Wednesday, October 5th was a very special night in Santa Cruz, California when Stick Figure brought his album release show to the Catalyst Club to celebrate the latest studio album, Wisdom, released on September 9th, 2022. Typically, you can normally catch the Billboard chart-topping reggae sensation Stick Figure headlining festivals or touring extensively on larger stages. The last time Stick Figure played the intimate Catalyst Club was 2016, so it came as a real surprise and treat when it was announced that tickets would be going on sale for a special album release party. When tickets went on sale the following day at 10am PST on September 15th, they sold out in record-breaking time.
It sold out in only 48 seconds!
On the day of the show, I got there early — right before doors — and the line was already wrapped around the block. The first few people in line told me they started lining up at 1pm that afternoon! Doors opened at 7:30 and lucky fans who managed to snag tickets stampeded though the doors at the Catalyst to grab a spot at the front or upstairs along the balcony railings for the best view. The show was 21+, so no red tape around the bar made for extra room and by the start of the show at 8:30, the place was packed all the way back to the merch tables.
The show kicked off with an intro jam as all the touring members came onto the stage, including everyone’s favorite tour dog — Cocoa the beloved Australian Shepherd. If you’ve never seen Stick Figure live, then you might not know that the self-taught writer/producer/singer/guitarist Scott Woodruff (aka, Stick Figure) brings his service dog Cocoa with him everywhere, including onstage where she is loved by all the fans. Cocoa’s fan club bring treats and toys, tossing them onstage throughout the show while she chases balloons that occasionally float onstage… and sometimes even popping them.
Now, with all that cuteness out of the way, more about Stick Figure’s set.
The set jumped around a lot between new songs and older songs from previous albums, including 2019’s World on Fire, 2015’s Set in Stone and 2012’s Burial Ground. Stick’s touring band consisted of familiar players including KBong on keys (and smiles), Tommy Suliman on bass guitar, Kevin Offitzer on drums, Johnny Cosmic on guitar/vocals and Will Phillips on percussion. A special guest feature was Scott Woodruff’s childhood friend TJ O’Neill, who came onstage and sang his parts during songs “Whiskey Sun” and “Weight of Sound”. The party ended on a high note with songs “Fire On The Horizon”, “Smokin’ Love” and “World On Fire”. But, that’s not all, because somehow Stick Figure and the Catalyst’s crew managed to get foam light-up rainbow sticks and disperse them all throughout the venue, making for a beautiful moment at the end of a special night.
It was truly an honor to be able to be a part of such a special night, especially having been at the 2016 show and seeing how far Stick Figure has come. Other songs on the setlist included “Above The Storm”, “Smoke Signals”, “Shine”, “Edge Of The Ocean”, “Feel Like That”, “Choice Is Yours”, “Time”, “All For You”, “Here Comes The Sound”, “Sound System”, “Angels Above Me”, “Stepping Stones”, “Reba”, “Shelter (medley)”, “Way Of Life”, “Once In A Lifetime” and “Ganja”. So, get to this tour if you can!
Photography by Katey Schoenberger