I first got into reggae-style music at the end of high school. A few of my friends were into it and would play music all of the time, and they took me to a Rebelution concert during the summertime. That concert revamped how I felt about, well, everything. Something about the atmosphere and the themes in the music made me feel more at peace. Since that summer in 2013, I had seen Rebelution four more times, the last time being last night in Portland at the Roseland Theater.
At this point, I know that Rebelution is my favorite band within the reggae genre, though relatively broad that genre may be. Every time I have gone to see them I left with a greater sense of peace than I had going in. The band has been playing big shows for several years and by now, they really put a set together well. They play all the songs everyone wants to hear, they showcase the various talents in the band, they make you slow down and feel, and then they make you want to jump and rejoice for the life you have.
Reggae is a genre that gets a bad rap from non-listeners. It has its associations and stereotypes, sure, but like many things, it has its truths. Rebelution's music reminds you of what's important in life and how negativity gets you nowhere. Lyrics speak of know-it-alls being close-minded, complainers being the source of their own suffering, reminding yourself that your blessings can outweigh the things that have you stressed, and so forth.
I have been an avid concert-goer for several years and I know that in a packed room of positive people and good music, the feeling you get is unique and wonderful. During their uplifting hit Feeling Alright last night, I looked around the room. I saw a conglomerate of experiences and emotions. I saw couples embracing, people with feel-good smiles and their hands raised, people shedding pain and anxiety, and I saw emotional expressions of worship for life. During that song, there was a shared feeling across the theater that right now, we are okay. Outside, we may have been troubled or fighting or stressed, but right now for the moment, we are okay. I know that I have been more stressed than usual lately, and on edge for other reason than I have not been reminding myself of this feeling and the truth behind it. The song is all about improvement. We can improve our lives, seek out to improve the lives of others, use our dedication and empathy to "help our troubles sail real far away."
I need to listen to and think of this song more often. Life is all about reminding yourself that yes, you can be better, but you're still okay. Spreading positivity and goodwill to others, staying focused and dedicated, and even feeling pain are all part of life. No matter what, though, there is always a way to change wrong to right and seek our your soul's intention.