit Love” near the middle of their set which was ironically released this past Valentine’s Day on YouTube. To most in the crowd, this was a new song, but to die-hard Rebelution fans, this was the song that set them apart from the rest of the crowd as they sang along to the unreleased tune. The band brought with them a great horn section that complemented the classic Rebelution songs tremendously well. This was clearly evident when they played “Feeling Alright” from their album, Courage to Grow. The end of Rebelution’s set was equally as strong as their introductory songs. They decided to finish their set with “Lady in White” and “Outta Control,” two fan-favorites that left everyone wanting more.
The location of this venue turned out to be perfectly placed for the concert attendees. With good vibes all around by the end of the show, most people stumbled onto the trolley to be safely transported to their next destination for the night. This concert exemplified the school’s commitment to providing world class entertainment without failing to provide responsible choices for students and non-students alike.