When I was approached to DJ the Paul Green School of Rock Fest I said yes, but under one condition. I had to open up before Bad Brains. I’ve been a fan since high school, and like a lot of the music I review in this blog, it really changed my life. The supercharged energy of hardcore music fused with a Rastafarian mind state and Reggae riddims would never be matched IMHO by any other band. A chance to open up for them was something I jumped on. I called my old friend and DJ partner DJ Un-G to lend a hand as well, as he is just as huge fan as I am. The day itself went well, even if the production company did not bring a mixer, and opted for 3 turntables with no monitor. We came through with the missing pieces though. Jack the Ripper started the day off with his mix of Punk Rock, dirty Soul, and some classic reggae inspired bands. DJ Un-G and I took over mid day, and working doubles of classic Rock, some 90’s Alternative gems, Hip-Hop, and Funk and Soul. The mixed crowd of Rocker Moms, punk kids, old school heads and locals responded well to what we were playing. There even was some impromptu pop locking by a full on Skinhead with braces and 10 hole Docs when “Planet RocK” hit the sound system. Before the Bad Brains came on, we got to see a lot of talented students of the School of Rock, as well as guys like Vernon Reid, Adrian Belew, McRad (Philly skate rock what!), and the rantings of Jello Biafra. I had heard notorious stories of him being a dick, and well, they were true. After telling him that seeing him perform and anticipation for the Bad Brains playing made me feel like I was in 9th grade again, he shot back with: “As if that’s a good thing.” What a crochity old man. He then jumped into his rented Ford Focus and took his out of shape middle age body back to California or wherever he lives. He ranted about Governor Arnold on the stage, during “California Über Alles changing lyrics to chastise the Governator. His set sounded great even with a student band, but his rants grew tiresome.
I had an idea of what I wanted to play during the set before the Bad Brains, and dropped a lot of classic Dub, Rocksteady, and Roots stuff, improvising on to what the crowd was feeling. It definitely set up a good vibe for the band and the fans. Dr. Know, guitarist for the Bad Brains was feeling the vibe, and let me know it after the gig. For me, meeting him and HR, plus getting props from them for my set made my day. I got to watch most of their set from the stage. The show itself was intense, from opening up with “I Against I” to some new material to classics like “Soul Craft”, “Banned In DC”, “I and I Survive”, and my favorite “Attitude”. HR was not the energetic front man he once was, but the rest of the guys had the energy from the old days and put on a really great show. Here are some photos from the show, and a video as well. I will be back midweek with a new review. Keep Diggin’!
DJ Prestige and the mighty HR
HR and Daryl