WHEN SOUNDS COLLIDE (Fuse Vox): 2016 Fringe review 56


The Ruba Club is dark, save for red glow and icicle lights, and may remind one of a where the eclectic from all backgrounds come to mingle, which makes for the right venue to come together and listen to a musical newscast, and at least for an hour, unite. With Rock Band Arc Divers, as the opener, playing a great, albeit long set, of hard driving comingling of drums, bass, guitar and vocals, Fuse Vox, which is the duo of Valerie Gay (vocals, keyboard, and percussion) and Jeff Monjack (composer, guitar), gave a show which was like a newscast.  If CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News followed the format of an Anchor popping with a few words, followed by a band delivering current events through song, I would watch more often.

Between the news breaks, Gay easily moves her voice between operatic, soul, and gospel, which narrated slideshow of bodies of water, landscapes from all of the world, and people of all colors in daily life, whether the song was about “another man down,” with sound effects of chains, strong snares, and deep tom drums, to illustrate “the effects of lynching”, or Sweet Honey and the Rock’s “We Who Believe in Freedom Cannot Rest Until it Comes,” inspired by Civil Rights activist Ella Baker.  With all the images of the bad in the world, the group brings the audience back to hope with their final song, a call for all of us to “move forward and come together.”

[Ruba Club, 416 Green Street] September 10, 2016; fringearts.com/when-sounds-collide; fusevox.com.

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