Thursday, August 9, 2007

Review: Steel Pulse at Villa Montalvo, Saratoga, Wednesday



As part of its program to remake itself as an arts organization, and not simply a concert venue, Saratoga's Villa Montalvo is asking performers to give the audience something they can't get elsewhere.

Wednesday, the British band Steel Pulse did an on stage interview with me and the audience --the first time this 32-year-old band has done this to open a show.

It was wonderful. I got to hang with them beforehand, watching them eat a vegan catered meal and play Batman trivia.

"That's life on the road," said Selwyn Brown, who stutters a bit and seems shy offstage, but on it, sings ferociously and danced out into the crowd with a wireless microphone.

These guys were sweethearts in every way as you can tell from a bit of this video. They were hesitant at first, but ended up enjoying the interaction with devoted fans.



BTW: Montalvo really shone this night. For the first time in my memory, there were no hassles between dancers and the sit-down folks int he expensive seats. About 3/4ths of the way through the show, security let a big crowd come to the front and dance.

That was how great rock and reggae concerts should be.

The set was great, a mix of old classics and new political tunes from the most recent disc "African Holocaust," now three years old.

Don't worry, said Selwyn. These perfectionists, who tour almost endlessly, have material for a new disc in 2008.




Setlist:

Rally Round
Roller Skates
No More Weapons
Pan Africans Unite
Dem A Wolf
Door of no Return
Can't Stand the Heat
Your House Medley
Bodyguard
African Holocaust
Handsworth Revolution
Earth Crisis
Babylon Makes the Rules
Global Warning

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