Reggae Brunch 2019 Wrap-up

by Michael Greenland

I explained Reggae Brunch on the drive there today. It’s one of those shows that’s an event, right? Maybe I’m not even the right one to explain it…it’s only my third. Some of you have been doing this for decades.

The celebration of Bob Marley’s birth. A longtime music spot in the heart of a city neighborhood. Middle of the afternoon on a Sunday. It’s dark, it’s packed, there’s no separation between the band and the crowd…it’s unlike any other show.

But then again, it’s also exactly like every other show. We gather. Conversations ensue. Hugs, greetings, and smiles. We delight in each other’s good news, and counsel through difficult times. Sometimes we literally need to come to the aid of someone.

And then the music…glorious from the beginning to the end, some five hours later. I took the time with a couple band members to say the words “thank you” after the show. Because seriously guys, we know you give everything you have. And not just technically. There’s a spirit to the show that’s palpable. And I understand that we who follow regularly give it back to you…there’s a real connection in that room. We’re all pulling each other through and everyone plays a part in taking the proceedings to a higher place that an outsider just wouldn’t understand.

My favorite part of Reggae Brunch is the end. Because by that time, the crowds have dispersed and it’s pretty much just us left. There’s a decent chance that most of the people in that bar to hear “Wicked” close things out are reading this wrapup, because I can honestly say most of the faces in the room at the end were very familiar to me. The last part of the set is our own private little party, and it’s funny to look around after the music stops because we’re all pretty spent. Everyone…band and fans alike…have given every last ounce of energy. As it is, I’m writing this from the couch and my beloved is VERY relaxed after her first Brunch experience. As she said herself, no better way to start her birthweek. Dancing and listening to beautiful music, surrounded by people who have shown her nothing but love from moment one. And as a still relative newcomer, I’m continually awed by the love you’ve shown me all along. I’m happy to think I’ve been able to give it back in some small way to at least some of you.

There will be other shows, but there’s only one Reggae Brunch. And before you turn out the lights tonight, Parkview…please, restart the countdown clock. We’ll be back next year, God willing. Peace, blessings, and  from my overflowing heart to yours, good people.

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