Summertime is for fun near the water, drinks with friends, and reggae music. Rebelution, Nahko and Medicine for the People, Collie Buddz, and Hirie, as well as DJ Mackle, invited all of Central Florida to a huge reggae bash — “The Good Vibes Summer Tour 2017” — a party that my friends and I just couldn’t resist. We start the trip early in the afternoon at my crib in Orlando. Soon a few of my friends joined me, and we are on our way to pick up the fourth of our team on our way to the venue. We arrive in Cocoa and notice that even though it was early the crowd was thick with people lookin’ to have a good time. While we wait to get our press passes, we watch as the last tickets get sold and a few disappointed people are turned away. Right then and there I knew that it was going to be a big night. Pushing into Riverfront Park, we enjoy the open spaces, nice views of the water, and cool shady spots from trees or from the circular veranda. We get some brewskis and go to the sound booth in order for The Sober Goat to set up his trusty camera.
Hirie is first up and comes to the stage with energy. A cool intro teases Bob Marley’s “Exodus” into the “Zelda Theme” into her song “I Wanna Be” whic has a quick tease of “I want you back” by the Jackson 5. What an amazing way to come out. The crowd instantly stops what they are doing, mingling around the lawn and concessions, to gather in front of the stage for the first act of the night. This beautiful reggae band has six members and hails from Kaneohe, HI. Recently topping charts with their album Wandering Soul, Hirie is on their way to becoming a staple on reggae playlists and beach boomboxes everywhere. “Don’t Take My Ganja” is a huge highlight for their set, featuring a sick solo by Rebelution saxophonist, Khris Royal. Check out a clip of “Don’t Take My Ganja” from The Sober Goat’s Instagram.
Hirie’s set ended with a cover montage touching on SOJA, Matisyahu, Sublime, and others. Wow, what an opening act!
Check out the full set video of Hirie, thanks to The Sober Goat.
Next on the docket, after anther beer of course, is Collie Buddz! A dancehall/reggae singer, Collie Buddz is best known for his single “Mamasita” in 2007. Today he will be known for his distorted reverb vocals, and bass lines so heavy you can’t pick them up off the floor. Check out a clip of “Come Around” from The Sober Goat’s Instagram.
A “fog” moves in above the crowd and Buddz’ funky reggae stylings lift the crowd up higher and higher. I’m so impressed with Drummer Stixx Mitchell as he blazes to the finish line with a stunner of a solo. I won’t soon forget the name Collie Buddz.
Check out the full set video of Collie Buddz, thanks to The Sober Goat.
Nahko and Medcine for the People take the vibes higher with their turn. “All Can Be Done” is a great feel good song which features a fierce solo (4:45 min of The Sober Goat’s video) by lead guitarist Chase Makai which couldn’t be contained as he continues over the chorus as well. I love it!
Check out a clip of “Dear Brother (Peace In America)” from The Sober Goat’s Instagram.
I have never seen a band that plays reggae music and has a violin in the group, but Tim Sniders makes it fit perfectly. Eric Rachmany of Rebelution sat in for their last song to spice things up. A great set of pop/surf-rock/reggae to lead us into the main entree for the evening.
Check out the full set video of Nahko, thanks to The Sober Goat.
Rebelution, established 2004, is now a true reggae heavy hitter. They have the crowd swaying and dancing from the get go! They’re horn section, Khris Royal and Zach Meyerowitz are as good as it gets. Things were getting so horny that a female friend of mine actually turned to me during the show and said, “everyone is getting laid tonight!”
This band played all of their great music. The SoCal squad start off smooth and bumpin’ touching on “Heart like a Lion” which is a Sober Goat favorite.
This stellar first half of the set included awesome solo’s from the horn section and cool breezes from above. “Safe and Sound” is played early, an existential reggae groove that has the crowd singing every word, instantly raising the expectation bar for the evening. This is the kind of reggae concert that I wanna see. The crowd continues to lend a hand in “Feeling Alright” and “De-Stress” as they round out what is the best set I’ve seen from them so far! (This is my 3rd time seeing them.)
But the fellas from Isla Vista weren’t finished! They came out for a crusher of an encore, playing “Roots Reggae Music,” “Count Me In,” and “Sky is the Limit.” I just can’t believe they have so many songs that I love. It’s obvious the crowd doesn’t want the show to end by their raucous cheering for the baddest reggae band I’ve seen this year. #TheGoodVibesSummerTour2017
Check out the full set video of Rebelution, thanks to The Sober Goat.
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- The Commission Beer Chamber
- Nora's Sugar Shack!
- Park Ave CDs
- Montgomery Drive Presents
- RT-Art Printing
- El Camino School of Music
- The Mary Jane 'High-Quality' Art Gallery
- Tamale Co (Best Tamales in ORL) (Orlando)
- The Owl's Attic Vintage Shop
- Broken Strings Brewery
- American Combat Club
- Lazy Moon Pizza
- Ten10 Brewing
- Conrad's Beer Shanty
- AKT Shirt Printing
- Smartpunk Records & Shop
- No Clubs Presents
- DaddyKool Records
- Galactic G Skateshop
- Lizzy McCormack's Irish Pub
Rebelution Live Review (Cocoa, FL) by Spencer Storch. Photos & Video by Richie Williams.