So I recently went to a concert for The Wailers. Thanks to my little brother I have recently started listening to more reggae, and this concert was actually his Christmas present to me. The opening act was most interesting. It was a band called “Outernational” and I could not pinpoint what kind of music it was- a fusion of punk, indie, folk…it’s hard to describe. But they were definitely not reggae. They sang about a nationless world where all people are equals, and they told the audience their music was not a specific type or genre of music, it was “future rock”. Their sound actually reminded me of Beirut and the Red Hot Chili Peppers punkified.
I couldn’t stop smiling, and I couldn’t keep my eyes off of them. The lead singer had incredible charisma; everyone in the audience came to chill to this reggae music, but this opening act comes on stage and instead of making a fool of themselves, actually changed the whole mood of the audience. I suddenly felt empowered and filled with energy. Not to mention that ALL the members of this band were incredibly talented musicians who all took turns soloing which added to this feeling of energy and equality. I was really impressed and excited. I wanted to hear more, so I liked them on Facebook (this will lead to another post specific to OWS and the band itself later).
I am a Music Performance Major. I love music, and I have always known it can hold great power over people. One of the most dominant forces of music that even still astounds me is its power to almost control people’s minds. Ethnomusicologists everywhere discuss the many different trance states that people enter when listening to or participating in music making. These trance states involve people’s motor skills (like moshing or dancing) and their emotional states. People also experience psychic and autonomic effects as they enter these trances that completely alter states of consciousness. The interesting thing about these music-induced trances is that they are more powerful and easily accessed within a communal group (Sacks 2530). I have felt these moments many times in my life and I hope you are able to relate as well.
It truly is an amazing experience. In my next post I will look further into how these music induced-trances have played a role within the OWS movement.