More than a simple concert, the Reggae Circus’s, coming to Rising Love on October 1st, was a marathon.

I arrived at the venue at midnight, therefore technically making it October 2nd, but in any case I arrived and was greeted with a massive line outside the venue’s doors. To be fair, it was more like a big crowd trying to peek in through the entrance door, all at once. Turns out that to get in without a problem, you had to RSPV (prenota) online beforehand, which would also get you in at half price. I didn’t know any of this, so I waited outside and got talking to two Australian surfers and two Italians, which helped the time go by. It was 1 AM when I got in and was required to sign up for something, the nature of which I still haven’t understood. Knowing that the concert was supposed to begin at 10:30 PM, I was a little scared that I was only getting in for the last song.

My fears were more than unfounded. For 2 hours, I was transported into a different world. The first thing that struck me in this new environment was the huge crowd packed in between the walls of Rising Love, some of the concert-goers dancing frenetically, and all of them dancing incessantly to the pulsating beats coming from the band onstage. The bass was so powerful that when I had a drink of water, I could feel the bottle vibrate in my hands. When I could finally turn my attention to the stage, I began to comprehend the full essence of what the night was going to be like. As I got a little closer, Mama Marjas took the stage and injected her energy into the crowd, pumping a little more adrenaline into our veins. She demonstrated a keen ability to balance musicality and performance, linking almost rap-like vocals to well-woven reggae beats and melodies. After a while, she left the stage to Adriano Bono, the mastermind behind the Reggae Circus concept.

Then came a succession of a fire-wielding belly dancer, poets, a crowd-surfing beach ball, a dance crew, a commedia dell’arte-type performer and several other performers, in a seemingly endless rotation. Everything was set to the rhythms of the relentless band, which really captured my admiration for their ability to literally just keep on playing, (hardly) ever stopping for a breath or glass of water. This created an incredible sense of “we’re all in this together”, and prompted me to decide to stay to the end of this event, no matter how long it lasted, for the pure experience of it. All in all, the defining character of the event was the circus concept, which knitted everything together in a patchwork of different artistic styles. Visual art was also included, as there were projections of various circus scenes on the left wall, which added to the whole atmosphere. The reggae music wed itself perfectly to the theme, and the performers were definitely talented.

The only downside that I found was that in general, everything was just too loud, taking away a little bit from the enjoyment of the evening. For those of you wondering whether to go to the Circus’s next coming to Rising Love, in November, I would definitely recommend it, but I would warn you: be prepared for an experience, not just a concert!

Mama Marjas @ Rising Love