By: Josh Estrella
There are a few bands that stand out when you hear them– bands you know are going to make it big–and Kongos are definitely one of them. Last Friday all those gathered in Waterplace Park for the fifth installment of WBRU’s Summer Concert Series had the opportunity to hear their unique African inspired sound live for free. Judging by all of the singing and dancing in the area, the crowd loved them. The night started off with WBRU 2012 and 2013 Rock Hunt semifinalists and rising local band, Satellites Fall, who got the large crowd moving from the start. Although they are not as well known as Kongos, they were able to keep the crowd jumping around to their music and clearly made some new fans along the way.
Next up was the headliner, Kongos. Kongos are based out of Phoenix, Arizona but first gained popularity in South Africa where the four brothers and bandmates, Dylan, Daniel, Jesse and Johnny grew up. Their first album, Lunatic, showcases a new kind of upbeat alternative rock music that just makes you want to hear more. If you haven’t heard them yet, their hit songs “Come With Me Now” and “I’m Only Joking” epitomize what their catchy sound is all about and show why they have been rising up the charts. After becoming popular in South Africa, Kongos re-released their album in the US in 2013 where it is gaining popularity just as fast.
When the Kongos hit the stage the crowd went crazy. The lucky people in the front rushed to the stage while everyone else in the crowded park stood up and fought to get a glimpse of the band. They played through the entirety of Lunatic, giving off a vibe that made the crowd move with their blend of different rock elements, hints of African rhythms and even an accordion. The Kongos knew how to work the crowd, getting all of Waterplace Park into their music quickly. Towards the end of the set the band heightened the excitement of the crowd with an interesting rendition of “Come Together” by the Beatles which even had some rapping. Finally after putting on one of the longest sets of this Summer Concert Series, the Kongos gave the crowd what they came for and finished the night off with their hit single “Come With Me Now” getting the crowd to sing with them.
This upcoming Friday, August 1, the WBRU 2014 Summer Concert Series will be coming to a close with the last two bands, Sleeper Agent, who once played at Coachella and appeared on Jimmy Fallon, and local Experimental Americana Roots rock band, The ‘Mericans. Make sure you stop by Waterplace Park early for the last free concert of the summer.
Friday, August 1 at Waterplace Park, WBRU hosts its last free concert of the summer @ 7pm.