I had the awesome opportunity to catch Matisyahu on his Festival of Light tour in Buffalo this past Monday and I’m glad I did!
Matisyahu’s music is a unique blend of reggae, rock, and hip hop. That may sound like an odd pairing, but he does it in such a perfect way that it makes complete sense. I didn’t know much of his music going into the show except for a few of his hits. I remember really digging his song, “Youth” years back. Other then that, I didn’t know much but I always go into those shows with an open mind.
Check out his hit “Youth”:
I made it to the show 10 minutes before they went on. Right when they hit the stage, I could feel the great vibes in the room and was expecting an awesome show! The intro had the lights flashing all around in suspense and the music was electrifying.
I found myself smiling very often during the show. The music is very uplifting and Matisyahu seemed very pleased to be with the audience. It was very clear in the times that he spoke to the audience that he appreciated everyone, and even life in general. It was a very memorable night for me!
I’m a very visual person, so an awesome production also scores big in my books when going to a show. Matisyahu’s lighting rig was pretty decent. It didn’t look much before they started playing, but once they came out it was pretty glorious!
My favorite moment from the show was the very end when they played their hit, ” One Day ” and Matisyahu invited anyone in the audience to come on stage. The song serves a powerful message.
One day we’ll all be free
And proud to be
Under the same sun
Singing songs of freedom like
One day” – Excerpt from “One Day”
Having everyone swaying in the crowd and on stage gave me goosebumps. It really was an awesome way to close the night!
If you have a chance to catch Matisyahu anytime soon, I would recommend it! I will be seeing them for sure next time I get the chance.
Matisyahu’s Upcoming Tour Dates:
- 12/5 – Monmouth University – Philadelphia, PA
- 12/7 – House of Blues – Boston, MA
- 12/8 – Webster Hall – New York, NY
- 12/9 – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC
- 12/10 – The Space at Westbury – Westbury, NY
- 12/11 – Club Helsinki – Hudson, NY
- 12/14 – Solaris Concert Venue – Vail, CO
It’s such an awesome feeling when you see a band for the very first time and they rock your socks off. It’s even cooler when they are local to your area! That band is AjamajA, and they are quickly making their name known!
AjamajA’s band name is something that sticks with me. It’s catchy and hard to forget; but anyone can have a cool name. It’s the music that really counts, right? Well I was pleased to have seen them live last week opening up for the very talented, Zach Deputy!
I knew of the band, and I had already heard some of their recorded material, so I was really looking forward to the show. They came right out jamming, and I had a great time dancing. You see, living in Buffalo in the winter gets pretty cold. It’s always awesome grabbing a few beers and catching a live show that gets you moving to keep ya warm and fuzzy. AjamajA did just that! Check out some of their material for yourself:
I was able to catch up with guitarist and vocalist Jason Staniszewski.
Kyle - What are some of your biggest music influences as a band?
Jason - moe. , Grateful Dead, Phish, Ween, Talking Heads, Umphrey’s McGee, Bob Dylan, Lotus, Brothers Past, Primus, Toots & The Maytals, Bob Marley, Lettuce, Miles Davis…. We listen to just about everything and are willing to dive into any situation. Music is here to be heard and we are all about that. Crossing genres.
Kyle - AjamajA is a very unique name. How did the name come about?
Jason - The name is very unique and that is what we wanted. We wanted something non genre specific and somewhat easy to remember, but still leaving it open ended. (Jason) My brother and I were on the phone the one night and he said you should name your band JamaJ. I dug it, but thought of the Austin Powers movie where he says Fajah for his Father. So I said AjamajA. After going in numerous directions we all agreed that this would have to be the name.
Kyle - What’s the bands writing process like?
Jason – It varies from one song to another. Sometimes a member will bring a full song in with lyrics and we will then analyze an adjust. Other times someone will catch a cool riff and we will play with it for a bit. We are very open minded to everyone’s ideas and want to keep each song moving in a new and different direction.
Kyle - Buffalo has an awesome music scene. What is your favorite part of starting out here?
Jason - The fans. The people here are really into the original music scene, they are willing to come out and support bands most any day of the week. That is a testament in its own. People love dancing and getting funky here in Buffalo!
Kyle - What got you into the jam scene?
Jason - Me personally, I have to give credit to my Aunt & Uncle. They hooked me up when I was a kid with Grateful Dead albums and some live Phish shows. I didn’t really get it until I was 12-13. My dad was always into classic rock and a big Neil Young and Allman Brothers fan. Cat Stevens, James Taylor and The Beatles were also played a lot. The jam scene just suited me and my personal beliefs more. Exploring and creating something out of nothing is an amazing thing to witness.
Kyle - What makes AjamajA stand out as a band?
Jason - We are a group of humble fellas that love to play. Our openness on stage allows not only us, but our crowds to be themselves.
Kyle – Thanks Jason! Anything else to add?
Jason - We can’t wait to get out on the road and expand our horizons. Music is everything to us, it’s in our bones, it’s a passion!
A highlight of their set for me was when they closed with ” I Know you Rider “ by the Grateful Dead. Anytime I have a chance to see Grateful Dead music performed live, I get excited. I’m always way more judgmental when a band performs covers of songs that I like. It’s hard not to especially when a band changes the song up a bit. I thought they did an awesome job! The vocals and instrumentals were spot on!
Here’s a clip of them performing their original song, “A Simple Life” from the show.
I’m already anxious to see them perform again! Keep an eye out for these guys, as I’m sure they will be playing shortly in a town near you!
Until next time…
AjamajA Live at the Waiting Room Photo Credit: Lindsey Robinson Photography
Scampers! If you didn’t have the opportunity of catching Buffalo, NY’s Aqueous at Summer Camp on that rainy Sunday afternoon, you are in luck!
Aqueous just announced an extensive Fall tour which covers tons of awesome venues to get your groove on!
If you have never heard of aqueous, I highly recommend you checking them out. Here’s a live clip to get you started:
I know what you are thinking! After listening to that track, you want more! Well, check out their dates and go see them at a venue near you! I can promise you this; you will NOT be disappointed!
For more Aqueous news, check out http://www.aqueousband.com/
Summer Camp ‘Counselor in Training’ Tiffany Narron captures Umphrey’s McGee’s private VIP performance at Scamp’s one and only church, a true heart-melting, soul searching rawk-bawls time! Enjoy: Umphrey’s McGee Rocks the Church- Summer Camp Music Festival 2013
While at Scamp this year, I brainstormed a few ridiculous questions to shoot by a few of the Umphrey’s McGee members to keep them on their toes and hopefully get some juicy, fun facts from the band. Here’s what I found out for all of you Umfreaks and for you moe-rons, stay tuned for the finale at the bottom! This photo really sums it all up:
So I posed the question to bassist Ryan Stasik of Umphrey’s McGee: “If you had to describe yourself in one song which song would it be and why?” His answer: “Smooth Operator” by Sade along with the quippy remark, “Do I really need to explain why?” Ohhh mister Stasik knows he’s a sexy moustached stallion. Who would have thought?
With a blush and a smirk I rambled off my next question: “If you were invisible and could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?” Stasik firmly retorted, “Well how old would I be” to which I replied, “You can be as old as you want.” He grinned and looked up for a minute then shot back at me, “Well I would be 18 years old and I would hang out in a girl’s locker room at the hot yoga studio.” Whew. Well we see where your mind is at buddy. And after walking around to a fan who bought a ticket for the Umphrey’s Picnic and was sitting in the barn enjoying a sandwich out of their newly prized Umphrey’s lunchbox, I saw the photo above. With iphones snapping like an MTV red carpet event, the photo certainly took a few UM fans by surprise. Yes, V is for Vagina. Thanks for that gem
Later on in the VIP tent where Summer Camp so amazingly put together meet and greets with some of the big boys at camp this year, I ran into Rob Derhak, bassist and vocalist for moe. When I asked him where he would go if he were invisible and why, he gave me a much more sophisticated response- “Well I would go to the White House of course and dig around for a bit.”
There you have it friends- the short and skinny on the thoughts of Stasik and Derhak. Whew, now we can all rest easy. More to come. Stay tuned….
Sunday was EASILY the best day of music for me. Also, it was easily the worst day of weather. No way I was gonna let that affect my mood, though, and for many Scampers, it was the same.
I was able to catch Umphrey’s day time show, and they just continue to get better every time I see them, as now this was the 15th show for me. Highlights include a beautiful version of Dear Lord, one of my all time favorites and a rarity, with a sit-in from Luther Dickinson. They closed the set with a rockin’ Miss Tinkle’s Overture. Check out my video of it (right here): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0M7GMT3F74&feature=youtu.be
Hands down, the show by The Everyone Orchestra was one of the best shows I have ever seen. Wow. I was just blown away. On stage was Joel Cummins of Umphrey’s McGee on keys, Vinnie Amico, Jim Loughlin, and Al Schnier of moe. on drums, percussion, and guitar, respectively, Victor Wooten on bass, Allie Kral of Cornmeal on violin, Roosevelt Collier on steel guitar, and Alex Steele of Roste McCabe on vocals. There was also another girl on trombone who was just stunningly good, but I am not sure who her name was unfortunately. Of course, it was orchestrated by Matt Butler. For those unfamiliar with The Everyone Orchestra, it is all improv and the jams are literally conducted by Butler as he is leading the artists with the tempos and grooves. Their final jam had some “Love Love Love” lyrics bouncing around that got the crowd going crazy inside the intimate Red Barn.
Finally, there was Trey. Words can’t even begin to describe the musical journey he takes me on every time I see him perform. He came out on stage, did a nice little awkward and goofy half-bow to the crowd, picked up Ocelot (the name of his guitar) and got right into First Tube, a classic song that gets me rocking every time. He didn’t let up from there in his first set got better and better with each song. Unfortunately it was raining for most of the first set, so I didn’t get many pictures or videos, but it let up enough for me to catch the end of “Money, Love, & Change.” Check it out! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysUBGexwkKU&feature=youtu.be
His second set was cut short due to the nasty flash flood, which to be honest, came as a sort of relief to me. I found myself at such a predicament because a gust of wind, or Trey’s peak in one of his jams, snapped my umbrella in half. Once that happened I just got SOAKED. I mean soaked. And muddy. But I mean, it’s Trey! During the jam of Push on til The Day, the final song he ended up playing, a small child arose on the shoulders of someone in the front row, and he just danced danced and danced away for all to notice. The crowd cheered him on as he had all the spins and moves, mostly with his arms, and even Trey went up and gave him a high five after the song ended. It reminded me of when Alpine Valley last summer, in which Trey pulled up a bunch of phans on stage during their encore song of Meatstick, showing despite the level of stardom he has reached, he still has the heart and joy of music to share it with others and acknowledge great moments when it happens. By the way, I was one of those guys doing the Meatstick dance on stage. Here’s the video! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nIFwpRxFLA
Well, Summer Camp, it was GREAT. Although the rainstorm cut the night a little young, I had a hell of a time and am already counting down the days til next year.
This will be my first post as one of your Camp Counselors! I am so excited to be here at the festival and blogging for SCamp. Every year, the week before the fest we find ourselves constantly checking that 10 day report of what kind of weather we will be seeing over the weekend. For some reason it always seems to change every 5 minutes. Before coming to the festival, my +1 sent me this hilarious weather report that I feel is quite accurately how my weekend will go!
I hope you all enjoy it. Here’s JR Johnivan with your weather!
The forecast is looking partially UMmy, with a heady chance of moe. lazers. Possible wailer storms coming in Friday, right around 4:20
which is going to give way to a Level 9 STS watch later on in the evening, eventually ending with some massive dubstep, where on-site reporter Jason Hann will be live in the VIP lounge.
Saturday you’d have to be a conspirator not to love this weather, so make sure to eat your bowl of cornmeal in the afternoon cuz it’s a (karl denson’s) tiny universe out there, or maybe you wanna go with a pizza with THE WERKS on it, before getting an UM, Moe, UM, Moe, and make sure to put them sunglasses on cuz late night Ragbirds will be BRIGHT!!
Then we’ll start off first thing Sunday afternoon with an extended UM watch, before checking out some TAJ MAHAL-like weather – believe me, you’re gonna wanna eat plenty of LETTUCE for this one, oh – did I forget to mention this is Ragbirds season? Hope you have your sunglasses on Sunday too, cuz there will be plenty of Ragbirds crossings out. Thats right about the time we’ll ROCK into the FUTURE , then, we’ll have a 4 hour commercial from our main sponsor, TAB (Cola) before ending the weekend with some moe.
and that is your weather report son!
Enjoy your festy SCampers!
Happy delicious Friday Scamp friends and family! Hope life is treating everyone gloriously! I’m up surprisingly early for a Friday in the forest. Sooo, I got in around 3:00 yesterday afternoon with hundreds of other fun and colorful people from all over the world. I actually had the amazing pleasure of hooking a fellow fan up with a deluxe VIP pass to the fest. She was wondering around in an adorable cut-off Bob Marley shirt, no shoes, tilted hat decked out with hippie bling and puffy letter stickers spelling, well…part of her name- E.L.E. Miss Ellie and her friends were on their way to Delfest but couldn’t find that lucky miracle ticket so they hopped on the bus and took the ride all the way up to beautimus Summer Camp- again, no tickets in hand, just a little bounce in their step and hope in their hearts.
As she wondered by with one lone finger in the air, she sweetly leaned into our car window and said, “Got any extras?” I told her I was actually an official Summer Camp Counselor and strange enough, I’m balling with an extra Deluxe VIP pass. “Ohhhh man, I can’t afford that,” she shook her head and sadly sang to me. I smiled and told her she could have for the low, low price of $150, way less than gate price for a regular ticket. Her eyes beamed and she completely freaked, dancing around the car and grabbing me in a giant bear hug. I caught a glimpse of her cheesing from the Starshine stage last night.
After hooking a fellow sister up I wandered over to the VIP scamping grounds and nestled in. Honestly, I threw my gear down three different times before finding the right space for my new home in the woods. You must choose your neighbors wisely while festing, my friends. Too many neon-colored boom boxes, Nike pumps and tilted hats = you will not sleep for the next three days. Your brain will be submerged in Bassnectar banging til’ 4am, amongst bad jokes and 19-year -old high school horror stories. No thanks.
So, I mosied along and nestled into a cozy little space beside two sexy girls and a crew of good friends from Chi-town. Frickin’ amazing people. After creating our beautiful tent city castle, we all laughed and talked and ran around the festival grounds meeting our fellow Scampers and letting them know that all is safe in Scamp land while I’m around. While out, I caught a little of super bouncy, fun bluegrass band Chicago band Van Ghost. The lead singer plucked away at a washboard, crooning a soft, sweet, guttural lullaby. After, we ran over to Digital Tape Machine and rawked out, spinning and jamming to the hard-rock jam and bass that make their glorious sound. Everyone was completely raging it for a Thursday afternoon. It was glorious!
Today, the madness really begins. Today UMPHREYS MCGEE is going to rage cage all over this land! Oh yes. Don’t worry friends, I’ll be back to share all of the beautiful debauchery and goodness
Be easy ~TiffleToes