It was a gorgeous summer evening in the Mile High City July 23rd, 2016 and we were about to experience the sights and sounds of Raging Fyah and Protoje at The Bluebird Theater. It was myself and my husband (Susan and Gary Underwood Island Stage Editor and VP), along with Kizzy, our marketing VP and Jen, our good friend from Reggaewerx.) Raging Fyah kicked off their “Everlasting” USA tour on July 11th and joined Protoje for part of that tour. Protoje and The Indiggnation kicked off the “Ancient Future” tour on July 6th.
Both first timers in Denver, the fans showed up and were thrilled to experience both of these upcoming artists/bands straight out of Jamaica. We have a feeling they will be back! The love that the audience showed to both acts was a true testiment to how “Denver does Reggae”!
It was a very special night indeed, as this was the 124th birthday of Emperor Haile Selassie I. Positive vibrations!
Raging Fyah took the stage first and the set list and performance was FYAH!
Nah look back
Step outta babylon
Milk and honey
Ready for love
I had a chance to briefly speak with Kumar Bent, Raging Fyah lead singer. Kumar indicated to me that the tour was going very well and that they were happy to be experiencing places they had not yet performed in. He loved the Denver vibe! Who wouldn’t, right? There is more than one reason our city is referred to as “The Mile High City” (wink wink)
When Protoje hit the stage the fans exploded. Clearly thrilled to have him there and singing along to every song.
Protoje’s Denver set list:
Resist not evil
Can’t feel no way
All Will Have To Change
Answer To Your Name
Glad you’re home
Kingston be wise
His energy was infectious! He was literally the Maestro on stage and his body just another instrument. Protoje danced and orchestrated the band, The Indiggnation to perfection on every song. By the way, The Indiggnation is one of the best bands out there! From the backup singers to every band member. You can tell that Protoje and The Indiggnation are a very cohesive unit.
Answer to Your Name from the album Ancient Future was a lot of fun! Paris LaMont (keyboards) and Protoje did a cool “Kid-n-Play” type dance version all their own.
I already loved the track Hail Rastafari from Protoje’s second album, The 8 Year Affair, but when he performed it on this night, it was a total spiritual experience for everyone in the room. I have a brand new appreciation for this tune!
Protoje charmed the crowd. He gave away CD’s and plenty of hi fives from the stage during his performance. He had the fans singing along with him to many of the tunes and his dance moves were infectious. The different sounds and riddims included Ska to Electronic and throw-back songs. On the track Slylin, we even heard some hints of Roger Troutman and ZAPP! Paris LaMont is a pro on the voiceboxx!! We also heard hints of the Anita Ward classic “Ring My Bell” in a new tune they performed.
Once the show was over, the crowd stuck around for a good 5 minutes or longer cheering and chanting Protoje’s name. They were working hard for an encore, but I believe the venue had a curfew, so unfortunately an encore did not happen.
We had a chance to catch up with Protoje after the show and discussed things like issues with US visas. Protoje did mention that most of his generation was not having issues with visas.
Jen indicated to him that she may be attending ROTOTOM this year and Protoje smiled and told her to be sure and check out a young artist performing there this year named RUNKUS.
He mentioned his love for London, ( Jen is from the UK) where he will be heading in August (We just found out he’s touring with Pressure).
I asked Protoje how he was dealing with the altitude here in Colorado. He mentioned that he felt a bit sleepy (one of the symptoms) even with a little altitude sickness/tiredness, he was so full of energy and gracious enough to talk to us after the show.
Protoje told us that the Denver show was his favorite so far on the tour. But what’s not to love? On the eve of Haile Selassie’s earthstrong, in a city where herb is legal, combined with the sounds of Protoje and The Indiggnation and Raging Fyah…… what’s not to love?
We can’t wait to have you both back to Denver Raging Fyah and Protoje!
-Susan Underwood- Island Stage Magazine Editor/CEO