This week we decided to check out a show at the new venue in Brooklyn, The Hall at MP. Right off the L line, we got there early and grabbed a drink. This is a great spot, lots of room to eat and a nice size dance floor if any bigger acts come through.
The first band of the night, who we came to see, was Brother Jerome. For those that don’t know Brother Jerome is a reggae rock group out of New Jersey that plays in NYC frequently and bring a great mix of reggae music along with blues, jazz and rock to their set. This night they kicked off the event and had a strong hometown crowd, probably 50+ supporting them.
Beginning their set with a nice mellow vibe, the place was in a groove. Normal drummer Andy Davis was unavailable, but luckily for the fans Garret Gardner was able to fill in and did an amazing job. As the band tore into another number you could hear the righteous saxophone of Dan Chetnik rip through the crowd.
Taking a moment to comment on the recent election, they encouraged their fans not lose hope. As if taking this as a cue, the fans began dancing it didn’t stop all night. The band played their favorites from their first release and treated fans to some new material including “Let The River Run”, inspired by the classic Wailers tune “Concrete Jungle”.
They ended their set with their new single. Before they could even announce it a fan yelled “Macho Man”. They laughed saying “that’s right” and began playing the tune. Overall it was a great set to kick off the night and I can’t wait until the album is out so that we can check out all the new tunes.
Following Brother Jerome, Challenger hit the stage with a slam of energy. Challenger has a great roots vibe, but can drop a dancehall flow when needed. Those still sitting jumped to their feet and began dancing, the floor still not quite full. Kicking off the set with songs like “Jah Walk With Me” and “Good Love” backed by The King’s Guard band the tempo began to build.
Challenger at one point jumped from the stage into the crowd to sing the song “Selfie”, giving the fans the dancehall drop that they were looking for as he flowed over ever increasing beats.
Back and forth from stage to crowd, Challenger’s energy was building. As his set came to a close he gave a shoutout to the smokers in the building and performed his marijuana anthem. For the final song he played “Just A Man” another great track off this 2015 EP Man Is Just A Man. This ended the set on a serious and positive note. Challenger has a great future ahead of him in reggae music
The headliner for the night was Top Shotta Band. If you don’t know them, you really should. They always put on an amazing set and come prepared with a ten piece band that is hardly rivaled by anyone else, featuring a four-piece horn section, organ, guitar, percussion, drums and bass. By the time they began the dance floor was full and they kicked off into some great reggae classics in instrumental fashion.
After a few songs, Screechy Dan their lead vocalist hit the stage as they powered through track after track, driving he reggae vibe. The four-piece horn section was killing it, blaring the tunes and getting the fans out of their seats. Their self-titled album that came out in 2013 has kept them going strong with great tracks like “Fussing & Fighting”, “Queen Of My Heart” & “Shepherd Style”.
As if that wasn’t enough, they called up guest MC’s Nardo Ranks and Super C to treat the crowd to a few more tunes. They ended their set with a mighty version of “Wonderful Thing”. Top Shotta Band did not disappoint, any night where they grace the stage is a good one.