Paul Beaubrun gets the River Stage on their feet at XPNFest
Paul Beaubrun knew the assignment. If you are going to perform early on the second day of the XPoNential Festival, you have one job and one job only; get the people going. The Haitain-born Beaubrun and his excellent band did just that and more.
Beaubrun is very much a legacy artist, his parents both members of the celebrated Haitian band Boukman Eksperyans — and it’s clear the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. His blend of roots, reggae, rock and roll, and blues brought the audience out of their lawn chairs in no time. Here, again, Beaubrun knew the assignment. Audience participation was key throughout the band’s performance, a perfect way to help festival-goers shake off the Dogfish Head lethargy leftover from Friday night. Beaubrun’s own performance didn’t hurt either, his guitar heroics slashing a hole through any lingering hangovers. This is the kind of music that’s meant to bleed into the audience and both Beaubrun and the River Stage crowd were happy to oblige.
Getting people off their feet wasn’t the only goal, though. About halfway through the set, Beaubrun made sure to take a moment to shout out the Haitian people, dedicating the entire set to those struggling through the country’s recent turmoil. Also in his thoughts were fellow Haitains Lakou Mizik, who themselves were meant to grace the River Stage on Saturday but were unable to attend due to travel issues. While we surely missed Lakou Mizik, Beaubrun represented the country and his people with flying colors, putting on a memorable set to be sure.
Ain’t No Sunshine
Praie non Simityè
Gade sa yo fè Mwen