Words by Kenny Pete, Photos by Kimberly Wessels
Wednesday August 5th was another historical day for The Stone Pony.
On that fateful day the legendary stage was blessed by an institution in reggae music that is running 40 years strong. Album after album, show after show, continent after continent, and year after year, Steel Pulse have been keeping the heartbeat of reggae music alive across the world with a fierce passion and steadfast delivery.
Steel Pulse is on a mission. That mission is to unite people of all races, colors and creed for the greater good and to live life in a positive manner. This was on display as the vibe in the crowd was really a nice blend of people from all backgrounds who were there to have a good time. No bozos. No bad Vibes. There was the younger couple in front of me who had never seen Steel Pulse before and were really excited to her their favorite songs. There was an older gentlemen in an orange silk shirt with a depiction of Emperor Haile Selassie I riding a unicorn complete with red/green/gold beam of light emanating from the horn. Can’t forget about the other younger couple to my left with their youngest child, who couldn’t have been older than 16 months, complete with wide eyes, huge ear protection (thanks mom and dad) and a big smile looking forward to the show.
Setting the tone for the night was SensaMotion from Atlantic City NJ and Loose Fit from Oceanport NJ. Both made sure the crowd was ready to move when Steel Pulse took the stage. From the first notes of “Blues Dance Raid” it was apparent that this performance was going to be serious business. The band always goes the extra mile to make sure every single detail of the sound is properly dialed in to deliver a performance of maximum quality and this night was no different. With a full stage consisting of two keyboard players, saxophone, bass, drums, guitar as well as two vocalists the stage was full of life, positive energy and a sound that can’t be duplicated. For many in the crowd, 90 minutes is just not enough time to get in all the songs that longtime fans all know and love as there were chants for “Ravers,” “Roller Skates,” “Man No Sober,” and many others went unanswered. There in lies the key of a legendary band with 40 year staying power — put on an amazing show and always leave them wanting more.
Setlist: Steel Pulse – 8-5-15 – The Stone Pony
Blues Dance Raid
Black & Proud
Babylon Makes the Rules
Chant A Psalm
Don’t Be Afraid
Let Freedom Ring (acoustic intro)
E. Steppin Out.
“Black & Proud”
“Handsworth Revolution / Soldiers”