Jewlicious 7.0 Review or in short, Fool’s Gold is awesome live. Drink yer wine in the car first.
Early arrival at Jewlicious with a Saturday night concert only ticket means no entrance until the start of the show promptly at 9:30pm. Boo! What will you get for being half an hour early? An amazing conversation (free of charge) with a security guard who likes to ramble about how much the Jewish folk keep feeding him (well what did you expect, Sir? You should come over for Shabbos dinner sometime). For good measure, and just to make sure we were clear on how well he was being fed, he threw in a tidbit about all the food his Hispanic lady was also feeding him. We decided to leave and come back, all the while pondering if by his Hispanic lady he meant his girlfriend/cleaning lady/personal chef???
That left us to our own devices. Getting ice cream seemed like a logical choice for kicking off a night of good, Jewish fun. So off to Baskin Robbins we went.
Dear Long Beach, Los Coyotes Diag is a confusing street with an even more confusing and strange name. Some diag you got there! Whatever that means. So clearly from there we needed to unscramble our minds and let loose for all the dancing that would shortly ensue. Pre-show partying continued next door at the local supermarket where we found ourselves some mini bottles of Gallo cabernet. If only Manishevitz made small bottles of wine! Dear Manishevitz, get on it!
Back to the show we went, now a little late, we caught the tail end of Kosha Dillz’s set. He definitely knew how to get the small, but enthusiastic, crowd going, jumping up and down and stirring up energy with a lot of call and response. (When I say Kosha, you say Dillz!) However, I probably could’ve done without the sweatpants song. I like sweatpants. I like songs. I don’t like sweatpants songs. Rappers have been wearing baggy clothes, sweatpants included, for a long time, old news. A couple Jewlicious festivals ago he donned a sequin hat with elephants on it. Now that’s an article of clothing I wanna hear about.
Soul Farm was a welcome addition to the lineup. The dancing progressed in intensity as these guys brought out the most eclectic sounds of the night; influences from rock to bluegrass, vocals in Hebrew and English, and instruments from hand drums to mandolin, really made Soul Farm a special treat. I looked back later to find a note I had typed up on my phone ‘Soul Farm sounds like bluegrass Smashing Pumpkins with Pete Seeger covers, heavy hand drums and celtic mandolin. More mando(lin)! (The wine may have also begun kicking in more right around this time). This was country fried, kick your shoes off, get down music.
The expected highlight of the evening was Jewlicious newcomers, Fool’s Gold. I was particularly excited about seeing them since I had missed their previous show with Local Natives. Indie music scenesters had finally made their way to Jewlicious! Rabbi Yonah gave a special introduction and without further ado, they went to town with their special worldy, rhythm driven, dance worthy, chant-with-the-tribe lyrics, musical blend. Now Stop for a minute. Open up a new tab or window on your computer. Go to Youtube and listen to a few songs by Fool’s Gold, if you haven’t already. Try ‘Poseidon’, ‘Nadine’, and ‘Surprise Hotel’. It’s good right. Your head is bopping along, your hands are drumming on your desk, you can dig it. Now here’s a question, do you have any urge, whatsoever, to do the electric slide??? Because for some reason, unbeknownst to me, the Jewlicious crowd seemed to think this was a good idea. Did 1993 call? Because it would like the electric slide back, thanks!
I’m all about having a good time and dancing it up but this was beyond my inner music snob’s comprehension. Shout out to singer Luke Top for kicking it back to 1993 in a different way, by throwing in the old school kid’s song ‘Ha Kova Sheli’! Seemed like not much of the crowd, except me, remember the musical glory days of Hebrew school though, as much as Luke and I; they watched on in slight confusion as he sang it, until finally he exclaimed, “C’mon I thought you guys were Jewish.” In the end, Fools Gold finished out their set with percussion instruments in one hand and with their other arms around each other in a semi circle. That brotherly/sisterly tribal vibe emanated from between the musicians and onto the crowd, resulting in a feeling of unity—which is ultimately Jewlicious’ goal—to connect and bring together all different types of Jews.
The hippie vibes continued with Acharit Hayamim closing out the show. Our ‘Gallo’ haze and dancing had left us happy but weathered already and we left as the crowd danced it off into the wee hours. All in all, the Jewlicious concert left us with good vibes and worn out feet as any good concert should. Little tweaks, such as entrance times and ‘no electric slide’ warning signs, would be useful but there’s always next year. L’shana ha’ba’ah b’Jewlicious Festival!