The Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival kicked off on Friday in the sweltering heat of the passing summer. As I approached the stage, there were friends and families mingling about as the first act of the night started its soundcheck. I watched the four-member group Violet and the Undercurrents display their talents as musicians and rock the stage with simple warm-ups. When they finished the soundcheck, the event organizers, Thumper Entertainment, run by trio Shay Jasper, Tracy Lane and Jamie Varvaro, came onstage to open Roots N Blues N BBQ and the band.
“This event, this community event, does not happen without the community,” Jasper said. “This is about our community, so, of course, we would not want to kick off the 2019 Roots N Blues BBQ Festival without a band from our very own community.”
They started with “Alone Together.” Right away I saw people bobbing along to the beat of the song and a few were showing off their moves to the mellow music. People nearby started to gather around the stage as the song played. As this was the first concert I had ever attended, the bass shook me with the sound of the guitars and drums.
“The Captain pt. I” and “The Captain pt. II” were some of my favorite songs that they played. I enjoyed the energy the band was giving off and the energy the crowd was producing as they swayed along to the sorrowful tune.
Violet Vonder Haar, leader of Violet and the Undercurrents, spoke to the crowd about the climate strikes going on that day.
“There are millions of people across the globe today that are striking for the planet, and saying that enough is enough to big business and those who are destroying our planet,” Vonder Haar said. “I just want to say that I unite with them and I hope that you will too — for the future of the planet and for the next several generations that we are inheriting.”
The band sang its song “Still Here,” which was inspired by the quote “They tried to bury us, but they didn't know we were seeds” by the Greek poet Dinos Christianopoulos. The song was very powerful. I got goosebumps all throughout the song, especially when Vonder Haar sang, “Don’t believe everything that you read.”
All-in-all, the performance was amazing. I’m thankful for the opportunity to see them and attend my first live concert. Violet and the Undercurrents’ music is wonderful and very indie-rock. After today, I will definitely listen to more of their music and will follow their future projects as a fan.
Edited by Janae McKenzie | firstname.lastname@example.org