Taken from AXS (Sep 29, 2017)
Fishbone brings its funky, fresh sound to First Ave in Minneapolis
by Josef Hernandez, AXS Contributor
Fishbone gets funky at First Ave in Minneapolis on September 26, 2017. Credit: Josef Hernandez
Fishbone may be the hardest band in history to define. It first formed in 1979 with its blend of rock, ska, reggae, funk, and metal in a genre-blending musical blend that defies genre. Over its almost 40 year existence, the band has continued to push the limits of what it can accomplish through music to the joy of its dedicated fans. On Sept. 26, Fishbone rolled into the legendary First Ave in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to give its fans more of the psychedelic music that they have come to expect over the years.
Fishbone took to the stage with a blast of sound that immediately got the crowd dancing. For the next hour, the band had the audience in the palm of its hand as it transitioned seamlessly from song to song with almost no break in the music. It tore through a string of its best songs so that the setlist almost blurred together into one seamless performance.
With a central theme of unity, the band brought the venue together to form a single body of dancing revelers. This was a celebration of music that transcended societal boundaries and invited all to celebrate the music and fans.
The band tore through its best songs with the ease of master musicians at the height of their abilities. From the soulful “Ma and Pa” to the politically charged “Lyin’ Ass Bitch” dedicated to Donald Trump, Fishbone emphasized its themes of overcoming adversity and racism through music. The band really began to shine in a long, improvisational version of “Alcoholic” with Angelo Moore alternating between vocals and succession of instruments being shuttled on and off the stage.
As the show reached its crescendo, the band closed out with the celebrational “Party at Ground Zero” that left the crowd exhausted yet yearning for more as the band left the stage. It was another performance that transcended music and left the fans in thrall of the band’s talent.
One never knows what to expect from a Fishbone performance other than a top-shelf performance. Four of the eight band members have been with Fishbone since its inception and have honed their skills over the almost four decades of the bands existence. This gives the band a presence that is lacking in many groups and a deeper understanding of the band’s music to take it to a higher level than can be found in most live performances.
Fishbone’s latest performance at First Ave was just the latest testament to the band’s power to inspire the best in human emotion and further proof that Fishbone is one of the greatest bands around. Fishbone does more than just perform its music. It joins with the crowd in a celebration of music and motion that gives allows each concert to reach the pinnacle of live performance and makes each show an event that is not to be missed.