Underground Music Review

1 Jan

A-Train Tropik Beatz – 1/1/13 

As ordinary folks dragged their feet to work through a holiday hangover, their New Year’s Day commute was ignited by a musical ambush, courtesy of A-Train Tropik Beatz. Riders of the A train subway have experienced the presence of this all-male percussion trio on-and-off for the last two decades, yet each concert has its own feel and flair. This performance was highly unusual in that it lacked the presence of the band’s groupies, who cruise the subway seeking the roaming band’s good vibes. For this reviewer, there’s nothing quite like the look on the face of a subway bongo virgin being aurally enlightened for the first time.

The band kicked off the show with the feel-good original, “Kingston of Queens”. The easy tempo and off-beat rhythms piqued ears across the car and foreshadowed the mood of the performance. The boys continued with the romantic fan-favorite, “Dreadlock and Key”. The energy and aura surrounding frontman and bongoist Tommy Bahama were downright groovy, and it seemed to everyone on the train as if he were crooning to them directly. Next, the tempo quickened for the Christmas classic, “Coal Runnings”. There was so much spirit, soloist Wiggles St. Nick looked as jolly as his bearded namesake. The mood stayed festive with a fast rendition of “Where the Ganja Grows Like Sugarcane”, a cheerful tune that carried with it the collective hope of a New Year. Unfortunately, the performance was somewhat soured by a disinterested solo by congaist Ricky “The Pipe” Pipers. He stepped out towards the end of the song, but it just seemed like his head wasn’t in the game; perhaps he left it at a New Year’s Eve party the night before. The band lived up to their sterling reputation yesterday with a positively electric holiday show. The group was on the A train, but The Pipe gets at most a C+.

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