Gainesville residents can expect a night filled with a fusion of Caribbean-inspired reggae-rock Thursday when popular Ocala band Propaganjah performs at the High Dive alongside Ellameno Beat and Burn Every Thing.
Richard Larson, a 23-year-old UF forest resources and conservation senior, said he plans on attending the concert, not only because he was a fan of Propaganjah but also because of his desire to support up-and-coming reggae artists.
“I think in this time of unrest, it would be positive for more people to listen and support reggae in order to help spread the love and realize that we are all one,” said Larson.
Ever since its debut in Jamaica during the ’60s, reggae has been a music genre known for spreading messages of love, hope and resistance. In a world so divided, Larson mourns the lack of Gainesville reggae bands, saying that the lyrics of reggae bands tend to be more peaceful and send a unifying message.
Taylor Col, a 23-year-old UF chemical engineering senior and lead vocalist and saxophone player for opening band Burn Every Thing, agrees with Larson’s description on the lack of Gainesville reggae scene. He said that while there are a lot of reggae shows in town, there aren’t many local reggae bands.
“Gainesville loves reggae music, but it would be awesome if there were more reggae bands from here,” Col said.
Col personally appreciates the support for local reggae bands, not only because he’s a fan of the genre but because of his role in Burn Every Thing.
“Reggae is all about taking it easy and enjoying life. Listening to reggae can take your mind off your stressors and help you appreciate what you have,” said Col. “Local reggae is important because as Floridians, we have a unique perspective on life since we are all close to the coast and we can use reggae to communicate it to the world.”
Col listed Bob Marley and Shabba Ranks as two of his musical inspirations, saying that his love of the genre is partially due to the childhood nostalgia the music brings him, as well as its message of positivity.
“Whenever I’m at the beach or just enjoying a beautiful day outside, I always play reggae music,” said Col. “As a style of music that came from the Caribbean, it resonates with me because the environment here is so similar.”
Col, who described his band’s sound as a fusion of reggae and hip-hop, said Burn Every Thing just finished putting together their set and is planning on rehearsing a few times before the show.
“Fans can expect positive vibes and positive people,” said Col. “The song I’m most excited to perform is definitely ‘Ask Not.’ It’s a banger for sure.”
Col said he’s looking forward to seeing Propaganjah live. Col said he’s seen the band live before and recommends fans to come experience the band for themselves.
“They have a very engaging stage presence. They all have huge smiles on their faces the whole show,” said Col. “The one dude on skin drum jumps around and even got down into the crowd at one point. Some reggae bands like to keep it chill but they get the hype.”
The 18-and-over show will start at 8 p.m. The tickets are $8 in advance at www.ticketfly.com and $10 at the door. A $3 under-21 fee is charged at the door.
Roots of a Rebellion was originally on this lineup, but due to unforeseen circumstances the band was forced to drop out on Tuesday.