Alpha Blondy and The Solar System graced the stage tonight in Montreal for a show that Blondy himself felt he owed us and he certainly gave us what we came for. Alpha had to cancel his Montreal shows this past July after an accident in Paris left him with a badly broken leg. Let us make no mistake…our Ivorian musical envoy is back.
Opening up the show was a local group called Guelah, they got the crowd started with some international reggae flare. The Moroccan born band leader Maimon has fused together a great group of talent that showcase a unique blend of reggae with his indigenous sounds of Morocco. Keep an ear out for them on the local Montreal scene.
A short break and some few sound checks got the scene ready for The Solar System to come out and titillate us with their amazing sounds, showing just how tight Alpha's band is. From out of nowhere came the voice of the man we had come to hear, sounding so smooth, so cool. Alpha shared his famous version of a psalm, a beautiful prayer he sings in Hebrew, everyone listened in silence.
It didn't take long for Alpha to pick up the beat and get the crowd moving, he took to some unexpected dancing on his recovering leg. At one point he was dancing only on his left leg, it seemed that he may have been sensing the pain of his injury. Whatever his legs were feeling, it didn't interfere with the sentiments of peace he had come to convey.
Alpha stuck mainly to his older songs for which his fans are most familiar and mixed it up with a few songs from his recent album Merci. He had fun getting the crowd to sing along with him on Cocody, he totally thrived on the feedback of the fans. Here is a singer that is able to transmit his love for everyone who listens, he is all about love.
Montreal got a true treat tonight, Alpha played his new song Sankara for the first ever time in public. The room was instantly filled with his new message to the world of the politics of the late West African President Thomas Sankara. The words of wisdom of how one coup d'état leads to another and one betrayal to the next. Alpha is sending a message to Africa that power is in the ballot box and not in the weapons, a useful sentiment for all nations.
Well into the evening Alpha spoke about war in paradise; his native Cote d'Ivoire. He sang Le Feu with such heavy sentiment, his anger towards the journalists and politicians who perpetuate this war was felt by all. Alpha was handed one of his native flags from a fan who feels the plea, he then proceeded to dance with the flag in a state of pure pride. Paradise was rekindled for that fleeting moment.
From beginning to end this was a show of high emotions and unadulterated, untainted energy. From the dancing rhythm section to the sweet harmonic backup vocals the beat never stopped. Peace and love to you Alpha for such a high performance. Alpha Blondy and the Solar System is playing again October 20th at Metropolis, incase you missed tonight's show.
God Bless Africa
Peace in Liberia