I felt like I was back in Hawaii last Saturday night. The weather was perfect for an outdoor concert. There was a warm breeze, the half-moon was bright and clear. People were dressed in shorts and tank tops, tropical dresses and aloha shirts were everywhere. It was an ideal evening to listen to local girl Hirie and her band, the all Maori band, Katchafire, and Hawaiian raised, Southern California based headliners, Iration.
Iration is an alternative/reggae group of musicians formed in Isla Vista, CA. A deep-rooted reggae influence is fused with elements of rock and pop to create smooth original sounds that keep listeners’ feet moving, hands swaying and hearts beating.
“We’re all about luv” is the band’s motto. The group is made up of members Joseph Dickens on drums, Joseph King engineer, Cayson Peterson on keyboard/synth, Micah Pueschel, guitar and lead vocals, and Adam Taylor plays bass. All members met while growing up in Hawaii, but formed Iration after reconnecting in Santa Barbara, CA during college. They have since released three full-length albums, Automatic (2013), Time Bomb (2010) and No Time for Rest (2007), as well as three EP’s, Fresh Grounds (2011), Sample This (2008), and New Roots (2006). They have plans to release a new album later this year.
It’s obvious that the band enjoys touring and being on stage. They are smiling and laughing and encouraging the crowd to sing and dance along throughout the night. Iration has a special bond with San Diego, a city known for its love of reggae music. As a matter of fact they will be back later this summer to play at Del Mar.
It was obvious who the crowd was here to see, the seats were full and the beer lines, which had been unbelievably long all night were now non-existent. People were standing and dancing in the aisles and along the back row of the stadium. This show knew no bounds as far as age, race, income level or gender and everyone enjoyed themselves.
The complete setlist is below:
WAIT AND SEE
GET BACK TO ME
CHANGED MY MIND
ONE WAY TRACK
LET ME INSIDE
Hirie, who was born in the Philippines, raised in Italy, but spent many influential years in Hawaii, opened the evening with a fun-filled Hawaiian inspired set featuring songs from her self-titled debut album. Her set started with a minor audio problem, her mike wasn’t working, but she kept right on singing until they got it fixed. The crowd erupted once they were able to hear her amazing voice. Her band features a full percussion section, horns, and even a didgeridoo for that complete Pacific island sound. The only thing missing were hula dancers, poi, and some Kalua pig.
After their set the band could be seen hanging out near the back of the venue happily posing for photos with fans and signing autographs. Hirie brings the true meaning of Aloha to her shows.
The band is:
Hirie – Lead Vocals, Guitar, Ukulele
Chris Hampton – Saxophone, Melodica, Accordion
Andrew McKee – Trombone, Guitar, Didgeridoo
Andy Flores – Bass
Blaine Dillinger – Lead Guitar
Devin Welsch – Keys
Chetan Chanana – Drums
Next up was the all Maori reggae band from New Zealand, Katchafire. This seven piece band is a mixture of rock and reggae and full of energy. They really know how to get the crowd into the show with catchy, danceable tunes like Groove Again and Working. The guys also believe in romance telling the crowd to sing to their partners, or if they like, the person sitting next to them on songs like Colour Me Life and Love Letter.
As with Hirie, lead singer Logan Bell happily posed for photos with fans after their set was complete. One thing I truly love about reggae and Hawaiian musicians is their love and respect for the fans. The band is wrapping up its US tour and is about to embark on a world tour making stops in Europe and Australia. Stops include the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands.
Grenville Bell – Lead Guitar
Logan Bell – Lead Vocal – Rhythm Guitar
Jordan Bell – Vocals – Drums
Leon Davey – Vocals – Percussion
Tere Ngarua – Bass