By Renee Hartig and Jenni Knopski UndrgrndSoundEU@undrgrndsound.com
God may have made the world, but the Dutch made Amsterdam
Amsterdam’s very own King Shiloh Sound System and Lyrical Benjie dubbed the MC Theater last Friday during the holiday (Easter) weekend along with UK’s Mad Professor, Iration Steppas, and special guest MC’s Red Lion & Big Bless. These dub & roots reggae specialists provoked the crowd to act like warriors all night. And if you couldn’t get enough on Friday, well you’re in luck, because reggae dub & friends played again the following Saturday night.
Being that this was our first time in the Netherlands, a line-up like this could not be missed, especially for the initial toe dip in Amsterdam waters. We were eager to see what the Netherland nightlife had to offer so we headed to the venue: two Americans and three Brits ready to drop legs. What happened next is difficult to reiterate simply because we aren’t capable of making you feel the eye-shaking base that engulfed us throughout the night.
Situated in Westerpark on Polonceaukade, we gathered among the genre community within an array of speakers, embracing the bass every time it boomed. There may have even been a point where earplugs were made from crumpled rolling papers. However, this was only after standing directly in front of a 5-speaker tower of floor-dropping dub.
The theme of the night resonated with the sound of warriors as every now and again the crowd would get a shout out to clap, letting the DJs know the warriors were ready for the next cycle of bass. When this happened, the bass and the beat would pause letting the theater grow quiet. Then, just as you forgot the sound, the same beat would bounce back dubbing through your ears while incorporating the next new chord of rhythm. It was the style of the night.
Nevertheless, Rasta is a style in and of its own. Guess you could say we didn’t know the proper dance, but it was enjoyable watching the more experienced listeners hop and hunch around to the heavy beat in the tracks. Their energy was certainly admirable.
Who even knows what time the party was supposed to end. We just remember looking at the clock an hour before sunrise and thinking when it is socially acceptable to leave? We couldn’t go home. Not when it came down to the five of us. It was like an American vs. British energy dance-off. Maybe it was just internal thoughts, but towards the end we felt we couldn’t go home until the Brits gave way first.
Americans have to report: they may have lost the battle this time. But, on a holiday weekend like this there are no losers.
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