The fourth and final day of Cali Roots 2022 was one for the books. We laughed, we cried, we danced, we loved, we sang, we vibed and we all connected on a level that no one can describe quantitatively without sounding a little ‘woo-woo’. Simply put — it was magic. We were magic.
Day Four was the bonus day. We’ve never, ever gotten to experience a fourth day.
It evoked the feeling of still having fries at the bottom of the bag or finding a hidden nug from your stash that rolled under the bed. By Saturday night, sore feet aside, the idea of still having a whole day ahead was as intoxicating as the Sierra Nevada beers being drunk and the adrenaline coursing through our veins from the zealous over-socializing.
From the jump, Sunday was chaos. Kicking off the Bowl was the long-haired spitfire, Vana Liya, gracing us with her heavenly voice and killer style. Following up at the Bowl at noon was Artikal Sound System: the Delray Beach, Florida natives who love to have a good time and look amazing while they do it. Lead singer Logan Rex’s outfits never disappoint and Sunday was no exception when she wowed the crowd in fishnets and Doc Martens, belting “You’re an Asshole”. Baddie level 100.
San Diego locals Through the Roots opened the Cali Roots Stage just after noon to a shining sun and packed audience. Across the fairgrounds retro-soul quintet Durand Jones and the Indications gave the people what they wanted at the Bowl Stage by performing tracks from their lauded 2021 album, Private Space. Hawaiian roots legend Mike Love followed on the Bowl Stage, backed by his band, The Full Circle.
Common Kings, everyone’s favorite island reggae boys, graced the Bowl Stage and performed hits like “There I Go” and “Lost in Paradise” among other bangers. Anthony B came next on the Cali Roots Stage to belt his famous Cali Roots Riddim track “Chill Out”; the moment his set ended, the entire fairgrounds headed to the Bowl for Sublime with Rome.
After grabbing dinner at the famous Island Noodles stand, everyone headed back to the Cali Roots stage for Hawaiian songstress HIRIE’s always-memorable set. Flanked by her trusty touring mates, she fluttered around the stage and brought the heat — as per usual.
The sun began to set and the excitement in the Bowl was palpable, as the crowd waited patiently for the legendary OG Ice Cube to take the stage.
Busting out deep cut after deep cut, the Bowl vibrated and dropped it low for “You Can Do It” and “Check Yo Self”. Sean Paul then took that energy and multiplied it, closing out the Cali Roots Stage with a dance party that shook the very earth we were grinding on.
High on dancehall, we rushed to the Bowl for the final performance of the night; the one and only Damian Marley performed a 90-minute superset, chock full of old songs, new songs and covers of his dad’s timeless music. Minds racing, we danced and held one another.
“Is this really the end?”
“How did it go by so fast?”
“Do I really have to wait until 2023 to do this again?!”
The answer is that it’s never the end. There are never goodbyes. We will always see each other again. Whether in a few months at Dry Diggings or in 12 months at 2023’s installment, there is a collective veil of love and oneness that surrounds you once you experience something like the magic that is California Roots. Monterey loves you and Monterey never forgets.
Photography by Sean McCracken; Recap be Allie Adams