When we are born we start as an empty slate. Humans are formed through phases. Experience is the essence of life. I have been through few but varying phases. I was progressively labeled as a skater kid, a punk, a stoner, a surfer. All moments in time I still remember vividly and teachings I still hold dear. Growing up in a beach town the “wave life” would inevitable crash upon the shores of my consciousness. I fell into the surfers’ life of sun and sand; board shorts and beaches were my bible. The hymns were Sublime, Slightly Stoopid, The Expendables, Dirty Heads, and Pepper.
It was a Thursday night and I could feel the waves of my teenage years ebb and flow against my thoughts. The Beacham was sold out for this show and having not been apart of this culture for some time I was slightly surprised. The sands of time produced a plethora of ages and there were no lifeguards around. High schoolers, college kids, and a few crustaceans crowded the lines into the venue. My pre show ritual was comprised of some cold beer and an herbal remedy I am sure many people there partook of. After a long and lonely wait, I finally got in around 7:45 pm.
When I got in Aer (pronounced air) was just setting up. The band is from Boston, Massachusetts and they certainly know how to get a crowd going. The sound was still a bit off in The Beacham so it was a little hard discerning some of their lyrics. They have that familiar concoction of Reggae, Rap, Ska, and Rock that everyone was there for. They fit right in among the rest of the artists on the bill. Their single “She Says She Loves Me” has gained them a lot of recognition lately.
Dirty Heads were up next and they opened with “Dance All Night.” Everybody in that building was moving uncontrollably. Dirty J (Jared Watson) and Duddy B (Dustin Bushnell) certainly felt and fed off the energy everyone was putting out. After that song Dirty J said, “Tonight, we are going to play some new shit and play some old shit.” He certainly didn’t disappoint with that promise. Dirty Heads then found their way to “Your Love” and a steady sway took over.
Just when every person was hitting their meditational edge, Dirty Heads cranked up the energy. “Burn Slow” blared through the behemoth speakers in The Beacham and it was back to the dancing. Dirty Heads said, “Orlando, is the loudest town we have been to” and their hit “Lay Me Down” further proved this.
Orlando showed Dirty Heads so much love that at one point they brought out a GoPro camera to capture the craze. Dirty Heads performed their newest single “My Sweet Summer” before ending their set with “Medusa,” both tracks off of their July 2014 release Sound Of Change.
After a short intermission for set up, Pepper took the stage. They opened with “Fuck Around” and Bret Bollinger sprinkled in some hand gestures for context. “Stone Love” seeped its way in and the sway was back. It might have been the herbal remedy but when Pepper started playing “Point and Shoot” I was immediately brought back to a moment in my life that I had forgotten all about.
I was 17 and living out of my car on the beach. There was a house party I went to as the sun set over the ocean. I remember making out with one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. She was tan, blonde, and all legs. A perfect beach body that screamed for the sun to kiss her skin. I was there again, reliving a scene that had grown stale in my mind. An experience that helped form me. A phase.
That thought was abruptly brought to a halt when the words “We got supplied!” rang through the sound system. Someone in the crowd threw a bag a weed onstage and a security frenzy ensued. Kaleo Wassman said “Orlando, you make me feel like I want to take a roofie and a Viagra at the same time.”
After a steady stream of screams, Pepper returned with an encore. They played “Freeze” and thanked everyone for coming, especially “All the people who used to watch us play The Social.” Their last song of the night was “No Control” and I knew the sentimental teenage moments I was reliving during the show would soon come to an end. For me, those were times of soaking up rays and slashing surf. An era long gone but never forgotten.
All photos by @amartcard
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