On July 1st, Pato Banton and Free Love Project took over Mrs. Olson’s Coffee Hut in Oxnard, CA for the first night of his tour. Free Love Project started off the night, with their roots reggae sound, mixed with real island vibes. Free Love Project is a band mixed with some of the best artists from the 805 area and the way they all connected with the crowd was amazing! Zorba, the guitar player, would walk offstage and play guitar in the crowd, making the show feel more personal. I personally think it’s cool when a you get to see a super group with some of the best artists from around town.
The way Pato performed up onstage was different than anything I’ve seen… the whole show was more like an intimate performance than just a regular concert!
Next up was Pato Banton. The way Pato performed up onstage was different than anything I’ve seen… the whole show was more like an intimate performance than just a regular concert! He made a speech about Juneteenth and African slavery; it was very impactful and made a bunch of people in the crowd cry — even Pato began to cry! This was my second time seeing Pato Banton perform (once at Roots on 66 and now here in Oxnard) and, every time, he blows me away. He is definitely someone who is a must-see. After the show, I stuck around, hanging with Free Love Project and Pato — both bands are super friendly! If either Free Love Project or Pato Banton makes a stop in your town, do not hesitate to grab a ticket or two. And, back by popular demand, Free Love Project and Pato Banton will be back at Mrs. Olson’s on again August 5th!
Photography by Gunnar Velten