Arrested Development a group that never goes out of style
Saturday evening, on a 90 degree summer day at Athfest, Arrested Development drew in an audience at the main stage
who were ready to jive to music that feeds your soul and leaves you wanting more.
Arrested Development performed songs such as "Tennessee," "Mr. Wendall" and "EveryDay People" that epitomize positivity.
Arrested Development is a hip-hop group that has been around since 1988 and has not gone out of style. It is now 2016, and the group's cool and refreshing sound floated into the audience with ease while everybody grooved to the music with smiles on their faces.
Speech, the lead emcee of this timeless band, and the entire ensemble of Arrested Development stood on stage with incredible grace and poise and gave a performance for AthFest goers to remember.
Marking two decades this year, Athfest 2016 is a family friendly festival celebrated on the streets of Athens, Georgia. The 3-day festival is packed with local, regional, and national talents, and has a driving focus on education and the arts. It seemed fitting for two-time Grammy winners, Arrested Development, to end a fun-filled Saturday with a high energy performance of their old hits and some of their new music.
Staying true to their roots and feeding the crowd positive messages of love, understanding, acceptance, and knowledge; everyone in the packed crowd sang along as the band performed songs off their 1992 début album 3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days in the Life. Everyone was thrilled to hear Speech deliver the lyrics to their hits “Mr. Wendal,” “People Every Day,” and “Tennessee.” Tasha LaRae absolutely wailed on “Tennessee.” The crowd couldn’t get enough. They also performed “Dawn of the Dreads,” “Natural,” and “Fishin 4 Religion” for the excited crowd.
Fareedah Aleem, kept the crowd pumped with her graceful, rhythmic energy and infectious smile. She jumped and danced all over the stage the entire night. She shouted and pumped her fist to “Revolution” which was written for Spike Lee’s 1992 movie Malcolm X. JJ Boogie rocked steady on his guitar while Speech spit the sing-song raps of “Ease My Mind” from their 1994 album, Zingalamaduni.
They gave us a taste of their new song “I Don’t See You at the Club” from their latest album Changing the Narrative. This song confronts the idea that they are no longer relevant and proves that if you are an artist that lays the foundation of your music in the principle that knowledge is power, and love is the answer; you will never have to backtrack on the integrity of your content and your music will only become more relevant as time goes on.
I caught up with JJ Boogie after the show and a friendly chat revealed that other than 4 songs, the set list changes every show. He explained that many times they do not know what Speech is going to do until he does it; they just follow his direction. The band is tight, but knowing this and seeing their performance made me realize how talented they really are.