Midnite Mongst I&I
Thursday April 12th, 2012
Saint Rocke – Hermosa Beach, CA
By: Ranking Kirk
Thursday April 12th,
2012 Midnite took the stage after Idren and True
Press played energetic sets at the Saint Rocke Club in Hermosa Beach.
True Press is a young Los Angeles based band determined to bring their
progressive reggae sound to new audiences. The message is simple: bring
together rise up for unity and enjoy life. They demonstrated tight grooving
warmth and positive vibrations. Idren a seasoned roots reggae unit with
rocking conscious vibrations, delivered some interesting and rootsy original
and some polished covers. Gerry and Jenn the Pioneer Valley locals blended
some righteous riddims, horns and harmonies.
If you are not familiar with Midnite, the band consists of Vaughn Benjamin
(words & vocals), Ron Benjamin (bass & vocals), Christian Molina (drums),
Edmund Fieulleteau (rhythm guitar), Edwin (Kenny) Byron (guitar), and Ras L.
(keyboards). The Benjamin brothers are the heart and soul of Midnite, Vaughn
compositions and lyrics have been reviewed in the reggae community as
“genius” at times, with his brother Ron’s production songwriting and booming
bass lines takes it to the highest levels of the Midnite sound.
With the fans packed to the stage for this intimate setting the band took
the stage to deliver their message of raw roots reggae. Saint Rocke is a
small room, and shaped sort of in an “L” shape that seems to keep bands from
playing to loud, to fill the room with sound. The result for Midnite seemed
a toned down intimate interaction with the crowd. The stage spread the band
out with Vaughn towering over the crowd and kept the vibe low key to the
point on some sounds we was almost whispering too the crowd with band
playing crescendo to his lead. At points Vaughn let the band play on in
rootsy vibe created. They surprised with recent released song Mongst I&I
from the Kings Bell CD, a faster paced and rhythmic song provided a
highlight of the set.
The set list is the jumping off point for Midnite to craft each song into a
fifteen plus minute vibe that transforms the crowd in the moment of the
music. Set list: 1-Jah Ovah (Seek Knowledge Before Vengeance) 2-Bless (Nemozian
Rasta) 3-Pagan, Pay Gone (Ras Mek Peace) 4-Love the Life You Live
(Unpolished) 5-Ring Out A Chant (Jubliees of Zion) 6-I Chant
(Kayamagan) 7-Mongst I & I (Kings Bells) 8-Lianess
(Scheme of Things) 9-Is Real (Rule the Time) 10-
Due Reward (Unpolished).
Midnite played until the lights came on at the Saint Rocke, with Vaughn
signing off the stage into crowd. Leaving the crowd wanting more, wishing
for more, and checking their watches, for the time. Yes, they have
experienced the journey of Midnite……………Word, Sound and Power.
Rankingkirk is a Journalist, musician, and music researcher. Writing
about the music industry since the 80’s with articles and reviews published
from the English Beat to the Rolling Stones. Rankingkirk is a follower of
the Midnite Roots message from over 30 live performances.