by Joann D. Ball, GratefulWeb.com
Steel Pulse celebrated its 40th anniversary with an extensive U.S. tour that is wrapping up on the East Coast.
Thursday, August 27th 2015: The legendary roots reggae band from Birmingham, England fired up the House of Blues in Chicago earlier on its cross-country trek. The band played two lively and lengthy sets that included "Babylon Makes the Rules" from the 1978 release Tribute to the Martyrs, "Steppin' Out" and "Roller Skates" from the 1984 album Earth Crisis, "Let Freedom Ring" and other fan favorites.
The sold-out, multicultural crowd was especially enthusiastic when David "Dread" Hinds and his bandmates performed the new song "Don't Shoot (Hands Up, I Can't Breathe)." Steel Pulse's song about racial injustice in the United States and recent events highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement clearly resonated with the audience. Such a response to current affairs is no surprise, however, given the band's prominent role in England's "Rock Against Racism" campaign in the late 1970s and numerous other examples of grassroots activism. Steel Pulse has been dedicated to the mission of "Love + Justice thru Music" for four decades, and their conscious reggae songs are always right on time.