ROCKINGHAM — Leaving the comforts of air conditioning, the performers of Acoustic Coffee took their message to the street Thursday evening, singing in Harrington Square.
Arthur Gilliam, organizer of the group, said they are going to start doing similar pop-ups around town.
“What it is, is just we just pop up and show up at a public place and release love, hope and grace,” he said. “That’s the whole message.
The group began performing at Nectar, the coffee shop inside the Hive Recreation Center — hence the name.
“But I said, with everything going on in the world, we need to come out…we need to go outside…and go to where the people really are,” he said prior to the 7 p.m. start. “Because normally that’s the place where they come to us.
“So we said, we’ll just start picking random spots, man, and just doing this hope, love and grace thing — and here we are,” he added.
Gilliam said with all the hate, fear and racism in the country, and on Facebook, he decided he had to do something.
“It was getting ugly, man. Facebook is just getting ugly,” he said. “I think it’s so easy to hide behind a computer. It’s easier to hide behind a computer, it’s harder to actually get out and do something about it.”
Gilliam’s solution: spreading love through music.
“I’m tired of hate, I’m tired of racism, I’m tired of injustice, prejudice, foolishness, confusion,” he said. “[People say] our world is so dark…hey, shine light, man. I think it’s really simple. If it’s dark, that’s what light does.
“I see so many people full of love, which to me is light, but they’re running away, being shy, not wanting to speak up, not wanting to speak out, scared of what people would think,” he continued. “Aren’t you light? If there’s so much darkness, shine, man. That’s what we’re here to do.
In between songs, Gilliam spoke about unity and understanding each other.
“It’s a response to everything that’s going on in our world today,” he said. “I’m not going to react, I’m going to respond…I think love wins every time.”
Reach reporter William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 and follow him on Twitter @William_r_Toler.