Soldiers of Jah Army
BY MADISON ALLIGOOD ON NOVEMBER 15, 2013
I saw SOJA for the first time this past summer in Raleigh, Chapel Hill and Virginia. Walking into the Lincoln Theater in downtown Raleigh, I did not know what to expect from my first reggae concert. I was happily surprised by the end of the show. I have spent countless days and nights enjoying country music at Walnut Creek with my family, so you can imagine the differences that I experienced going from country music singer Blake Shelton to Jacob Hemphil and the rest of the band.
SOJA is an eight man group consisting of a lead singer, lead guitarist, bass guitarist, two drummers, keyboard player, saxaphone player and trumpet player. Starting to feel like a groupie, I arrived in Chapel Hill on Sunday, Oct. 20 to attend my third SOJA show. This concert ended extremely different than the other two concerts for one main reason: the main singer had the flu. Persistent on continuing and finishing the concert, Hemphil made an announcement that he was going to have to strongly rely on his other band members. My friends and I, who had been to those previous SOJA concerts, were all a little nervous about the show.
Although they had to skip some of their songs and replace a few that they had planned on performing, the band managed to pull through with a great reggae show. People who had never seen them before probably could not have told the difference. As Hemphil was finishing up the concert, he started talking about his sickness again. He spoke for a while about how he thought he “sucked’ tonight. Even though he was extremely sick, he was surrounded by such talented people that everyone still had a great time. The fact that this group had a very important part of their band practically unable to participate yet still conducted a sold-out concert is truly a talent.