Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 20 years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, and B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. My memoir, ChemBro, is out now!
See my complete profile
If you were coming up with a list of tropical places that have a nice island vibe, Syracuse, NY, would probably rank near the bottom, which is why when I heard that a Syracuse-based reggae soul band named Root Shock were coming to The Acoustic, in Bridgeport, CT, my interest was piqued.
The band turned out to be fantastic, as while Root Shock’s hometown may be known for harsh winters, their music warms the soul.
Here are three reasons you should see Root Shock live.
1. They’re accessible reggae
Reggae is a style of music that people either really like, or have very little of in their collection. That said, reggae-infused music – like ska – has been popular for decades.
Root Shock, while being a reggae band at heart, have a lot of songs that fall into the reggae-infused category, as their music has roots reggae as its backbone, but also incorporates elements of soul, pop, and rock, to create a sound that’s, essentially, accessible reggae. What I mean by that is it’s reggae even non-reggae fans will enjoy.
To put it another way, if artists like No Doubt, 311, or Maroon 5, are in your playlist, you should probably head to a Root Shock show. You’ve already dipped your toe in the water, this is like swirling your entire foot around in it, without actually committing to diving in.
2. Frontwoman Jessica Brown is f*cking magical
First off, Jessica Brown’s voice is phenomenal, and she has skills on some unique instruments, including the melodica (which you can see her using in the video below).
Second, although Brown is the frontwoman of Root Shock, guitarist Phil Grajko also handles some of the vocals, and the instrumentalists get time for solos throughout the night. During all of this Brown subtly makes sure they’re front and center – swaying her hips, and moving her arms, she dances her way out of the spotlight. There’s no big, “Hey everybody, focus on THIS person now!” Instead, she diverts the audience’s attention to where it needs to be, before becoming the center of attention again when it’s called for. This is an amazing skill.
Third, it’s rare to see someone who can command the stage while also finding a way to be one with the crowd, but Brown does exactly that. Despite being raised a few feet above everyone else, she creates a vibe of peace, love, and unity that’s so real everyone in the crowd ends up feeling like she’d be cool just kickin’ it with any one of us.
3. You’re gonna feel pretty chill
Root Shock, including their three song encore, performed for a solid 90 minutes, and it was all positive, uplifting music that made everyone feel good.
If someone bumped into you, or accidentally spilled something on your pants, you wouldn’t even get heated about it. You’d be like, “Hey man, it’s all good.”
Hmm, did I just describe Root Shock as weed? Ah, well, I look forward to getting high on them again soon!
To find out when, and where, Root Shock will be performing next, check out their website for show dates.