This past weekend Tropidelic took to the stage at local Columbus gem, Newport Music Hall, performing as the opener for area native reggae-rock group, Shrub.
Just as essential as the quality of live music, is the way artists express that music to their audience, something these guys fully understand. Tropidelic brought an incredibly contagious energetic attitude within the confines of “America’s Longest Continually Running Rock Club” Friday.
They proved they can party just as hard, if not harder than the crowd that they served to entertain. They were right there with the rest of us, dancing the night away.
During “Gritz,” Tropidelic showed off a synchronized dance, much to the delight of the audience. The horn section exhibited a few provocative numbers themselves throughout the night as well. Even in between these routines, the band didn’t stop moving for the entirety of the set, continually delivering tremendous amounts of energy.
Towards the end of the show the trumpet player bared it (almost) all, sporting merely a sock to cover his manhood. Tropidelic is not afraid to get weird. In fact, they thrive in that environment.
Tropidelic strives to be, and succeeds at being the most interesting thing in the room. Even if their music turns you off, you’re going to pay attention. It’s near impossible not to.
They flawlessly executed some of their most recognizable songs such as “Gritz,” “Alcoholic,” “Bad Cookie” and of course, the politically charged anthem, “Police State.”
They ended the night on the track “Volume,” which is just the heavy rock hip hop banger that everyone needed. Tropidelic’s sound cannot be pigeon-holed into a single genre. Instead, it is a fusion of different fundamental elements stemming from many styles, propelling them into a genre of their own design.
They have successfully blended aspects of funk, rock, hip-hop and reggae and combined it with meaningful and sobering lyrics in such a fashion that it creates a truly unique sound worth paying attention to.
In today’s market, it is almost impossible to find music that hasn’t been influenced by multiple styles, but Tropidelic has managed to figure out what it takes to be different.
I’ve been following Tropidelic for a while and even in just the last few years, the evolution of this band has been astounding. They have graduated from a more basic reggae-rock style to the sophisticated funk that I experienced on Friday night.
The group is comprised of six members, Roads (lead vocal, rhythm guitar), Young James (lead vocal, trombone), Bobby Chronic (lead guitar), Pags (bass), Willis (drums), and Derek McBryde (trumpet).
The two distinct voices of Roads and Young James constantly impressed the audience, whether it was the smooth, modulated, melodic vocals from Roads or the impressively quick rhythmic rap verses from Young James.
Bobby Chronic possesses extraordinary electric guitar playing skills that mirror the type of shredding recognized in heavy metal, but with a twist. You wouldn’t think that head banging and funk go hand in hand, but Tropidelic made it look natural.
All of the songs that were performed were complex, implementing multiple tempo changes throughout and pushing the boundaries of standard song structure. Pags and Willis have a synergistic relationship that is palpable to the rest of the band and the audience, never missing a beat and always making sure that these transitions are done so smoothly.
Derek McBryde adds yet another dimension to the group by epitomizing what it means to be in a funk band. His demeanor, outrageous at times, was always entertaining. I promise that Tropidelic will provide you with one of the most memorable trumpet performances you’ll ever see.
You can witness Tropidelic “Smash the City” December 2nd at the House of Blues in Cleveland, where they are set to headline.
Also, you can pre order The Hard North now, available December 2.