The Fresh Beat Band attracted a large crowd for a Tuesday afternoon show at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center. The weather was perfect with plenty of blue sky, seasonal temperatures, and no rain. The band performed with youthful enthusiasm, high energy, and encouraged the audience to join the fun by singing and dancing along.
My five year-old daughter was really excited about going to the show. She had watched The Fresh Beat Band Show on Nick Jr. and became a fan of their music – probably like the other kids in the audience. The band had her up clapping, dancing, and singing along. The group played about an hour’s worth of music spread over an hour and a half. It was a children’s show and most of them are shorter than grown up shows.
My daughter was anxious for the band to hit the stage so waiting thirteen minutes from the scheduled start time was bearable. At least there was some backing beats to clap along to and the excitement was building. However, the 20-minute intermission between sets was too long. My daughter got bored and was a little upset with the wait. She was tickled pink once the band hit the stage for their second set.
The show started with a cover of The Go-Go’s “We Got the Beat,” which is a song most parents would recognize. Most of the 16 songs came from their compilation “The Fresh Street Band: Music From the Hit TV Show.” The second number was a very positive and encouraging song called “I Can Do Anything.” “Music (Keeps Me Movin’)” really energized the pavilion. They finished the first set strongly with “Freeze Dance” which had all the children dancing along and “Go Bananas,” which kept the energy level high.
The Fresh Beat Band is composed of four entertainers: Twist (John Beavers) who provides vocals, beatbox and turntables. Twist’s best talent appears to be beatboxing and it really showed on songs like “Freeze Dance” and when they introduced the dancers. Marina (Tara Perry) plays the drums and sings. Marina played the most music – spending a lot of time behind the electronic drum kit. Shout (Thomas Hobson) plays the keyboards and sings. He is quite the entertainer going out into the audience on a couple of occasions and hitting a few high notes. Kiki (Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer) plays guitar, violin, and provids vocals. Most of the music was computer generated or prerecorded, but the group did provide the vocals and played their respective instruments. However, they spent most of the time dancing and singing, and were joined by four talented dancers.
The second set regained the momentum as it started with “Just Like A Rockstar” and ended with “Here We Go.” Those two songs have been the band’s most successful singles. The sing-along sections of “Shine” and “Friends give Friends a Hand” provided some great interactive moments with the audience. The encore featured the familiar “Twist and Shout” and their hit “Great Day.” Also during the encore a few giant beach balls were tossed into the audience for added fun. The combination of school, The Fresh Beat Band concert, and rush hour traffic had my daughter asleep for the night by the time we got home.
Running Time: Approximately 90 minutes, with a 20 minute intermission between sets.
The Fresh Beat Band website.