Saturday, July 11th was another beautiful southern California summer day in Huntington Beach. The smell of sunscreen and the sight of beachgoers in bathing suits made for a perfect summertime vibe show on the beach. Sealegs at the Beach hosted The Late Ones and friends, and people came. There was a line of cars just to get into the parking lot and a good-sized crowd was in the mood to hear some addictive reggae beats at a great outdoors, open venue. The venue had a lot of room and featured a large stage right on the beach that doubled as a dance floor for the crowd and room to mingle with the artists.
The Sealegs staff was phenomenal and made sure that the event ran smoothly.
This show was the first real live music event for The Late Ones since the COVID-19 shutdown earlier this year, but their message continued to be relevant. The Late Ones — being one of the few entirely black reggae bands — spoke of unity, peace and the need for change. The Late Ones’ music is truly inclusive and focuses on injustices we face in the world. At one point, the band led the crowd in a “No Justice, No Peace” chant. The entire place responded with their fists raised in the air in support of the message. DJ Mets (from Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds) was on the soundboard making it look easy and keeping the vibes going all day into the night.
It was a day full of amazing reggae artists; The Late Ones brought the entire family out to this one! With performances from Coda, King Schascha, Kat Hall, Shakamon and Dread Kennedy, it was one for the books. Coda, an up-and-coming rapper, got a chance to hop onstage and spit a freestyle, joined by Tau of The Late Ones, Shakamon and Dread Kennedy. King Schascha jumped on the mic and was electric to watch. He used the full stage to run, jump and perform his heart out.
Kat Hall, who has never performed at Sealegs before, gave the crowd a taste of her voice. The crowd loved it as she sang and everyone danced along. Kat remarked, “I had never been to Sealegs, so I liked how it was right on the beach! It is an open environment and all the chairs and tables are facing the entertainment, which made it feel like a family-style event.” Kat continued, “I also liked how the stage was a dance floor. Everyone could mingle. It was a vibe, honestly!”
Shakamon stepped to the mic and immediately had the crowd cheering.
Shakamon truly has a voice like no other and it is always a blessing to hear him perform. You could hear fans scream Dread Kennedy’s name as he entered the venue. Every time DK performs is special, having a certain energy as he dances, dreads waving in the air.
I spoke with Kyle Simonou, better known as ‘HolySmokesBatman’, who said, “It was awesome to see so many musicians collaborate together!” The Late Ones agreed and chimed in, “Great show — great and safe atmosphere! [We] got to educate those in need and have a great, conscious time. Love to spread the message to the masses in these times at hand. Shout out to everyone for coming! Keep looking for TLO! We ain’t going nowhere. Black Power!!!”
The Dad’s Elixir team even showed up to party with everyone. Dad’s Elixir is a sponsor for many artists and provides some of the purest edibles available on the market. Many artists prefer taking edibles before shows, because smoking sometimes affects the vocals. Dad’s Elixir also had accolades about the event, saying, “It was a refreshingly perfect day, full of good vibes and reggae family love. It was exactly what we’ve all missed and needed!”
Photography by Sean McCracken & Laith Atiyeh; Recap by Laith Atiyeh