University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Popular music in America: The beat goes on
The electric atmosphere the first time I attended a live concert show makes for fond memories. The Kongos will remain to be my favorite band as they were the main act. I had never attended a live concert before but with the suggestion from my friends for some not to miss chance, I had to give in. From the beckoning Neon lights at the entrance to the long lines of radiant fans dressed in all manner of the Kongos regalia, I could tell I was in for a show of my life .
The show took place in an amphitheatre. Inside, the venue was packed and being my first time, I had some mixed reactions on being in such a crowded place. Beer seemed to be the prescribed fluid as almost everyone had a Can and its effect on the crowd could be felt. The deafening boom from the speakers placed all around the venue made communication hard. One had to lean in to their partner and talk loudly in order to be heard. Never had I encountered such levels of noise. The band playing on stage took their bows marking their climax with a frenzied performance that consisted of heavy instrumentals. My ears were ringing by the time the stage lights went off. For me that signaled the end of the concert but I was wrong. I later came to know its called the opening act. The crowd erupted into deafening screams which left me confused as soon as the lights went off and in a fluid motion, the packed audience welcomed the main act in this case the Kongos with their song “Hey I know” (Campbell, 2013).
The Kongos are a South-African alternative Rock Band consisting of four brothers Jesse (percussion, drums and vocals), Johnny (keyboard, accordion and vocals), Dylan (lap slide guitar, vocals and bass guitar) and Daniel Kongos (guitar and vocals). One could tell the chemistry of the brothers at work. By this time I had gotten used to the loud sound at the venue and was enjoying myself. The drums were almost tribal with heavy animation from Jesse and skilled fusion with the slide guitar. “Sex On the Radio” came next with the heavy drums and the accordion (Campbell, 2013).
The performance of “Kids These Days” had the audience singing along in a slow drunken way marked with cacophony and ending with a pounding finish. The atmosphere was changed with a slow song this time “Take Me back” which was characterized by harmonized vocals accompanied by an accordion. The “Escape had to be the best performance for me where Jesse applied expressive vocal. The beat in this case was still prominent but less thumping. At this time, the crowd was in a frenzy and was clapping along. The rapper energetic song “I’m Only Joking” had to be the song with the most energy than the rest as every member of the band was jumping with the crowd jumping with them(Campbell, 2013).
Two Beatles cover songs were well done and a timely surprise. “Come Together” was marked by speedy raps from Mo Gordon an addition to the set with a percolating tension. “Get Back” was played with a lot of excitement and energy where the guitars were scrubbing, organ swirling and the drums wailing with more to come. The closing was “Come With Me Now” where the crowd sang along all through the song and the band played it for all the song is worth. The bassist and singer Dylan whipped his hair all around during the song. The show was great. The band was high energy, the vocals great, a driving rhythm and high skilled musicianship which made for a great first concert evening. I look forward to attending more shows in the future.
Campbell, M. (2013). Popular music in America: The beat goes on.