New Zealand natives and legendary roots reggae band Katchafire has been busy traveling the nation this past year on their Katchafire Legacy Tour: Celebrating Twenty Years of Fiyah! The tour started in the spring of 2017, where they hit several states spanning from the east to west coast with Hawaiian reggae band, Inna Vision. This summer, the second leg of the tour started back up in Arizona with special guests Iya Terra and Jordan T. The tour package is currently making their way up the west coast and even into Canada! I was fortunate enough to make it to several of the shows on this tour from Santa Barbara to Portland, OR and multiple shows in Washington. Every night, I was more impressed with each band's performance and was able to find a new appreciation for different things throughout their sets.
…whether the room was packed from wall to wall (which it usually was), or not, Katchafire gave it their all.
Straight off the Hawaiian island of Maui, Jordan T. and his talented backing band started off each night with a vibe that set a positive and high energy tone for the rest of the evening. This was my first time seeing Jordan T. perform, and he immediately had the entire crowd, including myself, singing along and vibing to the music with his smooth vocals and groovy dance moves. He played songs off his new album, Bridges With The Vibes, which came out earlier this month, and paid respect to heavy hitters like Bruno Mars and Damian Marley by covering songs like “Liquor Store Blues” and “That's What I Like”… as well as “Naughty Girl” by Fiji.
Iya Terra is a band that I've had the privilege of watching grow tremendously as musicians for the past two years. Based in Los Angeles, this tour has been a milestone for them considering it is their first international tour. The band takes pride in staying true to roots reggae music through specializing in three-piece vocal harmonies and sprinkling in killer guitar solos, as well as songs from reggae legends, Anthony B, Alborosie, and Midnite throughout their set. During the show in Tacoma, Washington, they invited their good friends Josh Heinrichs and Big Chill on the saxophone to join them on stage for a song, which made for a very memorable performance! Iya Terra ended their set with the first track “By My Side” off their new album, Sacred Sound.
Each night, whether the room was packed from wall to wall (which it usually was), or not, Katchafire gave it their all. The band's energy was consistently through the roof, making it impossible not to get lost in the music. They had everyone in the room skanking to the riddims (or at the very least, bobbing their head to the beat). Singing along to almost every song during their set is an easy task for most Katchafire fans, considering the band is able to play hit song after hit song for an hour and a half straight. They started off the night with some favorites like “Sensimilla”, “Colour Me Life” and “Love Letter”. Their horn section, consisting of Rafa Postel on the trumpet and Tony Peebles on the saxophone, truly enhanced the live performance and added even more soulfulness to the music. Near the end of their set, they played more hits like “Who You With”, “Seriously” and “Collie Herb Man” and the band finished off the night by having the entire crowd chant along to a cover of “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley. They even brought out members of Iya Terra and Jordan T. to help them close out the stage. Katchafire still has a few more shows down the west coast before they head over to Hawaii and back over to Australia to begin the last leg of the tour. Visit their website to catch the next show near you. You won't wanna miss it!
Photography by Gia Krietzberg