Ushering in the new year with Tropidelic, Passafire and The Palmer Squares

The year 2022 was marked with the raise of a new normalcy after pandemic response efforts halted people’s – and entire industries – daily routines. Winter tour schedules and the 2021 holiday season was thwarted by the Omicron variant of COVID. Fast forward to today, and we can look back a year of festivals, tours, and an influx of incredible new music from many bands. To close out 2022, a seemingly pre-pandemic number of packed New Year’s Eve concerts and events successfully ushered in the new year.

One band that didn’t let the ups-and-downs of the pandemic slow them down was Tropidelic.

This high-energy six-piece was able to trade in the livestreams and drive-in shows for national tours and festivals starting in late-2021, setting momentum for the past year.

Some 2022 highlights for Tropidelic included opening for 311, playing Cali Vibes Festival and Michael Franti’s Soulshine at Sea cruise for the first time and releasing a new studio album, All The Colors. Closing out the year in true Tropidelic fashion, the band celebrated the end of a successful year and ushered in the new year back home to the Midwest with a short New Year’s Eve run. Joined by reggae-rock veterans Passafire and the Chicago-based hip-hop duo The Palmer Squares, they started with stops in Cincinnati, OH and Detroit, MI, this four-show run ended the year with two-nights in their hometown of Cleveland, OH. 

Passafire’s high energy live performances and style that straddles the line between genres were a perfect complement to the on-stage preference and unique sounds of Tropidelic. The Palmer Squares may have started rapping as a joke is high school, but their beats and quick-witted rhymes have enabled them to tour all over the country, taking the stage at many notable festivals and performing as direct support to notable names in the hip hop music scene, such as Action Bronson, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Del the Funky Homosapien. Both bands have toured behind their latest albums throughout 2022; Passafire’s latest release is entitled Strata and The Palmer Squares newest album is Out With the Old. Listen to all three of these talented acts on this playlist below, curated specifically for Top Shelf readers.

Top Shelf photojournalist, Rudy Frank (@_rudyfrank2) captured the first show that kicked off the New Year’s Eve celebrations in Cincinnati, OH. This packed show exuded a palpable energy which resonates throughout the venue and is captured in the photographs here. This was just night one, and this energy and excitement was sustained throughout the subsequent shows. Keep your eyes out for opportunities to catch these three acts live in 2023!

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