Review: Groundation & Rebelution in Cologne, Germany 11/3/2014
11/07/2014 by Lena Pletzinger
Groundation & Rebelution @ Live Music Hall in Cologne, Germany 11/03/2014
It was a beautiful Monday evening in November as the Live Music Hall in Cologne unified music lovers who were excited to enjoy a great night with Groundation and Rebelution.
Groundation is currently on the mission to present their eighth studio album A Miracle in Europe. which was released three weeks ago. The album is about the balance of life: no first or second-class citizenships, it’s about love and equality for all people and also about the love and bound between men and women.
On selected dates of their A Miracle-tour, Groundation took on board a special support act from their home state California: The band Rebelution, who has been a well-known live Reggae band in the States for many years, is starting to become popular in Germany now.
The jazzy and versatile taste of Groundation’s music attracts a diverse audience: people in every age and with different musical backgrounds. I simply state that music lovers who understand and appreciate high quality music came together to take off into a spiritual journey. Estimated 900 guests came to the venue that night.
Both bands don’t look like being a Reggae band at first sight: But as they played the instruments, one thing was clear: You don’t haffi dread to be Rasta!
Rebelution hit off the stage at 8pm. It was their very first time performing live in Cologne. It was noticeable that the big forward coming from the audience during the show made the band members very happy.
Their set was a collection of basically classic hit songs from the early years, but the new released album Count Me In was also presented in three of twelve songs. The singles Sky is the Limit and Good Vibes opened the show, followed by a bunch of other big tunes: Green To Black, Suffering, Bright Side Of Life and Save and Sound.
One big highlight of the show was when front man Eric Rachmany started to sing the lines: “Sweeeet Reggae music, I like it, I like it, I like it just like that”. His voice sounds confusingly similar to the original interpret of the song “I Like It”: Don Carlos. It was a hint of what was about to come next: the single Roots Reggae Music that features Eric’s musical idol Don Carlos. The combination of the grooving riddim, the strong bassline, saxophone solos and of course the beautiful lyrics of the song pushed the vibes to the fullest.
Feeling Alright, Attention Spam and Outta Control were the three last songs of Rebelution’s set this night. This hour of performing was much more than a usual warm-up show.
One quote from the song Feeling Alright keeps coming back to my mind ever since the morning after the show: "In the morning I wake up and miss the night before, cause I love the music more and more…" Aren’t these the sweetest words to express the love for music?
Groundation entered the stage at 21:30pm with a warm welcome and noticeable good vibes on stage. They opened their show with What Could Have Been, followed by Jah Jah Know and Upon The Bridge, three classic Groundation songs from the years 2003-2006.
A long set of brand new songs followed: Defender of Beauty, Free Rider, Liberation Call, A Miracle, Hold Your Head High, Jah Defend The Music 100% and Born Again. All these wonderful tunes evolve entirely powerful live on stage: The live playing of the nyabinghi drum put the tune Free Rider into the best light.
The single If I from the year 2001 was performed in the middle of the above-mentioned series of new tunes. A big fascination was to watch the crowd sing along even to all new songs.
At this highest point of jamming, Rebelution’s lead singer Eric and band saxophone player Khris Royal suddenly joined the stage again to perform a special cover version of Bob Marley’s Could You Be Loved together with Groundation, all as one big family. This was the last tune of the regular show.
Harrison Stafford’s inspiring speeches between the songs added so much love and hope to the heart of all listeners. He gave thanks for the good energy and wished everyone a healthy and positive life.
As an encore, Groundation came back with three extra performances: Cupid’s Arrow, One More Day and the hit tune Undivided on top as their very last track at 23:15.
Thanks to both bands, this night was an original Reggae session with words, sound and power!
Groundation is still on their A Miracle tour in Europe until Nov 17th. Don’t miss it if you have the chance to catch them in your area!