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Contemporary Dance x2

The Pinstripes Invade SubCulture

by Melanie Wong 

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After many months, The Pinstripes' tour in support of their 2012 album, I, reached its culmination at SubCulture on Saturday night. With a rootsy mix of ska, reggae, and soul, the three-time recipients of the Cincinnati Entertainment Award for Best World Band embodied fun in every sense of the word.

The Pinstripes were all smiles from the minute they hit the stage. Their sincere energy, general goodwill, and confidence—along with the ease with which they transferred these feelings to the audience—was a rare and wonderful experience.

Lead singer Mike Sarason explained, “This is all dancing music...if you guys shake your butts, we’ll probably sound better.” And dance everyone did—including The Pinstripes, who took every free moment as an opportunity to show off their funky moves.

Each song had a distinct, refreshing flavor, and the band members successfully kept the audience continuously pumped-up. You could never predict what was going to come next: there were call-and-response sing-alongs, a showdown between the drummer and the trombonist, a sweet melodica/flute duet, and a synchronized two-step between the frontmen.

It was a shame that there wasn’t more of a crowd, as every moment of the show grabbed your attention. By the end of the evening, the audience was chanting for more—a demand that The Pinstripes gratefully fulfilled, confessing it to be the first (and only) encore request of the tour.

The Pinstripes are celebrating their 10-year anniversary later this year, yet they exude the energy of a fresh, young group. If you missed them this time around, be sure to put them on your “must-see” list when they return next year.