Ripe Plays The Lilac Festival in Rochester, NY


On this beautiful Friday evening, the band Ripe performed a fun, feel-good show at the Lilac Festival in Rochester, NY. This long-standing festival is the unofficial kick-off to summer, which is welcomed after a long, cold winter. I had seen Ripe perform once before and knew that this would be a great concert. Fans of all ages lined the grassy area in front of the stage anticipating the start of the show. What a perfect night to forget about everything and get lost in the music!

Ripe was founded in Boston, Massachusetts in 2011. In March 2022 the band announced they had signed with Glassnote Records. Ripe can be described as funk/pop band and their songs are a blend of many musical influences. On this evening, the band performed a sixteen song set, including six from their first album Joy in the Wild Unknown. Some of my favorite songs the band performed were the newly released single, “Settling”, “Pretty Dirt” and Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets” . From the first note played, the crowd seemed to be grooving with the music. It didn’t matter if you were sitting or standing, the music vibe would soon take over your soul and you would be swaying to the beat. That unique sound of Funk, Rock, R&B, Jazz and Pop melded together that just makes you want to dance! Front-man, Robbie Wulfsohn’s showmanship, was outstanding, with fantastic vocals and a few dance moves of his own, he entertained us. I think guitarist, Jon Becker, may have invented his own style of sound. Mixing his influences together into a not-too-flashy but intricate sound, made him fun to watch. Now for the brass, Calvin Barthel and Kai Sandoval added that spicy, bold sound, that fits just right into the music. Nadav Shapira’s snappy bass runs added to that Funk sound and he also doubled as a keyboard player. Holding down the beat was the drummer, Sampson Hellerman, playing tight and tying the music all together. This is a talented group of musicians and they always put on a great show. The set was over before I knew it, and it was back to reality. Myself and the crowd were able to truly get lost in that magical Ripe sound, if only for a moment!

Set List: Sam, Beta Male, Stanky, Lola (Kinks), Settling, Young Tom, Backup, Brendan, Goon Squad, Bennie & the Jets (Elton John), Little Lighter, Talk To The Moon, Flipside, Follow Through, Downward, Pretty Dirty

Ripe are: Robbie Wulfsohn – vocals, Jon Becker – guitar, Nadav Shapira – bass, Calvin Barthel – trombone, Kai Sandoval – trumpet (Touring) and Sampson Hellerman – drums