“There’s a melody in the wind // I can hear it on the shore // Brings me closer to something that I’ve never felt before // Becoming a brighter day, now that we’re outside // Let’s follow the sound into the night,” as KBong’s “Good To Hear Music” goes. Walking the streets in downtown St. Petersburg the night of September 11th, you could feel the vibes all around, as reggae family from all over filled the sidewalks, lining up at the famous venue of Jannus Live for a special night of music. The night started off with a one-woman-band, Victoria Leigh, who amazed everyone with her voice and music as attendees rolled in, filling the place. Derek Waldmann (a.k.a. Man of the Forests, a beast on the violin) joined Victoria for a mesmerizing version of “Gangster’s Paradise”.
Next up was one of our local bands from Naples, Florida. Sprout is a band you should watch out for: a reggae jam band who gets the entire crowd dancing from beginning till end — all asking for more! I have seen these guys before jump on a stage with Dan Kelly (of Fortunate Youth), Kyle Smith and Badda Skat for one of the dopest freestyle jam sessions I’ve ever seen. You might recognize the drummer Eddie Kopp from another astonishing team — Sugar Shack. Check them out — you won’t regret it! Then, it was time for the beautiful Vana Liya with her ukulele; her soft voice, mixed in with the music from the band, soothed the crowd as everyone sang along to the songs. KBong and Johnny Cosmic even jumped onstage for a few songs with Vana, too!
After three amazing sets, when you thought it couldn’t get any better, KBong comes out with so much energy, he couldn’t contain it!
He was shaking his body, dancing and jumping all over the stage, as the crowd went crazy dancing and singing along with him. With so much talent on the stage coming from KBong (vocals/keys), Johnny Cosmic (vocals/guitar), Man of the Forests (violin), Andrew Maloney (keys), Eric Bumb (drums) and Marcus Agundes (bass), it was an unforgettable night of music putting smiles on faces all around. They finished the night off with one of my all-time favorite songs, “A Pirate Looks at 40”. This is a show you don’t want to miss! All these bands are a wonderful experience and as everyone was leaving, they were saying it was “Good to Hear Music”.
Photography by Brian “Porkchop” Nicholson