The female vocalist had a powerful set of pipes and a beautiful, rich timbre that fit perfectly with the male vocalist's higher dancehall-style voice. When she had a solo, we all took a step back, eyebrows raised at the size and shape of the sounds coming from such a tiny person. The male vocalist was the definition of charistmatic, ears and eyes unable to tear themselves away from his frenetic antics and vocalizations. He stood right at the edge of the stage, singing into the crowd and mesmerizing the audience. He dared us not to dance, and the crowd gratefully acquiesced, cheering loudly when he finally threw off his hat to let down his dreads. The bassist sang backup and lead vocals on a few songs, while still managing to provide a rock solid groove for the group and make it look like child's play. Even the guitar player sang on a few tracks, his nonstop funky strumming providing the heart beat to the band. His solo on 'Money' was absolutely genius, showing us his version of the Pink Floyd classic with gusto.
An avid fan of The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and Radiohead, I really could not pick my favorite cover. I loved the plodding, slightly raunchy sound of 'When I'm Sixty-Four', the saxophonist and trombonist infusing the melody with lots of blatts. The two horns sounded absolutely pristine, the female saxophonist absolutely crushing the sax solo on 'Breathe'. Strangely, I've never been a huge fan of 'Paranoid Android', but after hearing the Easy Star All Stars' stellar arrangement of the much-loved and multi-faceted piece, I feel like I need to revisit the original. That's what's so incredibly unique about this band: in addition to performing unique versions of classic songs, they're also changing the genre of reggae. Usually I think of reggae as being very positive and light: I didn't know that it could sound so eerie and go so deep.
They closed the show with 'Karma Police', the female vocalist's soaring out over the audience to uproarious applause and cries for more. I was one of the people crying for yet another encore: I just can't get enough of a band that sounds and feels so good. If you're a tie dyed in the wool reggae lover, you'll love Easy Star All Stars. If you absolutely hate reggae, you'll probably still love Easy Star All Stars. Their latest album Dubber Side of the Moon is now available for pre-order on their website. For more information about their upcoming tour dates, check out their tour schedule here.