5th Dimension Soul

The 5th Dimension Brings Soul to Monmouth

The 5th Dimension brought soul to Pollak Theatre last Friday, Oct. 8.

Walking into this performance, I honestly didn’t have the highest of expectations. While the auditorium was completely full, I was the youngest one in the room by about 50 years, and I felt out of place.

The lights dimmed and a voice came over the microphone introducing the band. The first song started with a thunderous drum solo and after a minute or so five performers took center stage, three men and two women.

All clapping with vivacious energy, my perspective on the night began to change. I had hope.

The 5th Dimension is a motown group that started out in 1965 with its original members including Florence LaRue, Billy Davis Jr., Marilyn McCoo, Lamonte McLemore, and Ronald Townson. These days, the group is led by LaRue, who is the only original member, along with Willie Williams, Leonard Tucker, Patrice Morris, and Floyd Smith.

The first song of the night was ‘September’ by Earth, Wind, & Fire. The energetic crew had a basic yet captivating dance routine for the song. Once the song was over, LaRue asked the mainly 65 and older audience what they remembered from summer 65’.

The best part about the concert was how much the band engaged with the audience. It was not only comical, but made the night more interesting. LaRue had short introductions leading up to each song that was performed.

5th Dimension Soul 2For the next few songs, the band members each took turns in the spotlight. LaRue stood alone against the piano and sang her heart out to ‘(Last Night) I Didn’t Get to Sleep At All.’

She has one of the most powerful voices I’ve heard, with an immense passion for music and performing.

Every member was charismatic in their own way. After they finished their solos, LaRue went on to explain a mission trip to Africa she embarked on.

The group sang an acapella African song that signified ‘God loves you.’ They taught the audience the short song, and had everyone singing along.

They performed a fun version of ‘Who Let the Dogs Out’ by Baha Man. Their stage presence, facial expressions, and movements were exciting to watch.

Among the repertoire for the night was ‘Stoned Soul Picnic,’ which got the crowd moving.

The band had the audience clapping along to their songs, talked to them directly, asked them questions, and even brought audience members on stage to dance with.

Their performance wasn’t the only exciting thing to watch, as they were also dressed to the nines. The men wore black tuxes without the jacket, and sported sparkly blue ties. LaRue wore sparkly blue pants with a matching long sleeve blouse. Patrice Morris wore the same combination but in black. The outfits glistened in the blue dimmed lights of the stage.

Once again, LaRue took center stage to belt her heart out to a powerful love song. Her tone and natural vibrato added layer to the already beautiful song.

The group joined back together to sing ‘Aquarius (Let the Sunshine In).’It was an energetic change of pace and it had the whole crowd on its feet, singing along.

The concert as a whole was exciting and entertaining to watch. As a music major, I’m required and encouraged to appreciate genres outside of my comfort zone.

I can definitely say that I have a new appreciation for motown and the 5th Dimension. It ended up being a pleasurable evening and completely changed my perspective that I had going into the show.

IMAGES TAKEN from sanclementetimes.com