Ireggae - Album Reviews rastafari

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Midnite - Seek Knowledge Before Vengeance SKBVbanner.gif (27522 bytes)

Read what the massive are saying about the word sound and power of Midnite

From the Sierra Nevada World Music Festival messagae board:

Author: Midnite (
Date:   06-20-02 23:36


Author: Delilah (
Date:   06-21-02 17:13

If Midnite want me to see them, they will come to the Bay Area!! How bout that?

Author: Ras P (
Date:   06-22-02 19:56

Midnite is my favorite new band buy Far . I am meditating while they play at snwmf. I can't be there . I am in Hawaii. I am coming to mainland soon. I really hope to see and meet this amazingly sounding no joke real root rasta's play. Some one tell me the setlist and how hights it was . Rastafari

Author: Rhythmwize (
Date:   06-24-02 21:49

I liked their set a alot. They are very dynamic and full of positive vibes and energy. They reminded me of African Reggae...maybe alpha blondy ???

Anyway, they are a breath of fresh thank you snwmf for having them on the show.

Author: matty (
Date:   06-25-02 17:00

i wasn't there but i saw them a week before in d.c. they are, in my opinion, the best group in reggae.

Author: javier (
Date:   06-26-02 15:34

bro. midnight was off the hook they played all thier sweat jams, like live the life you love, mama africa. any many more mama africa is my favorite jam it was irei to see them proform it

Author: Ras Lenky (
Date:   06-26-02 17:05

Good Lord,
I don't understand why a band like MIDNIGHT doesn't get booked as a headline. What is going on with the organizors, last year Linval Thompson (who was last years best act) only had a 50 minute set in the first part of the day, and Midnight got and hour, or so, good lord did they rip I will see them anywhere within a 4 hundred mile radius, this I vow. Here's my gripe with the scheduling, we all know what kind of a performance to expect from steel pulse, and we all know what their music sounds like. They're a big band and it seems cool to headline them on Sunday.
But since we that know what's up know that Midnight needed to be heard by as many people as possible so why not make them the last band to perform on the big stage for everyone to see?
Oh well Midnight still ripped it
to the person that wanted to know the set that they played I don't know the titles to all their songs, but they played Lion Wear the Crown, Bankin' in the Pig, and a tune over the No Woman No Cry rythm.

Author: daniel (
Date:   06-26-02 18:30

Midnite's 70 set of word, sound and power consisted of the following songs:
Love Jah
Old Robe
Love The Life You Live
Banking In The Pig
Rasta Man Stand
Due Reward
Don't Move [Lion's Dread]
Ras To The Bone
Mama Africa
Lion Wears the Crown
Kaaba Stone
(Stand Up)* An unreleased, unrecorded song whose title varies depending on which band member you ask.

Midnite selects their opening song and the remainder of the set varies depending entirely on the vibes. They don't have "set lists" and you will never hear them play the same song the same way twice. During their set, 3 different people came up to me and said they knew this or that song, but with totally different lryics or riddims.

Ras Lenky, i have no idea which song you thought was on the No Woman, No Cry riddim. Bushman sounds a little like Natural Mystic, but Midnite does not borrow riddims from Bob or otherwise. I agree with you regarding their need for more exposure, but in Warren's defense i should point out that this was Midnite's first appearance in northern california and he did give Abijah (another relatively unknown artist on the rise) an excellent slot. I actually thought their time slot was pretty good (though not long enough), and the vibe and sound was better in the village.

Lenky, if you are flexible about your driving radius, email me so that we can talk about catching shows together on July 20th & 21st. I promise to keep the CD player stuffed with Midnite selections all jah way.....

From the Thatched Hut messagae board:

Author: oluko 
Date:   06-13-02 07:55


Tonight, Midnite plays at the Recher theatre. I always love to be blessed by their music. They have a new CD out called, "Seek knowledge before Revenge" (I think that is it). I don't have it yet. Make sure you check to get the closet tour location near you.

Hope you are enjoying your summer.

Peace and Love

Author: river 
Date:   06-13-02 11:05

"Seek Knowledge Before Vengence"

Author: oluko 
Date:   06-14-02 11:12

Greetings River,

Thanks for the correction. Bought the CD last night at the concert. We were truly blessed last night. What an experience!! The sound penetrates my heart and soul. The concert was shorter, because of the venue (bablyon). However, they are playing in DC on Sunday at the Hebrew Isrealite Complex. The brothers and sisters over will let them play with all the fullness they deserve. That will be the true concert. Give thanks and praise to the Most High!!!

Sits Mitsgana

Author: oluko 
Date:   11-27-01 20:09

At exactly midnight the band from St. Croix blessed the stage in Baltimore. They had recently played in neighboring Washington, DC and then later in North Carolina. The lead singer Vaughn Benjamin was cheered on stage by the all black audience of about 500 people. The first song, "Love Jah" showcased the range and versatility of the band. This is the only band I know that sounds better then the CD. And the CD's are the bomb. Vaughn told me that they were the only roots band that gained an all black following. The 5 member group stress in their lyrics the seriousness of the condition of our people. They are committed not to sell out to the commercial market. I was able to spend days with these brothers and they are fa'real. I can see why they aren't that popular with the mainstream reggae market. They tell it like it is, and most people don't want to hear that. On their latest collaboration the song BLACK CONGO send chills up my spine. At the Baltimore concert they played for 4 hours straight. They never, ever stopped playing. People from mississippi flew up!!! Five of my friends came from all over the country to see them perform. For days after the concert they still wanted to listen to the 5 CD's I have. As a matter of fact, they are still talking about it. The brothers refused to stay in a hotel, but instead they stayed with brothers and sisters and fellowshiped with them. They visited the famous Adams Morgan and the mostly African crowd recognized them and bombarded them with kind words of "peace". A sister told me that their music changed her life. She said that she doesn't listen to anything else. The music is so addicting. Sits Mitsgana my dear brothers, MIDNITE.

Professor Skank's review of the June 19, 2002 performance:

Words seriously can't do justice to what I witnessed last night at Club Viva. Just 4 months after playing the same venue, Midnite returned to an overwhelming, enthusiastic response.

They drove all night and day from D.C. to get here and I saw their sound check at about 7 p.m. They began by playing some blues and jazz, just blowing me away. Then they worked on 2 of their latest songs, "Jah Ovah" and "In 8." These guys are incredibly tight and I knew it was gonna be another incredible evening.

The crowd started filing in and at 11 p.m. sharp they took the stage. Last time I didn't know some of their songs, but since then have obtained everything they've released (and they have a lot), but they still started off with a tune I'd never heard before ("No Rest For The Weary") and played like 2 or 3 others I wasn't familiar with. But they all were killers...

In concert I must say they're the most exciting band I've seen in years. They're incredible! Drum and bass, with Dion and Phil, lay down some crucial riddims. Abijah is roots guitar with an edge. Ron Benjamin again harmonizes and is just skankin while at his keyboards. Constantly smiling and having the time of his life. These 4 guys are incredibly tight, just playing the wickedest tunes I've ever heard. Then there's Vaughn Benjamin on lead vocals. I'm serious when I say he could be the most charismatic vocalist out there. He's so different with his chanting and singing, has the coolest look and style - he's just incredible.

Small stage, place is packed and going crazy and they start off with the above-mentioned "No Rest For The Weary." They played a slow-motion version of "Rasta Man Stand" early (3rd song?) and just proceeded to play til 1:20 a.m. straight. 2 hours and 20 minutes of intense reggae music, and believe me, they would've played for longer if it was possible (it was hilarious at the end - a couple of lights were on, with one right above Dion's head on drums. He casually stood up and twisted the bulb off. The place went crazy!)...

Here's a list of most of the songs they played (I just got home from work and with 3 hours of sleep have no idea as to even what day it is)...

Accapella version of "Grapes Of Wrath" into Merciless (and Vaughn's lyrics on 'Grapes' is "Grapes Of Wrath don't bust em..." unbelievable), "Bless" was incredible, "Bushman" and "Due Reward" at the end had an incredible crowd sing-along, "Ras To The Bone," "Old Robe," "Batter Ram Sound," "Wrickta Scale," "White Collar Criminal," "Love The Life You Live," "Propaganda," "Kaaba Stone," "Meditation" and "Mama Africa" just blew the place away. It was 12:30 before they hit the new CD, "Seek Knowledge Before Vengeance," and they only played 2 tracks, "Ras For A Reason" and "Jah Ovah." That was
disappointing in that I wanted to hear more from that one, but no complaints... they were just incredible.

They never play the same show twice. They are a truly free form band. They have no set playlist; Ron comes up with the tunes and the band follows. Vaughn is phrasing differently on many songs, throwing different lyrics in. It's just incredible. If you saw em play 2 or 3 nights in a row, each show would be completely different. They just knock me out...

It was hilarious. Some people were throwing money on the stage and they picked it up and had it all crumpled up on one side of Ron's keyboards. Just had it there for the duration of the show. Right on his keyboards. Not dollar bills, but 10's and 20's Ron told me later! I think they pocketed about $200!!!

Also heard these 3 guys from Florida heard about the show, flew into Chicago, then drove 6 hours here. After meeting em, apparently one guy had read some of my positive reviews (I guess some people read these things through!) and decided to come up. I was getting them psyched up, telling em to get ready for the show of a lifetime and afterwards they told me and the band that they were completely and utterly blown away! Two of the guys weren't sure about the road trip - that's a LONG distance - but after witnessing the performance they said it was incredible. And they'd do it again (but they want to get the band down to Florida instead)...

Reasoning with them later, they are serious, righteous and humble. Vaughn went non-stop for the entire 140 minutes and could barely talk after the show! The crowd was just shaking their heads in amazement as they filtered out.

The best part is that in exactly one month (!) they return to play a bigger venue - one of the best ones in town with fantastic sight lines - on Saturday night July 20th. They promised to play more tunes off their new disc (maybe in it's entirety) and they'll play for a good 3 hours that night. It'll be incredible. I'm tellin ya, follow the lead from the guys from Florida and come up. This one promises to be one of the most magical and intense shows in the history of St. Louis reggae...

Reporting from the Midwest

Professor Skank

Additional Reviews:

Monterey Bay Reggae Festival: by Diane Adams

Roots and Culture music of Queens and Kings came from the highest regions of Kilimanjaro and the hills of Mt. Zion when the St. Croix group Midnite made a brilliant showing at this year's Monterey Bay Reggae Festival. Brothers Vaughn Benjamin (lead vocalist) and Ron Benjamin (keyboards/arranger) led a strictly Rastafarian gathering when they performed the spiritually delivered song, "Old Robe" from their recent CD release, Assini -- A Midnite-I Grade Collaboration. Like ancient architects of word, sound and power Midnite continued their journey into Rasta mysticism and light performing a series of songs that transported the audience into a heavenly realm of the spirit world of our ancient ancestors as they performed the songs, "Bushman" and "Ras To The Bone" the latter from their CD, Jubilees of Zion on Afrikan Roots Lab. Lightening the vibe and bringing the audience back to earth, Midnite performed the vibrant, "Love The Life You Live" and "Love Right, Live Right". Breaking it down, Midnite continued their set performing the awesome "Ras For A Reason" and the conscious Rasta love song, "Late Night Ghetto". Displaying a wonderful versatility of style, Ron Benjamin did a solo on the warm and sincerely delivered "New Life" (look what Jah Jah gave me, new life, a brand new little baby). Midnite also delighted the crowd when they performed the high energy song, "Mama Africa" from their 2001 CD release, Unpolished on the Rastafaria Label and slowed it down for a lengthy offering of the beautiful "Jah Ovah" from their CD, Seek Knowledge Before Vengeance. Like a whispering wind, Midnite was gone and though the crowds cheering and applause seemed to go on forever, Midnite's final closing words came from Vaughn Benjamin who softly said, "World and people so we speak. Live and manifest it if you seek." Midnite was definitely a highlight to the 8th Annual Monterey Bay Reggae Festival and a tremendous addition to the chronicles or Roots and Culture artists. Give thanks!


There has been a lot of hype about Midnite on the this forum over the
last 6 months or so, and a bit of backlash as well.  I finally picked up
the CD "Seek Knowledge Before Vengence" a few months back (give thanks
Daniel Frankston!) and I figured I'd give my verdict as someone with an
equal interest in both the classic roots and modern dancehall... and no
agenda either way.

Simply put, I think this is one brilliant CD.  I've heard Midnite
criticised for trying to sound like something from another era, but
personally I don't think this is the case.  The backing is pure roots,
no doubt about it, but the vocals have a freshness all of their own.
I've never heard a singer quite like Vaughn Benjamin, who sings in a
very unique sort of sing-jay-esque (!) way that really grew on me.  In
fact, the whole album grew on me - the first couple spins I enjoyed, but
after that it just seemed to get better and better.  I think the lyrics
are excellent too, very poetic at times.

Anyway, just wanted to pass on a very big recommendation for this album,
and Midnite in general - I've started dipping into their back-catalog,
and it's all good!  Check em!

--- Jesse I ---                  Chant Down Babylon                 Melbourne, Australia         106.7 PBS FM / Sat 3-5pm

midnite was pretty roundly anticipated and i didnt notice any real decrease in interest in the crowd though it was getting chillier a bit. the problem was they had played a gig in st croix that lasted until 6 am...THAT morning. then they had to jump a plane to san jose where the promotor picked them up at about 6pm. they were set up on the stage by 8 and on right after that. now *thats* good. no whining and whinging from this crew. proceeded to play what must have been 80 or 90 minutes (that curfew for eek a mouse was approaching) of solid roots and culture (pretty reminiscent of the twinkles if you ask me). i thought they were well received by the audience and definately showed their stuff both in their performance and in the fact that they got it together in the face of adversity...some other folks should take note of that if you ask me.

Check out Midnite's new website

Midnite - Unpolished Midnite - Ras Mek Peace Midnite - Jubilees of Zion Midnite - Seek Knowledge Before Vengeance

Rastafari Liveth!!!


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