PHOTOS AND WORDS BY: Claudia Innes @ Jareth's Girl Music
This electric show at B. B. Kings Blues Club and Grill in Manhattan, was opened by Jahi of PE 2.0 - a member of the new version of the iconic group Public Enemy. Collectively, the group is one of the many bands which are responsible for giving a face and a name to the classifications of "alternative hip-hop", and "conscious hip-hop".
After Mr. Jahi's performance, which was enthusiastically received by the audience, the two-time Grammy award winning band, Arrested Development, took to the stage with a grace and ferocity, which were aimed at delivering a performance that was as energetic as it was engaging.
20+ years ago #adband delivered its spiritual anthem "Tennessee" - urging the audiences of the time to consider the possibility of and even dare to make a demand for a deeper meaning in their music. And, at the time, audiences seemed to respond favorably to the pleading lyrics:
"Take me to another place. Take me to another land. Help me forget all that hurts me. Help me understand your plan."
The band has always operated more as a collective rather than a closed group, so it has gone through many permutations leading to the evolution of their message and style. I wasn't sure what to expect from this new incarnation of the band - with it's refreshed beat structure, electric guitarist, impressive dancers, and beautiful voices.
But with the engaging presence of all its members and under the guidance of the founding member " Speech ", the band delivered a powerful set that exuded happiness and joy. The audience who met them that night were made up of old fans and new fans. There were many happy faces in the crowd, including mine, and we varied in ages, races, and nationalities (a couple mentioned that they had flown in from Australia to see them).
There was a reoccurring theme that night, and that theme was one of re-birth and re-invention.
Perhaps this has been "the plan" all along: to evolve a message, which has taken the better part of two decades to unfold. And it has precisely taken that long because now we are all collectively ready to not just hear the massage Arrested Development has to give us, but we are ready actively participate in its meaning. And if the enthusiastic response from the audience that night is an indication of how we will collectively receive "the plan", then it will be received with a joyful enthusiasm, which crosses those boundaries that seemingly divide us and bridges all gaps through our mutual enjoyment and love of music and dance.
Two new Arrested Development Albums are out now and can be downloaded HERE
FOLLOW THE BANDS HERE...