PERFORMANCE REVIEW AT CLUB VIVA ST. LOUIS MO.
Review taken from post on HYPERLINK "http://www.consciousparty.com" www.consciousparty.com forum.
MAN, another incredible concert by Inner Visions last night. These guys are hotter than hot right now. Woah! Got there around 9:30 and they were doing their sound check. Sounding good. Not much of a crowd early but by show time (11:15 p.m.), they started to fill up. What can you say about the band that hasn’t been said before? They’re just a tight cohesive unit and sound just fantastic. Jupiter on bass and Hollywood on drums lay down a solid, solid foundation. With Ras Paul and his lead vocals and assortment of percussion instruments, Mr. Snooze on keys and Grass on lead vocals and incredible, incredible guitar playing, it was a night to remember. Grasshopper is truly one of the best guitar players I’ve ever heard. I told a buddy of mine to make sure he showed up and the band just blew him away! He kept hitting me when Grass played his solos, going like “man this guy is hot!” They played many originals of course but also played “Satta Massaganna” (I think it was the 2nd song) as well as “Waiting in Vain” at the end. They are just a cool bunch of guys who happen to be in a great reggae band. Love Inner Visions!
Gotta roll to work. Keep skanking everybody! Proffessor Skank Of Skank Productions
PERFORMANCE REVIEW FROM BEARSVILLE THEATRE
(Woodstock/Bearsville N.Y.) “INNER-GISED!” Review as posted on HYPERLINK "http://www.consciousparty.com" www.consciousparty.com forum.
Well I am so thankful for my Inner Visions fix in Bearsville last night. I’m still delirious with lack of sleep and seemingly on a sweet reggae dream at the moment. I bid farewell to Inner Visions on Labor Day 2005 at the Bearsville Theatre…..seems appropriate that my first fix of 2006 Summer tour was at the same magical venue! Inner Visions rocked the Woodstock, NY Reunion last night! It felt like a reunion seeing some old reggae friends and meeting some new! Pleasure to meet you Ras Charles! I like the CP(Conscious Party) shirt idea Sis Irie! The crowd was on their feet enjoying the sounds from the very first note. Feeding from the loving vibes, they played with their hearts and souls for over three hours! There was plenty of room to move on this stage so we were treated to Ras Paul’s spirited, longer renditions of “Push,” “Just a Matter of Time,” and Blasphemers. Akiba (Mr. Snooze) has become quite the showman DJaying on “Can You Feel It! In addition, Grasshopper and Mr. Snooze engaged audience participation With a responsorial chant and “IV” dance during a rousing version of Mr. DJ! Was that the moment DJ Jerrydread captured in a photo in Asbury the other nite? Inner Visions is always evolving old songs and creating new ones making each live performance unique and special! Grasshopper’s licks were taken to new heights on extended solos throughout the evening! I enjoyed the hand drums played by both Grass and Ras Paul! I too heard the brand new song called “Hand’s Up! The dynamic lyrics turn the tables where WE get to handcuff the Babylon system! One the other side, heard an old song called “Fire And Ice” that was written 20 plus years ago but it’s still relevant today! Grasshopper joined his brother Jupiter in harmony in the falsetto at the end of so nice! Heard a lot more harmonica from Ras Paul! Few covers were played but the interpretation of the classic Bob song “Waiting in Vain sparkled with Inner Visions creativity. Some other highlights were “L’s lament,” “Good Lovin’,” and the encore presentation of “Frontline!” They blended the old and new poignant and whimsical; They took our hearts with conscious lyrics; and perfect harmonies; they motivated our beings with tight rhythm, massive mixed percussion and driving bass. Thank you Inner Visions for another exquisite night of positive vibes! Didn’t even bring the camera……. Maybe Ras Charles will post some shots?....... Leaving it to those more skilled than I! See some of you at Ocean State reggae Fest next week! Blessings to all! Denise Beal (Note: Band’s official #1 fan) Review of performance at Flamingo Cantina (Austin Texas) Review as posted on HYPERLINK "http://www.consciousparty.com" www.consciousparty.com forum. “RE: Inner Visions details needed!” Greets! There is so much truth in Sis April’s post. Grasshopper called before leaving for San Antonio this morning and I was uplifted for the day! Inner Visions made it over for dinner but time was short so we did not get to visit for long. I took most of my photos at the venue and will post some later today. It takes awhile to get them downloaded onto the hard drive and then uploaded to another site so I can post….so hold on! Maybe I can get Evan to help me put up a page for Inner Visions like I do for Rebel Salute, etc. We could combine everyone’s photos. The show was way beyond my expectations. The harmonies could not have been sweeter. The driving riddims were energetic and passionate. The Lyrics uplifted the crowd and I can say the band was very well appreciated begging the band to do more than what was said to be the last song. I’m so happy to get to see them again at SNWMF and we will have three days to hang out there. After last night, I honestly believe they should headline one of these days! DJ Sister Irie (Moderator and host for the Conscious Party Public Forum)
PERFORMAMCE REVIEW AT CLUB VIVA St. Louis, MO.
“Introverted Reflections” Have you ever taken your family on a cool vacation? You know, doing something fun that you liked to do? If you’ve ever doubted that Possibility, think again and look to the example of the Reggae family Inner Visions from St. John, U.S.V.I. (a.k.a. the little Island). In these times of absent fathers these men took us back through time and space sharing with us nothing but the best music from their extensive 26 year repertoire. Inner Visions brought a decent crowd to Club Viva, St. Louis’ premier reggae hot spot. Among those in attendance were King C-los of Rasta Resolutions and Professor Skank of Skank Productions. These Rastas are another fine example of the extremely passionate Virgin Island reggae sound. Grasshopper, Jupiter his brother and Ras Paul, all have very direct yet humble personalities as they perform along Grasshopper’s two sons. Hollywood articulating the one drop on drums and his brother Mr. Snooze skanking on the keys really help to bring home the “Inner Visions!” The presentation was in regal fashion complete with the “no nonsense” stage banter precluding each song which left no room for doubt and allowed and provided for the clarity of lyrics. This being the purpose of roots reggae music; Something Inner Visions audiences receive so well, that they are willing to lie about what time it is to keep the show going. The band played “Satta Masagana” as a cover so mightily that some say it was better that the original. Inner Visions keep their hearts in the music and the world community on their minds, which is expressed evidently through songs like “Street Corner Musicians!” The mood is electric and still the message is roots would be the best way I would describe a group like Inner Visions. It must be attributed to the many years of steadfast dedication put into a vital family tradition!
Aldo Fonticiella Staff Writer / Night Times
Performance at Flamingo Cantina, Austin Texas
What a wonderful night of music! First let me say, I had no idea Inner Visions had come in a night early. If I had known, I would have tried to put together something special for them since they would be spending more time around time. I did not know until late Friday afternoon that they were here so I really apologize to Grasshopper and the band that Ricky and I were not able to give them some down home hospitality.
It was a great show and I am still hearing the massive talk about it today. Sadly, it was only about a half full house. I think the three big shows last weekend may have played a part in that and Stone Love had a sound system dance an hour or so away which may have attracted some of the Caribbean audience. I love so many things about the performance but one thing that I really love so much is the integration of the older generation with the younger. I love this strong family spirit. Grasshopper and Ras Paul are unmistakenly elders shining a path for the youth. Grasshopper was not feeling well, and yet,if he had not said something I would have never known, at least not during the show. The balance of lead vocals between Grasshopper and Ras Paul enhances intensity and delivery of crucial messages as well as smoothly perptuating the passage of spiritual nourishment. Both are wonderful singers not to mention the expert modern guitar of Grasshopper further balanced by the rootsy percussion of Ras Paul. In my mind it was like watching a great painter add layer and layer of color and texture to the foundation of an already well initiated canvas. Mr. Snooze came in for a dancehall solo which also excited me. I would love to see him do even more as time goes on. This trade off of pure roots with an injection of conscious dancehall rapping/chanting really added a special treat to an already night of great music.
I wish I could have spent more personal time with the group. Grasshopper sends his love and will be back online soon. This was their last gig after being on the road since June! I know they were truly worn out and had travelled from Sacramento to get here. Next time they come, I hope we can plan an outside picnic by the lake where they can rest for a day or so. The memory of the live experience is a great way to embellish great reflections next time I spin Frontline for my radio show.
St. John Christmas Music Festival
INNER VISIONS WERE AMAZING.....I
WAS BLOWN AWAY BY THE ENERGY, THE HARMONIES, THE WHOLE
VIBE OF THEIR PERFORMANCE. I AM SO VERY PROUD TO HAVE
BEEN ABLE TO PRESENT THEM AND LOOK FORWARD TO DOING IT
MANY MORE TIMES.....
STEVE SIMON / ST. JOHN BLUES FESTIVAL
P.O. BOX 37, ST. JOHN, VI 00831-0037, www.stjohnbluesfestival.com
Tuesday, August 2, 2005, Review: Inner Visions Saltwater highlight
By BOB KEYES, Portland Press Herald Writer
BRUNSWICK ? It's a question of cause and effect.
Did the crowd at Sunday's Saltwater Music Festival wake up because the sun
came out or because the groove-infested reggae beats of the band Inner Visions
would let them lounge no longer?
Either way, the sun finally broke through at Sunday's Saltwater Music Festival at Thomas Point Beach just as the reggae band from St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands came on stage.
The combined effect woke up the groggy crowd that assembled on the grassy lawn of the park and energized the music festival in the nick of time. The otherwise excellent festival was headed toward snoozerville, with a string of accomplished but somewhat sedate performers.
With up-tempo reggae tunes and infectious energy, the guys in Inner Visions gave reason for the folks in the crowd to get on their feet and dance.
Inner Visions was among nine acts that performed throughout the afternoon and early evening at the 3-year-old Saltwater festival.
Today for the first time, I had the opportunity to do a news media coverege at the Monterey County Fair Grounds where the 9th annual Monterey Bay Reggaefest was held. Being from Ponce Puerto Rico, and a broadcaster for many years, I can tell you that I have had the opportunity to listen to reggae music in both spanish and english but never had the opportunity to be part of such a powerful performance as the one you presented here today!
The mix of the youth and experienced Inner Visions performance is just a magic combination for a true musical communication, with great taste and full of professionalism. It's a performance I will never forget and I have to give you a ten plus!
During our press meeting, I noticed that when you speak you speak from the heart, and your "visions" are so positive that I find them as a venue of encouragement to those of us who listened to it.
I wish you all the best and hopefully we meet here again soon. God bless you and keep up that "deep from the heart beat!"
Notipunto News, Monterey CA
Another.. REVIEW MONTEREY BAY CALIFORNIA
The Monterey Bay fairground has a reputation for holding the Moterey Jazz festival and the Monterey Bay Blues festival. It appears the promoters Andre Smith and his A&P crew are determined to make it also known as a Reggae festival site.
This year the festival was held for two
days begining on Sunday and ending Monday. The festival went off with out
a hitch, except for the fact Anthony B and the Abyssinians were forced to
cancel due to Hurricane Francis disaster in Florida.
Meanwhile, back on the Bay in Monterey everything is bless as A&Pcrew tally their balance sheet and prepare for next years's festival. While I&I work speedily to get this review up, I tried to reflect on the sequence of events and performers.
Inner Visions invades the consciousness!
They were the first band to open the festival this year. Inner Visions is from St. John in the US Virgin Islands. The band has been together for 23 years and it consists of five members. The leader and guitar player, Phillip "Grasshopper" pickering, his brother the bass player, Alvin "Jupiter" Pickering, his sons the drummer Aswad "Hollywood" Pickering and the keybordist Akiba "Mr Snooze" Pickering. Last and definately not least is the anchor of the group. From Jamaica comes Ras Paul H. Samms who is the percussionist. It is impotant to note that Grasshopper, Jupiter and Ras Paul all do vocals and harmony.
Inner Visions opened the show with one of their hot tracks, "Black Sheep", off their 2003 CD "Street Corner Musicians." All the music is produced by their own record label called "Blue Bitch Music". The song Black Sheep is paying tribute to Black Women all over the world.
Grasshopper is an accomplished guitarist and steadfast bandleader. During the 23 year struggle he never give up his dream and never played for another band, except his own. He further empasized in their interview the the size of the Island, being only 19 square miles precluded interaction with a large amount of musicians. This condition contributed to the cohesiveness and tenacity of Inner Visions. This dedication to perfection resulted in three CD's, "Love One Another" in 1995, "Spiritual Dancer" in 2000 and now their most recent, "Street Corner Musicians" in 2003.
As soon as "Black Sheep" was
over they went into another song called "School days" which had
a funkier reggae beat (a shift from their usual roots reggae sound). It was
almost like a Hip Hop blend and the lyrics consisted of many West Indian nursery
rhymes as the chorus to the bridge of the song. Inner Visions music is all
originals except for the one cover the band plays to feature and honor their
Aswad on drumset. According to his father, "Grasshopper, they always believed they would get to California. Aswad "Hollywood", the drummer, always longed to play "Hotel California in California.
This was the band's third visit to the West Coast. They are Veteran players who should have played later in the festival lineup when the fairgrounds had a larger crowd, but the promoter was not familiar with their music and their performance until they heard them live for the first time. This oversight became more appearent as the band launched into their next song, "Take it Easy", off their "Spiritual Dancer CD. The Sparse crowd yelled out to them, "Where have you been all this time?" Grasshopper responded, "In the US Virgin Islands soaking up the sun!" Then he asked the audience, "Do you think we are crazy?" and laughed heartily as he stated half jokingly, "it' get's cold out here!"
Jah Breeze Rhythms and Promotions
INNER VISIONS Review by Professor Skank
Club Viva, September 15, 2004About 2 years ago I went to St. Croix to see the VI reggaefest and a guy named Irving kept tellin me how great these guys were. They played that time, but came on at 6 or 7 a.m. and there was absolutely no one there at that time. I was beat too, so i took off after a song or two..
they played here at Viva about a year ago and maybe it was a bad night, but i wasn't impressed. Since they're from the hotbed of the U.S. Virgin Islands (St. John to be exact), I decided to check em out again at Viva last night. let me tell ya, it was one of the best shows I've ever seen. They just totally blew the place away...Just incredible.
Viva's a small basement club. They started at 10:30 and it was a sparse crowd. Not sure what's going on in town here, but it was a drag and i was kind of embarrased at the turnout but the band played on and believe me, they played. the man they call Jupiter was front and center playing a mean bass all night long. To his left was Grasshopper and this guy is one of the best guitarists I've ever heard. From searing notes to real rootsy licks, i just couldn't believe how good he was. Some lead vocals, too. The man Ras Paul was on his right and he was great. When he took over lead vocals his stage presence was mesmerizing. he'd let the spirit move him and would go off on these tangents and he really blew me away. I told him later how good he was and he was just a humble rasta (as they all are).
The drummer was strong, too. I think his name was Akibo. They laughed and called him Hollywood. he was definitely hitting the skins hard and just jammin. Can't recall the keyboardist's name, but he was layin down some great sounds, too. The sound was just great last night and these 5 guys just meshed perfectly together to create some of the most crucial sounds I've heard in awhile. I asked them for the playlist afterwards but apparently they just play whatever's on their minds. And they dub out some of the tunes and their musicianship is just over the top. Just crucial...
Some of the songs i remember were "Love One Another," "Slow Down," "I Cry," "School daze," and they closed down with "Spiritual dancer." Near the end they also played "Hotel California." When Grasshopper introduced it I thought why would this band play that song? Their originals were so tight I just couldn't figure it out. But as soon as they started playing it, i was hooked. They then played marley's "Waiting In Vain" and that one blew me away too. they were just hard-core roots with Grasshopper's amazing guitar work. Man, it was a great show...They'll be back in town again this saturday at the Show me reggae fest, so that'll be cool.
Gotta roll to work. Check em out if they come to your town. believe me, they lay down some crucial vibes...