With members Bob Caruso (percussion), Chopper (guitar, bass, vocals), Carlos Jones (vocals, rhythm guitar), Gino Long (guitar, bass, vocals), Ed Marthey (keyboards, vocals), and Rod Reisman (drums), First Light is billed as a reggae act, but their sound explodes beyond the term's simple definition. Intermingling the best of Rock, R & B, soca, jazz, blues, funk and rap, the band stretches reggae's accepted boundaries every time they take the stage. Just look, into the audience on any given night and you see their musical peers intently watching First Light's wildly successful artistry. But you also notice the fans, people literally transformed by the light's magnetic sound and riveting frontmen.
Even when the band formed in 1984 First Light wrote reams of original material and treated concert goers to their signature"in-your-face" shows. They immediently carved a comfortable niche in the midwest music scene-- and unprecedented coup for a new act in the regions cutthroat market. The band quickly released a 3-song EP, MUSICAL UPRISING, which was followed in the summer of 1988 by the remarkably popular REGGAE MELTDOWN CD. "Apartment Living," "Reggae Meltdown", and "Unity of Conscience" recalled the hard edged reggae of their earlier days. But as the album title suggests, something "nuclear" had happened. The sonic twists and turns of tracks like "The Light" "Running" and "Tolerate" lured whole new audiences into First Light's musical odyssey.
For years, Reggae Meltdown sales continued to surpass 12,000 without the help of commercial airplay, or national distribution. To meet the demand in 1992, the band produced 2 new cassettes. FIRST LIGHT LIVE and FIRST LIGHT BOOTLEG -- both of which offered fans popular live favorites and previously unreleased studio tracks. First Light's own Thin Ice record label produced, distributed and successfully marketed all three projects.
Consistently filling the regions largest showcase clubs, First Light played nearly 200 dates per year in major venues from Chicago to Boston, Vermont to South Carolina. Astute national promoters capitalized on their widely diverse appeal and booked the band with acts as musically varied as Living Colour, Steel Pulse, Taylor Dayne, Meatloaf and the Clash.