We had a great time at Artscape yesterday, making crafts with the kids in the Target tent, taking in a great storyteller, and making frequent visits to the mist tent. It was there that we got a tip from Oren at A Blogger and a Father, a local dad who chronicles other blogging dads—very meta. Anyway, he had heard from a reliable source that Matisyahu, who was set to headline the main stage later that night would make a surprise appearance in the OrchKids show that was scheduled to start in a couple minutes at the Festival Stage.
We hurried over and caught an amazing show, which featured kids from Baltimore City Public Schools playing in a brass ensemble, a woodwind ensemble, and, finally, in an awesome bucket band featuring acclaimed local beatboxer Shodekeh (profiled in our June issue). As things were winding down, we figured there'd be no Matisyahu, but we were glad to have caught a great show anyway—the boys loved it. But Oren said to stick around a minute and, just then, the OrchKids choir was brought out, as was Shodekeh, and—you guessed it—the Hasidic reggae toaster himself, Matisyahu (pictured, snapped by yours truly), looking a little grayer than when i last saw him, but smiley in mirror shades and loose tzitzit.
They performed an exuberant version of Matisyahu's 2009 anti-war anthem "One Day," including a lightning-quick rapped interlude from Matis that no doubt encouraged a few of those in attendance to check him out later that night. Us? We had bed time to think about. But I heard the show was great. The artist himself later tweeted: "Sweet show tonight in Baltimore. I love when there's like 20 kids crowd surfing over heavy dub. I think we might be the only ones to have ever accomplished that feat. Swampy mess!!!"
We were just glad that we get to see Artscape's main attraction playing with local kids. It was really great all around.