The English Beat Returned to The Rose for a Stunning Concert

The English Beat Returned to The Rose for a Stunning ConcertThe English Beat Returned to The Rose for a Stunning ConcertThe English Beat Returned to The Rose for a Stunning ConcertThe English Beat Returned to The Rose for a Stunning ConcertThe English Beat Returned to The Rose for a Stunning ConcertThe English Beat Returned to The Rose for a Stunning ConcertThe English Beat Returned to The Rose for a Stunning ConcertThe English Beat Returned to The Rose for a Stunning ConcertThe English Beat Returned to The Rose for a Stunning ConcertThe English Beat Returned to The Rose for a Stunning ConcertThe English Beat Returned to The Rose for a Stunning ConcertThe English Beat Returned to The Rose for a Stunning ConcertThe English Beat Returned to The Rose for a Stunning ConcertThe English Beat Returned to The Rose for a Stunning ConcertThe English Beat Returned to The Rose for a Stunning Concert

Story and Photography by VERONICA AN

11:47 am | November 30, 2016


Time doesn’t usually treat bands nicely. Chart toppers burn brightly for a short time and then fade into oblivion or implode in supernova fashion. But there are few artists that stand the test of time. The English Beat, formerly known as The Beat, is one of those select few.

Since they burst onto the musical scene in 1979 at the height of the Punk and British Two Tone Ska movement, The Beat has been going strong. Founding member, Dave Wakeling, has led the transformation from straight ska into a genre-blending musical experience. The band is set to debut their first studio album since 1982, “Here We Go Love,” near the end of 2016.

In addition to polishing their album, The Beat has a full tour schedule. Luckily for us, Wakeling took a break between shows to chat about the enduring influence of The English Beat and their second concert at The Rose in Pasadena.

“The Rose is a fantastic place and we’re thrilled to be back. Pasadena is a very artistic and erudite community and this is the first time we’ve had a proper crack at a real concert hall there,” said Wakeling.

The Beat is known for their references to current events and issue of the youth as in “Stand Down Margaret”, “Get A Job”, and universal matters of the heart and soul, as in their classic hits “I Confess” and “Save It For Later”. Wakeling explains that the social and political tones of their songs come naturally.

“It’s how I sort through current events. I reach for rhyming couplets to get through things,” he said.

Wakeling describes these songs as psychological explorations that help him solidify where he stands on issues. The songs on The Beat’s forthcoming album take more of a macro-political approach and explore the legacy we are leaving for our children and the cyclical nature of violence.

“You get the sense that, as a generation, we let people down,” said Wakeling. “I don’t do much other than write ironic songs that peak consciousness and, hopefully, leave the world a better place.”

They will be offering a taste of the new songs on “Here We Go Love” at their upcoming concerts in addition to their classic hits, to appeal to their diverse fan base.

“Every [concert] is a bit different but we see a handful of faces that are the same at each show,” he said.

Wakeling adds that many new people come to concerts through word-of-mouth. He describes the audience as an interesting blend of the original crew – many of whom are empty-nesters attending the concert as a couple again – and people who discovered The Beat though the subsequent waves of ska .

“It’s an interesting bland of people ages 21 to 60. What I like about it is that people don’t seem to be aware of their differences – they’re just there in the moment – to spend the evening with a few hundred people of a similar mind,” he said.

Wakeling describes concert going as an almost transcendental experience where individuals drop their barriers and forget the arbitrary divisions that separate them to take part in a collective experience.

“You start to see the crowd dancing in time with each other before they even realize it – that’s part of my job; to connect the moment – band to the song to the audience and back again – to create magic,” he said.

A concert is more than just an opportunity to hear your favorite band perform live it’s a chance to connect with others and immerse yourself in the music.

“For me, a pop concert is a small example – if only for an hour and a half – that we can feel like we’re all one and remember our basic connection to humanity. Once you get it – that’s priceless,” he said.

The English Beat performed at The Rose on Friday, November 11, stay tuned for upcoming performances. The Rose is located at 245 East Green Street. Call (888) 645-5006 or visit http://roseconcerts.com/.