Article and photos by Melodie Yvonne Ramey
LAFAYETTE, IN (May 31, 2017) – The Lafayette Theater dabbles in every genre to provide entertainment to the community, but no matter the show they always strive for top quality acts. The venue recently made the very wise decision to put the phenomenal musicians in Roots of Creation up to bat, and they hit yet another home run. The entire event including the opening acts were obviously chosen with care, and fans came from far and wide to catch the show. Many devotees even traveled from other states and bigger cities like Chicago and Indianapolis knowing that sometimes it’s the smaller towns and venues that give concerts that more personal feel. 800lb Gorilla and Stud Fox opened for the evening delighting the crowd with sets that were definitely on par to any headlining band ever having set foot on that stage.
800lb Gorilla took the stage first with a versatile jam funk style unlike any other. The band originally hails from Indianapolis, and consists of Dan Humphrey on lead vocals, Kwame Newton on sax/keyboards, Mark Humphrey on guitar/vocals, Byron Boler on drums, and Connor Allen on bass. They continue their upward momentum in style gathering new fans on every tour stop they make. Their music has the ability to enchant as well as uplift with infectious beats and lyrical messages of peace and love like in their amazing original, “Millions of People”.
Stud Fox took over the house next with a jamalicious deep rock and roll rhythm that clung to the air like fresh popcorn permeating a theater. The band is self-professed “Corn-Fed Psychedelia”, and includes Jeffrey on guitar/vocals, Coco on bass/keys/vocals, Tow on lead guitar/vocals, and Ian on drums. Their set was intoxicating, and every eye in the house was addicted to the stage. It was no surprise that the audience was so magnificently enthralled with the band. Their front man, Jeffrey, had the mannerisms of Lafayette’s own Shannon Hoon and a Chris Cornell/Layne Staley-esque voice that was more than appropriate for the musically enchanted Hoosier town venue. The end of their songs came all too soon, but the eager crowd was definitely ready for the headliner for the evening.
Roots of Creation took the stage like men on a mission, and that mission was to show every listener that they made the right decision bringing their ears out on a school night. The courageous gentlemen in question include Brett Wilson on lead vocals/guitar, Tal Pearson on keyboards/vocals, Mike Chadinha on drums/SPDS sampler/vocals, Nick Mini on bass, Billy Kottage on trombone/vocals, and Andrew Riordan on saxophone/Dub FX/vocals. In the ever-growing sea of reggae rock where many bands are drowning somehow Roots of Creation swims against the tide and breaks the surface. It’s obvious that their talents come naturally to them, but unlike a lot of those other fish in the sea they’ve taken the time to hone their skills. They have real genuine affection for what they do, and it shines through in their performance as well as their personalities. They had every member of the audience captivated with their charm and cunning from the moment they stepped in the theater doors to the final note of their set.
The bands’ mesmerizing melodies were made all the more tantalizing throughout the evening by the rich beautiful sounds provided by one of the country’s top audio professionals, Noah Freeman. The phantasmic light show provided by the talented Robbie Alford was the cherry on top of the sundae for RoC’s funkaliscious grooves. Alford’s exquisite illuminations seemed to turn the house into an ocean of light that the audience bathed in as they danced. The electric beams flowed through the house pulsating with the luscious beats making the scene appear somewhat akin to beautiful waves under a bright full moon. Each individual became as one as they tripped the light fantastic, and it was obvious that no one wanted the night to end.
Inevitably, no concert lasts forever, and Roots of Creation ended the night on an all so fitting note with their original song, “Stay With Me”. The beautiful melody with Wilson’s hauntingly powerful lyrical delivery coaxed the crowd into an even more solidified position as cherished devotees before setting them free with the liberatingly smooth rhythms. The crowd then unwittingly headed towards the door as they seemingly surfed those freeing sound waves that rode on the air out into the night. RoC didn’t just make new fans that night. Their musical beauty made new friends, and it’s guaranteed that those thick harmonies will boomerang them all right back the next time these wonderful gentleman return to the amazing Lafayette Theater.
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