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Martin Zobel and Soulrise in Luzern, Switzerland

Martin Zobel and Soulrise in Luzern, Switzerland

Martin Zobel and Soulrise in Luzern, Switzerland

By on - Photos by Demian Hartmann - Comment

Martin Zobel & Soulrise performed the 10th of October in Luzern

It is already midnight when the first offbeat sounds draw the attention of the Luzern roots reggae massive to a concert that won't be forgotten anytime soon. Wake Up is the first tune. Not that the massive needed a wake up call, but they're drawn into the music right away. A dubby nyanbhingi riddim leads right into an energetic steppers beat that has the crowd dancing in no time.

Basement Roots had done the warm up. This young, ten-piece band from Luzern heats things up together with their feature guest Ras Romano. Being a performing artist and the organizer of the concert at the same time, they knew that they could count on motivated patrons that yearn for more roots reggae.Martin Zobel & Soulrise

There are few European artists who cater to their needs as skillfully and convincingly as Martin Zobel & Soulrise, who have developed their unique style. At least since the release of Land of the Free, which, just like their brand new LP Keep Planting Seeds, they recorded in California with Fully Fullwood (ancient bassist of Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, Soul Syndicate, ...), everyone has realized that this band knows exactly how to recreate the golden roots of the 1970s without just imitating the legends from back in the days.

Zobel & Soulrise play a set that consists mainly of songs from Keep Planting Seeds. The audience sings along the title track in full force. I'm surrounded by happily smiling faces. The band's arrangements are enthralling, elaborate, ingenious, and convince even more live on stage than they do on the record. Elaborate solos (especially lead guitarist Daniel Rickler gets frenetic responses from the audience) and spheric dub parts ornate the live versions of the songs. Martin Zobel's distinctive, warm voice transfers the songs' emotions directly to the massive and leads through the lyrical heights and depths of the show.

Backing vocalist Jennifer Washington gets to perform two of her very own songs in the middle of the set. This is yet another point that proves the huge talents gathered in this band. You'll definitely hear more of her beautiful, souly voice!

Much to the dislike of the audience, Martin Zobel & Soulrise leave the stage after one and a half hours. Being forced to an encore, Soulrise gets back on stage for another three songs. Especially the last one of those is a hit with the Luzern massive. They chant Earth, Wind and Fire until Zobel plays the song. The patrons take over and sing so loudly that the backing vocals pass unheard. What a condign outro to this epic concert full of infectious positive vibes!

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