This past Memorial Day weekend in California was quite musically filled for this So. Cali’ reviewer. While most reggae-rock supporters were busy camping and enjoying the fruits of the California Roots Festival in Monterey, this reviewer stayed down south and enjoyed the sounds of North Cali’ in the form of Arden Park Roots, while also checking out a few local bands from San Diego and live-streaming the Cali’ Roots Festival.
To start, streaming the notorious Cali’ Roots Fest through YouTube made this reviewer’s weekend completely music-filled. Not only were major acts, such as Steel Pulse, Michael Franti, Dilated Peoples, Cypress Hill, SOJA, and Collie Buddz, to name a few, visible on the stream, but others such as Mike Love, Trevor Hall, John Butler Trio, and Chronixx may have been introduced to some new streamers, other than this one. Admittedly, it was a bit surprising to see veteran bands and artists, such as Fishbone, E.N. Young, Cas Haley, and even The Skints on the original stage, where live-stream coverage was not available.
Social media lit up at various points over the weekend with pictures from various supporters
Social media lit up at various points over the weekend with pictures from various supporters who had used the hashtag #CaliRoots2015 and #CaliRootsLive, particularly those enjoying Arise Roots, KBong, Tribal Seeds, Iration, and Fortunate Youth.
On Saturday evening, Arden Park Roots from Sacramento was in Vista, California playing some notorious reggae-rock. Although the brewery they played at was unique and small, it did not stop the tired-looking band from entertaining the crowd. No one is blaming them if singer, Tyler Campbell was pretty hung over from their previous show in Las Vegas, Nevada with bands, White Glove Service and Skunkdub.
Later on that night, Tribal Theory from San Diego and Ease Up from Los Angeles were playing in Downtown, San Diego. What a crowded night in the Gaslamp district – not only on the streets, but in the bar! It was quite an entertaining night and only Saturday of a three-day, music-filled weekend.
On Sunday evening, Slic Entertainment hosted a reggae-rock show with local bands, Burnin Up, No Kings, Kng Mkr, and Black Salt Tone. Burnin Up is relatively new to the scene and only had three members, while Kng Mkr has been around for some time, and also have only three members… three jamming members, we here at Top Shelf Reggae might add. It was definitely a reggae-rock night and what better way to end it with Black Salt Tone, who we had the pleasure of already reviewing, along with No Kings.
California is obviously spoiled with both reggae and rock music, and blending the two genres together only makes for a more powerful fuel and scene. Although there appears to be a slight divide over authentic reggae music from Jamaica and the Caribbean versus that from the U.S., it appears California will always welcome and celebrate the mixture of the two.