Tropidelic drops new beats on St. Louis

Six-piece Ohio-based reggae band Tropidelic made it out to Old Rock House — one of my favorite venues in St. Louis — on June 27th, bringing along with them electronic reggae-dub trendsetters Jon Wayne & The Pain and fellow Ohio rockers, The Quasi Kings. All three offered the people of STL their unique fusions of reggae, rock, and hip hop that has kept all of these bands going for years now. Every one of these talented musicians brought the energy, with The Quasi Kings’ worldly and ever-evolving melodies kicking the show off, doing a perfect job of helping to ease fans inside from the patio into the venue.

The deeply creative dubs that Jon Wayne and The Pain showed off next.

The band definitely made an impact on me although I have a strong feeling I wasn’t the only one, and, of course, Tropidelic obviously brought their melting pot of genre-defying greatness. All three bands made sure everyone got a high-octane live show, especially the fans I talked to who drove all the way from Indy! The weather couldn’t have been better either: it was a perfect 85-degree summer evening, the sun chasing the western horizon, golden reflection bouncing off of the Gateway Arch in the distance… it was a night made for reggae music. 

Mid-western brothers Zach (vocals, saxophone, percussion) and Benny Coleman (vocals, bass) led The Quasi Kings onto the stage to open the show. A multi-instrumental project formed in Columbus back in 2016, these guys kind of unexpectedly blew me away! They had more of a ‘jam band feel’ than I was expecting, but it totally worked for them, especially with how well they had a control on the reggae side of the sound. Since the band’s inception, the Coleman brothers have recruited a wide range of talented musicians to help them perform live, each one with influences and experiences from all around the world.

What culminates is harmony that sounds like it has traveled the globe twice. 

Up next came longtime reggae creators Jon Wayne & The Pain. Innovators of their industry, JWP took their more than a decade’s worth of experience, along with their signature cosmic-blend of upbeat roots-reggae-meets-psychedelic-driven-funk, to drive the crowd wild! The Twin Cities-based ensemble got basically the entire crowd dancing. Smooth beats mixed with crazy effects usually does that. This was another band that gave me the exact opposite of what I was expecting and, you know what? I am better off for it! After witnessing a live performance like that, it’s no wonder fans all over have ensured that JWP remains a mainstay in the ever-evolving reggae scene.

Finally, Tropidelic rushed to the stage and the tightly packed audience exploded! Almost immediately, the infectious spirit of the band spread through the crowd. Hands went up and feet started moving, with the whole room vibing together as one. The band has been rocking audiences across the country of late, promoting their newest album Royal Grove, which drops on July 19th. The group has already had a few singles released from the new record, including “Same Hat” and “Movie Star”, which were a part of the setlist at Old Rock House. Other classics that made the cut were songs like “Bad Cookie” and “Police State”, with Tropidelic definitely not forgetting about all of the old-school fans in the audience.

From Tropidelic’s genre-bending fusion to Jon Wayne & The Pain’s high-energy jam sessions and The Quasi Kings’ southful rhythms, the whole evening was an honestly enjoyable celebration of community and music. With plenty of tour dates still remaining all over the country, be sure to grab your tickets to see Tropidelic today and don’t forget to check out their latest album Royal Grove on the 19th! 

Photography by Thomas Semonco

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