It was a perfect fall night in St. Louis on November 10th. The weather wasn’t too cold or dreary, the breeze was just barely sneaking through, the last few leaves held on with all of their remaining strength and downstairs in the basement at Blueberry Hill — in the legendary Duck Room — rock reggae genre favorites Passafire took to the stage for an awesome, intimately small, club-style solo show, jumping right into things and taking over the entire bill after the scheduled opener was unable to make it. Now, if you are unfamiliar, The Duck Room is named after the Father of Rock and Roll, Chuck Berry and his infamous “Duck Walk”. The room is where the icon chose to finish out his career and, in the spirit of the guitar-wielding pioneer of music, Passafire decided to rock the fuck out!
Reaching the end of their Fall 2021 tour and also promoting the bands new super dope album Strata, Passafire treated their performance, as well as the modestly sized crowd, the same as if they were playing Jannus Live or The Bowl at Cali Roots.
Passafire left everything out on the stage, making sure those who got to be there were left nothing short of amazed.
One of the fun things about this band is the way they switch up instruments from time to time in order to add even more depth of flavor to their wide-ranging music. Lead singer Ted Bowne trades out his guitar and hops on the keys; bassist Will Kubley jams on the guitar, given up by Bowne. And, probably most fun is when keyboardist Mike DeGuzman breaks out the melodica and the good ol’ keytar! It’s somewhat easy to poke fun at either instrument, but after watching this dude absolutely shred that keytar, I’m telling you, I see that instrument totally differently now.
It was an overall fun show that had been on my bucket list for awhile and I couldn’t have lucked out better to be able to see Passafire in such an iconic room. The sound in the room was spot on, as well. Anywhere you stood, you heard such clarity and fullness… it makes sense why this venue is so iconic to musicians. With the tour wrapping up, your chances to see these guys for now may be limited, however you can still get your fix by rocking out with the band’s new highly recommended album Strata, which is available to listen to everywhere now.
Photography by Thomas Semonco