By Mikayla Minor, Contributing Writer
The Valentine’s Day blizzard may have been enough to keep most couples cuddled together at home, but some of those that braved the storm found themselves enjoying a variety of live music at the Stone Church in Newmarket on Saturday night.
The University of New Hampshire’s own Harsh Armadillo made an appearance as the opening act for reggae-funk band Roots of Creation. Harsh Armadillo hit the stage at 8 pm, and played an hour-long set before Roots of Creation took the stage. The Saturday night concert was completely sold out, as over 100 visitors packed into the restaurant and bar. Patrons rocked to the jazzy funk openers, enjoying the soulful vocals of singer Andrea Belaidi and the band’s thrumming rhythms. Belaidi’s vocals were backed by guitarists Aiden Earley and Camden Riley, bassist Thomas Forbes, drummer Dan Tauriello and keyboardist Dimitry Harris. The band also featured a horn section including Max Harris on saxophone, Mike MacArthur on trombone, and Nick Murray on trumpet. The crowd danced the chills, whether they were brought on by the blizzard or a lonely Valentine’s night, away to Harsh Armadillo’s funky compilations.
Just as the storm started to pick up, Roots of Creation swarmed the Stone Church stage with their dubstep-influenced reggae jams. The band featured an eclectic mash-up of horn, band and electronics to form their unique, hybrid sound. Vocalist and guitarist Brett Wilson rocked the mic, while keyboardist Tal Pearson also provided vocals. Mike Chadinha accompanied on drums, vocals and SPDS samples, and Nick Mini rounded out their sound on bass. The horn section added to the mix with trombone and vocals from Billy Kottage and Andrew Riordan contributing on saxophone, vocals and electronic effects.
Harsh Armadillo and Roots of Creation, with their unique, hybrid sounds and charismatic stage presences are just a few of the names that have appeared on the Stone Church stage. The Stone Church hosts a variety of music and entertainment acts from near and far. Wildcats can stop in on any given weekend to grab a bite to eat and enjoy quality entertainment. Tickets can be bought online or at the door. Even in the dead of winter, the Stone Church can be counted on to provide exciting acts, and locals who brave the chill for a night of music won’t be disappointed. Both Roots of Creation and their openers, Harsh Armadillo, fit this bill, and delivered to couples and concert-goers on Valentine’s night.