A night with Kyle Smith at The Boardwalk, Orangevale

On September 24th, fans descended upon The Boardwalk in Orangevale, CA for a night of music, featuring K-Rizz, Eazy Dub, Skunk Funk and headliner Kyle Smith. Fans traveled from all over the greater Sacramento area to catch Kyle Smith’s official CD release party. If you don’t know of Kyle Smith yet, buckle up, because you will hear his name blowing up in the coming years within the reggae rock scene!

Kyle Smith’s highly-anticipated debut album, Lost Cause, came out September 23rd of this year and features notable reggae artists, such as Dan Kelly (of Fortunate Youth), Howi Spangler (of Ballyhoo!) and even Nick Safakis (of Iya Terra)! As fans lined up to Kyle’s merch table, you could hear fans expressing their excitement for the new album, as well as filling the band with questions related to their creative process during its creation. 

Before Kyle Smith hit the stage, San Francisco Bay Area favorite Skunk Funk got the crowd hyped Bay Area style. If you have never heard of Skunk Funk, they are a ska/punk/reggae/funk/hip hop hybrid band, with no lack of talent in getting a party started or keeping it going. Playing hits off of their latest album Skunk Soup, Sacramento fans got an earful of esoteric tunes, such as “Cirque Du Skank”, “Calling All Resistance” and “Millie the Mime”. The band even released some video footage for their upcoming music video, “Friday”, which is due to premiere in October on the Top Shelf Music YouTube channel!

As Kyle Smith and band hit the stage, you could hear the roar of fans, yelling with utmost gratitude.

Kyle Smith has made quite the name for himself in the last couple years, due to his honesty about his past and how it brought him to where he is today. Smith is a recovering addict and he wants his fans to know it, because if he could overcome it, you can, too. He also puts money where his mouth is, being heavily involved with the Nowell Family Foundation‘s efforts in raising funds for Bradley’s House, a six-bed recovery house in Long Beach for musicians struggling with addiction. The foundation (created by Kellie Nowell, the sister of the late famed Sublime vocalist, Bradley) aims to create a place where musicians can find a refuge on their journey to recover, being among those that understand most. 

Kyle’s latest album not only touches on his journey to recovery, but also on his experiences over the last year throughout the pandemic. 2020 opened many people’s minds to different ideas regarding freedom, friendship and community, and Kyle does not shy away from his opinions about the shutdowns’ effects on the world. His recent songs “Wicked Ways” and “7 Deadly Sins” touch on this and were a pleasure to see performed! As fans wrapped their arms around each other and collectively swayed in the crowd, you could feel an overwhelming sense of relief to be immersed in an atmosphere inaccessible to us for so long.

Stream or purchase ‘Lost Cause’ album:

Photography by Alexia Johnson

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