Reviews > Shows
Midnite at The Jewish Mother
The Jewish Mother
Virginia Beach, VA
Midnite has more than earned its place in the annals of reggae history, and they continue to evolve as they march across the planet. Midnite’s two core members (brothers: Vaughn Benjamin -Vocals and Ron Benjamin bass/harmony vocals) have plenty of talent to spread between any two bands, and together they are undeniably inspirational. Vaughn’s lyrics and meditative vocal delivery have the ability to entrance, and Ron’s bass skills are as good as they come in the reggae world, and beyond. Ron’s move from keys to bass has been a wise transition; his riffs are flawless and thoughtful.
Before Midnite’s set, a staple of eastern Virginia’s reggae community, Session Rockers, opened the night with a list of familiar tracks that continue to grow with every performance. “Thunder and Lightning,” “Jah Never,” and “Broken Nation” were a few of the band’s highlights that ran alongside the newbie known as “Dread at Heart.” This new song posits the idea that, although we may not all rock a set of locks on our heads, we can still carry the power of their sentiment in our hearts.
The Jewish Mother filled to the brink, as Midnite took to the stage. Some of Midnite’s nicer songs, out of a long list, were “Bazra,” “Rasta to the Bone,” “Love the Life you Live,” “Mama Africa,” and “Pagan, Pay Gone.” Vaughn’s voice is so soft, the crowd has to often hush itself in order to truly absorb; yet, it is so powerful in word and delivery. Pair that with Ron’s vocal harmonies and bass skills, and it’s a fierce equation. Midnite’s music is pure and aggressive in that it never breaks into something commercialized or patterned after the norm. There is no other band like Midnite, love them or not.
Midnite is known for long sets that leak deep into the morning hours. The Jewish Mother ended this night’s long single set at around 1:30 in the morning, but Midnite showed no signs of slowing. Few concerts have the force of a Midnite concert, both in the breadth of songs and talent put on display, but more importantly, in the value of the message forwarded by this unit. One may not connect with the message of Rastafarianism, but Midnite’s ongoing journey touches on universal themes of peace, love, and cultural prosperity that have the ability to break through to the toughest of hearts.
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