The tickets said “Doors 11:30pm” and I arrived at Irving Plaza in the lower east side of Manhattan at 11:45pm to see Chronixx and the Zinc Fence Redemption in their second appearance in New York City. I hear people call Chronixx an “up and coming” artist, but the line down the block and around the corner made it clear that he has arrived.
By the time I got inside the venue at just after midnight, the place was already packed to what seemed like capacity, with a winding line still pouring though the front doors. Federation Sound System a staple of the New York scene was blazin’ fire, spinning classic tracks mixed with new releases, keeping the crowd singing and dancing as the venue continued to fill. A great sound system can manipulate the crowd like a marionette, slowly increasing the tempo, building the vibe, call and return, classic hit, classic hit, rewind selector rewind.
Few reggae artists can bring together such a representative crowd of New Yorkers, young & old, I watched as an eight year old boy and his mother in 40’s both sang along as the hits rolled out. White, Black, Latin, Asian, all colors, all classes, all creeds, all had come to see this late night show.
Chronixx and the Zince Fence Redemption took the stage just after one in the morning and they did not stop for a moment until the show ended two hours later. Smashing through the Dread & Terrible album like each song was a single, the crowd sang along and with hits like Rastaman Wheel Out and Smile Jamaica as Chronixx waved his hands in the air, increasing the energy and driving forward.
When the concert reached a nice middle plateau, most musicians would use this time to take a break, introduce the band and slow down the tempo, but not Chronixx.
From backstage, Jesse Royal entered and joined him in a rendition of the Rootsman Riddim that both Chronixx (Here Comes Trouble) and Jesse Royal (Modern Day Judas) have created tracks for. If this were not enough, Iba Mahr entered as well to join the track, which he has also voiced a version (Great is H.I.M.) and sang a few bars of Diamond Socks. Iba Mahr is playing NYC in a few weeks, we can only hope Chronixx returns the favor.
At an hour plus into the show, I thought to myself, this has to end soon, Chronixx only has one formal album and a few other tracks, how long could he keep playing? But like a true artist he took us the distance, continuing for another hour, working in songs of great reggae legends like Ini Kamoze, along with tracks that he has done outside his album such as News Carrying Dread a new track he did with Inner Circle and Jacob Miller.
Chronixx ended the show with a medley of hits that seemed to build higher and higher.
Not a single fan left the venue early.
There was no encore, but no one seemed bothered as we knew he had left it all on stage. Once again Chronixx delivered without hesitation and shared his passion for music and Rastafari with the world.