Rebelution stopped on by the St. Augustine Amphitheatre with “The Good Vibes Summer Tour 2017” on Sunday, July 30th with special guests Nahko and Medicine for the People, Collie Buddz, and Hirie, as well as DJ Mackle. I had been really stoked for this show considering Rebelution rules many of my playlists and Collie Buddz is my all time favorite reggae artist to move to.
I spend the first part of the day prepping my camera equipment and stalking the weather channel since rain and stormy weather were dominating the day, the week, and the summer. Rain was supposed to clear up around showtime but as I head towards the amphitheatre, sh*t was not looking good. The parking lot is full by 4:30pm and a mix up with tickets, all sold as General Admission, gave way to some pissed and confused concert goers when we find out General Admission tickets does not mean pit access as it normally would.
By 5:00 it’s pouring. I huddle under the media tent with the other photographers and try to keep myself and my camera bag as protected as possible. I check my phone to see if the weather app had an update on when the rain would clear up, but the app shows no rain currently or for the rest of the night. Meh. With 20 minutes or so to kill before the 5:30 start of the show I noticed the beer stand has cans of Rebelution “Feelin’ Alright” IPA. When in Rome. I’m an amber kinda girl myself but the IPA was smooth and citrusy and definitely helps lighten the vibe of the the current weather situation and I start feelin’ alright.
The photogs get the okay, and we head down to the stage. DJ Mackel is set up stage left keeping the crowd moving before and after each set. He keeps it cool and smooth as he mixes hip-hop, and reggae featuring the upcoming performers within his sets. He’s all smiles and happy to be there moving to the music and smiling for the camera. He definitely got the memo about putting out those good vibes.
Up first, Hirie and her band. I watched a few of her music videos online prior to the show and was pleasantly surprised that the sweetness of her lyrics and appearance were a genuine trait. This lady is not only drop dead gorgeous but has the pipes to back up her spot on this tour. She and her band were nonstop energy. Hirie dances all over the stage belting out her hits like “Sensi Boy” and “Don’t take my Ganja.”
She’s one of those girls that doesn’t seem to have a mean bone in her body. At one point, in between lyrics, she mouths a compliment to one of the photographers shooting next to me that she “likes (her) dress.” I like when us chicks band together and support each other doin’ our thing. She earned my respect and gained a new fan, out of me, throwing out love and respect to her band and audience alike.
Next up, Collie Buddz hit the stage. I’m so excited I turned into a fan girl who forgets how to use her camera… just for a second thou. He plays older classics like “Come Around” and “Mamacita” and mixes in some new tracks off his latest album “Good Life.” I’m unsure what to expect from Collie Buddz, I thought his persona would be a little tougher or rugged on stage. But he’s all smiles and definitely reaches out to his audience and invites us in.
Mid set the rain stops, clouds part and the sun breaks thru. But my favorite moment of this set is when Collie brings a fan onto the stage and lets him sing the chorus of “Blind to You.” To my, and everyone else’s surprise, the guy straight up kills it. At that point Collie just passes him the mic, and lets him take over the rest of the song. Collie even films the guy with his phone and cheers him on. That right there just seals the deal for me that Collie Buddz is genuinely cool as sh*t and I will continue to be a fan girl all day everyday for Collie, Collie, Collie, Collie.
Next to hit the stage was Nahko and Medicine for the People. I have only listened to them online which was not any indication of what I was about to experience. I was texting back and forth with a friend of mine, prior to the show, and she let me know that if I hadn’t heard of Nahko before, I’d never forget them after tonight.
This band was an unexpected surprise. Very powerful in presence and intense in tone, sound and message. I quickly become in tune with this band and find myself completely absorbed in the moment. I’m almost worried that they were a Christian rock band or something because their energy feels like a spiritual movement.
This band reminds me of why I still love the band LIVE. It’s the type of music that can start off so calm and smooth and deep and peaceful and then out of nowhere, they rock the f*ck out on some eclectic acid trip of musical perfection that comes together with such intention and mastery of skill. Ya dig? I don’t know. Ya kinda had to be there. But seriously, you should be there. This band should be seen live.
There is a deeper meaning to this type of music. It comes direct from the deepest core of creativity, passion, fear and awareness. It speaks to the depths your soul and I quickly realize that the massive amount of people in the audience who were here for Nahko had come to tap into something much deeper than themselves. They were here for their Medicine.
Rebelution up next did not disappoint. They got everyone nice and toasty from the get go with “Inhale Exhale.” They sounded flawless from the jump. These guys just get up there so comfortably, energized, enthusiastic and truly are seasoned vets of their game. I honestly didn’t even know where to look. There was so much going on that stage. The lights, the energy and those good vibrations are emanating off the stage and feeding the audience.
I was stoked to hear “Heart Like a Lion” and “Attention Span” and even more excited that this tour shared musicians from one set to another. Hirie joined Nahko on stage for a song, each band’s brass section jumped in and out of each other’s sets so often I was getting getting confused as to who was with who. That kind of creative collaboration is a testament to the fact that this tour is full of love, respect and all about those Good Vibes.
REGGAE RISE UP MUSIC FESTIVAL
MARCH 14-17, 2024
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Rebelution Live Review & Photos (St. Augustine, FL) by Carolyn Dentz.