Opinion: Reggae/Ska Concert

Last night, I popped my reggae/ska-concert cherry!

I saw Passafire and Slightly Stoopid, and it was an amazingggg experience.

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As someone who had been going to only rock/punk/screamo(embarrassing) shows between the ages of 13-18, I was very shocked, refreshed and pleased by the major differences between reggae/ska and rock shows that I spotted.

Here is the opinion of a former scene kid on a completely new genre.

1.) The Vibe

Bob Marley is probably the most universally well-known reggae artist. His songs speak words of love and peace, carried beautifully by easy drums, rhythmic bass and horns. When people hear those light steel drums and Marley’s distinctive vocals, they can’t help but groove to the music, swaying with the beat. Many people can associate reggae music with happy and positive feelings.

The rock concerts that I have been to in the past were the opposite. Pounding drums, heavy guitar and growling vocals encourage a different type of vibe. People shove and kick to get to the front of the crowd, you can’t watch the band in front of you for five minutes without having to worry that a crowd surfer is about to be dropped on your head or that a mosh pit is about to break out right next to you when all you want to do is watch the show. The overall feeling is not positive, in my opinion.

Last night’s concert was wonderfully foreign to me, with people dancing and smiling. I didn’t see anyone standing up against the wall rolling his or her eyes while Passafire and Slightly Stoopid were performing. Everyone there seemed to be having fun, laughing and singing with others. The crowd was not hostile, but friendly and warm.

2.) The Ages

I don’t know if it was just the artists I was going to see, but at every concert I have gone to, even when I was 18, there always seemed to be younger kids in the audience.

Last night, the age ranged from 20-50. I saw college kids with beers in one hand and a joint in the other, and I saw men and women my parents’ age dancing and singing along to the lyrics. It was a very refreshing change to be around “legal” audience members.

3.) The Appearance

I had surprised my boyfriend with the concert tickets last night, so neither of us really had time to get changed into “concert clothes,” which, in my opinion, had always been skinny jeans, some type of skater shoe, and a T-shirt.

He was wearing a long-sleeved shirt and I was wearing a sweater. I thought we’d stand out like sore thumbs, but we didn’t. The people at the concert sporting many different styles, not seeming to be too concerned about fitting an image.

The majority of the men there had short hair, not long, shaggy, flippy hair. The women had hair of all lengths, but the majority didn’t have thick side bangs.

But the one thing everyone there had in common was that fist, peace sign or finger up in the air as they grooved to the reggae/ska music.

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