Monday, June 19, 2006

Lunch with Matisyahu

Everyone comes home with stories of Bonnaroo. It might be the story of running into Steve Earle on your way to the cinema. It could be the story about the naked guy seen at the dios (malos) performance; or that person walking around in full costume swallowing fire; or quite simply the odd looking fellow next to you dancing like you've never seen anyone dance before. (Well, maybe Elaine on Seinfeld) Anyway, I have a story of a surreal encounter myself. I was sitting in the press tent minding my own business at a picnic table. I had been breaking my back all day to trying to get to as many events as I could. Suddenly, a group sat down right beside me and threw down a large wrapper of meat on the table. I quickly turned to see what was happening and to my delight I saw Matisyahu and four of his friends sitting right beside of me. For those of you who are not familiar with Matisyahu, he was a former teenage hippie and Phish follower who, in his late teens, re-discovered his Jewish faith and immersed himself fully into the Lubavitch Hasidic lifestyle. Combining the sounds of Bob Marley and Shlomo Carlebach, Matisyahu spreads his messages of faith, unity and peace to fans of reggae, hip-hop, and beatbox alike. So, there he was with his friends drinking, laughing, eating (kosher of course) and smiling. Within minutes a crowd of reporters gathered around and listened to these jovial men laughing, telling stories and re-enacting the events of a most recent food fight. It was all so amusing to see these five orthodox Jewish men dressed in traditional attire (long black coats, hats, white shirts--imagine ZZ Top but Jewish) cracking jokes and making fun of one another. Ultimately, they even got so carried away that one of the men threw a drink in another's face and they all roared with laughter. Shortly thereafter, Matisyahu went on to give a rousing performance in front of approximately 20,000 people at Which Stage. By Beth Forester Matisyahu (center) and friends - photo by Beth Forester
posted by Beth Forester at 6/19/2006 09:21:00 PM

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