By: Kirsten Nicolaisen
If you were lucky enough to be at the SDSU Open Air Amphitheater this past Saturday night, then you know how incredible the night became when Zion I, Matisyahu, and Rebelution stole the stage on their "Good Vibes" tour.
The stadium quickly filled up as the hip-hop duo from Oakland, California, Zion I, began to pump up the crowd with an intense energy behind their every lyric and an interactive performance that helped connect the audience to the stage and the music. The crowd went especially wild as the band closed with their most popular hit "Coastin'" which left the audience with an extremely "good vibe," (fitting the tour's title), before Matisyahu took the stage.
Matisyahu, the Jewish reggae/alternative rock artist, next entered the stage with a heavy strut and a powerful commanding tone behind his vocals. His leather jacket, cleanly shaven face and head, and seriously somber expression made for a very intense look and feel that nicely complemented the darker element his performance gave to the Good Vibes tour. Powerful emotion emanating from Matisyahu's performance could be seen, heard, and felt throughout the stadium and the clarity of his vocals sent shivers up my spine. Matisyahu's drummer Joe Tomino greatly drew my attention, captivating me with the indescribable energy and emotion he put into is drumming. Although at the back of the stage, Tomino was, what I believe, to be one of the most noticeable parts of a performance that left me stunned, moved, wanting more, and wondering how the headliner Rebelution could top it.
But Rebelution did top it, producing one of the best live performances I have ever seen. The group stormed the stage with an incredible energy that never ceased throughout the entire performance. As one popular hit ran into the next, my disbelief at their talent grew greater and greater. In my opinion, Rebelution sounded even better live than on their albums. The wailing electronic saxophone mixed with creative emotional lyrics, and amazing sounds from both electric and acoustic guitars made for not just an astounding performance, but rather an astounding experience.
I have been listening to Rebelution frequently throughout this summer that I spent in San Diego, California. Their melodies blend nicely with the sunlight on your skin and the feel of sand between your toes. And as these sunny summer days start to come to an end I feel lucky to have been in the presence of this music live and up close. As the cool summer night breeze blew through my hair last Saturday night, I stood in awe of these amazing performances. I also stood in jealousy that I was not the one on the stage.