Saturday Feb 8th was a drizzley, rainy, gray day, and the energy was palpable in the air. We headed up to Santa Cruz a little after 3 to meet up with all the bands for load in and help our friends Bert and Mo out at The Reef.
The Reef filled up early that night with all the bands and all our industry friends who came in a little early to eat and drink before the show. The energy was high and the vibe was mellow. People were smiling and laughing, eagerly anticipating the huge night of music that was about to get underway. The venue started to get packed, and the energy was building.
First to hit the stage were our friends IrieFuse, who had just played in Monterey the night before. As always, they pumped the crowd up and got the dance floor moving. I worked the front door through IrieFuse and Animos sets, but could hear them loud and clear, and man were they good. The crowd was steady and eager coming through the doors. The press of people from the front of the stage was getting bigger and bigger and the room was getting packed.
After a brief intermission, work duty was over, I grabbed Aaron from the back gate where he was posted up on security and we headed into the fray to catch Hirie. What a set that was. Hirie sings with a joy and passion that is matched only by her contagious smile. The band was tight and full of energy, dancing and clapping to the songs on stage and keeping the energy high. Hirie sings reggae with a fun kick of pop. Her songs are catchy and full of positive messages. You can't help but want to sing along as loudly as possible. The covers she chose to perform that night were some of my favorites, including Tanya Stephens “Its a Pity” and the Expendables “Bowl for Two”. However Hiries originals are what keep me coming back for more. This summer her single “Sensi Boy” made regular appearances in my stereo, and my kids know it by heart. Presently I've got “Smile” in my head almost daily. In person, Miss Hirie is one of the sweetest people you could imagine. Humble, and full of light, this woman is blowing up the music scene, and I see nothing but huge things in her future.
One more break, and it was time for Fortunate Youth...man were we excited. We made our way through the crowd and found a sweet little spot front and center against the stage (always my favorite spot). The band set up and sound checked...the crowd was growing restless...finally, Fortunate Youth was ready, and Dan Kelly’s voice poured out in sweet melody into the mic. If you haven't heard Fortunate Youth yet, please stop reading now, and scroll briefly to the bottom of this page. I have included one of my favorites of theirs below. Press play and listen while we continue so you can understand what I am talking about. Dan has a particularly beautiful and surprising voice. In person, he is very gentle and kind, humble and full of gratitude to fans and fellow musicians. We thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Dan, and all the FY crew that night. He is tall and thin, and I won't lie, has a Vince Vaughn resemblance going on. His voice when he talks has a slight rasp to it, but when he starts to sing...oh my...nothing but sweet sweet music. FY has a guitar, bass, drums, keys and bongos, and are one of the tightest bands I've heard. They kicked out so much energy when they started, the crowd was moving, grooving, singing the lyrics. Being up close and personal with such a talented band is always so inspiring. Connecting with the music, and the musicians is to me what music is really all about. Im grateful that my first live experience with this band was at such an intimate venue as The Reef. I can't wait to see them again. FY is making their mark on the music scene. Keep your ears open for them, because they are about to blow up big!
The Reef crew did an epic job that night putting on this show, and we cant thank them enough for taking such good care of not only us, but everyone who came through those doors. The Stage Media crew was also in attendance that night, and credit is to them for all of the amazing shots I'm sharing with you. For more from this show, and many others please following the link to their page….https://www.facebook.com/stagemedianetwork
|831 Street Promotions • McWilliams Media • Stage Media|