Matisyahu The Band
The National – Richmond, VA- 3.28.17
Photos & Words: Carolina Rivera
I remember hearing about Matisyahu a long time ago on the news. The Hasidic reggae artist who raps. At the time i was a little intrigued but didn’t follow up because I wasn’t a fan of reggae. Fast forward 10 years later I see his name again on my facebook feed. His PR team posted a recent acoustic performance and I was curious again. The best thing I’ve done this year is click play on that video, and i recently got my own place so thats saying a lot.
The Release the Bound tour stopped at Richmond, Virginia last Tuesday at The National. The night was full of good vibes, positivity and amazing music. Watching Matisyahu do his thing was almost like a religious experience. The band backing his vocals combined with the blend of reggae and hip hop was phenomenal. Matisyahu the band as they are called now consist of Original Stubbs guitarist Aaron Dugan, Dub trio bassist Stu Brooks, percussionist Joe Tomino and on the keyboard Big Yuki. Alongside Matisyahu himself on vocals who needs no instruments to showcase his abilities. Vocally, lyrically or beat boxing. Combined, the instrumentals and vocals are calming, cathartic, and spiritual. I could listen to this band jam and beatbox all day. Matter fact, I have been for days now.
He started of the set with his newest single “Step Out Into The Light” of his newest record coming out this spring “Undercurrent”. He played a few new ones, and they sounded phenomenal. I may be a little biased at this point. They also performed some songs from “Youth”‘ and his 2016 EP “Release the Bound”. Towards the end of the set Big Yuki played a beautiful introduction that blended into crowd favorite “One Day” and “No Woman No Cry from Bob Marley.
His performance was a raw expression of his spirituality and faith and every song blended in perfectly into the next. At times it seemed like lyrics were rearranged on the spot to match the energy of the crowd and instrumentals played along with Matisyahu’s beatboxing took the show to greater heights. Watching the crowd dance and sing and all the good energy was just as entertaining as watching the show. I could actually feel the floor boards of the venue thumping from the bass and the hairs stand up on my arms. Even though I wasn’t able to photograph the show that night, due to the live video being filmed. I’m still happy I got to see this tour. I can’t wait to see what he puts out next.