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Photos by John

John Reuben
8/18/04, Penn Jersey Youth Camp, Mount Bethel, PA

Review #1: Husband. Son. Rapper. Producer. Masseuse. John Reuben Zappin is a jack of all trades, but what he's most known for, of course is his music. Since a true John Reuben convert in 2001, I've highly come to enjoy John's shows and albums. He's brutally honest, unashamedly spiritual, and unapologetically silly. Unlike The A-Team, Reuben gets better with age but proposes just as dangerous threat to his hip-hop brethren. He knows when it's appropriate to take life lightly, causing "as much ruckus as legally possible", and when to still the audience with a message of God's love.

John's set consisted mostly of new tracks from his 2003 record Professional Rapper, and with a full band out on the road with him for the first time this year, the audience is treated to an energetic and loud live show. Fans will notice one common entourage member missing, unfortunately, as the renowned and beloved DJ Manuel has decided to sit out Reubens shows (perhaps indefinitely?) due to a recent marriage and a desire to settle down more. Reuben and company rose above a few technical issues involving his microphone several times during the start of his show and didn't let the difficulties slow them down a bit. As he's done other times I've seen him live, John invited a few audience members on stage with him to try their hand at freestyle rapping -- for better or worse.

John Reuben's shows are for the fun-loving and those who have no problem with an emcee who rather goof-off than front. I've yet to catch him on an off night as John's continued to offer one memorable and crazy evening after another. -- John DiBiase

Review #2: Having not seen John Reuben's live set at Creation East this year, I was eagerly anticipating tonight's show. The band consisting of Gotee artists (i.e. newcomer Jeff Anderson) as well as friends of John's opened the show with "Treats" and went right into "Move" and "Have No Opinion". Right away you could see the difference in energy from tracks to a live show. This was really evident when John's mic went dead and the band and John continued along near flawlessly. Next was some crowd participation featuring some local free stylers pulled from the crowd. "Do Not", the first song released from John, followed before the guys went back to playing some new cuts from the Professional Rapper album like "Higher", "Time To Leave" and the eerie rocker "Freedom to Feel". Next was "Doin", a definite crowd favorite, followed by "Gather In", one of my favorite JR songs. They finished with the party song "Life is Short" which naturally left the crowd calling for an encore, which John responded to with some more freestyle from audience members. The live band is great and really adds to the energy of the show, and adds depth to the music presented by the talented and down to earth John Reu. This was evident before "Time to Leave" when he said that we forget to thank God for even just the simple things in life like food, clothing, shelter and waking up in the morning. I'm glad I was able to make it to this show after missing him earlier this Summer. If you get a chance to see him please do -- and make sure to exercise your arms before going. -- Kevin Chamberlin

 

John Reuben Set List
01. Treats
02. Move
03. Have No Opinion
04. Undone (Weezer cover) / (Audience Member Freestyles)
05. Do Not
06. Higher
07. Time To Leave
08. Freedom To Feel
09. Doin'
10. Gather In
11. Life Is Short
Encore:
12. (Audience Member Freestyling)

 

John Reuben Circus Photo Gallery

click on an image for a bigger size
*all photos by John DiBiase, and are the property of Jesusfreakhideout.com

 

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