Date: Saturday, June 11th, 2011
Line up: Simple Green, EN Young, KORA
Location: Del Mar. San Diego, CA
What: Electro-beat funk reggae rock
On Saturday, June 11th, Kora played at an outdoor lounge area located at the Del Mar Marriott in San Diego, California. Gracing the U.S. with their first tour, Kora from New Zealand came out to funk things up a bit, and show the Americas what they are missing in New-Age music.
Simple Green, a local band from Encinitas started the poolside party at around 6:30PM. These guys have a fun reggae sound, with the vocalist, Chase Brokaw, singing and bringing a surf appeal to the sound. Brokaw has long, orange dreads which add to the band’s reggae flair. Their songs, “Southern California Bliss” and “All Night” stood out the most, displaying the youthfulness of their hope and enjoyment of California life and romance.
E.N Young, a solo artist, took to the stage afterward, singing songs from his first album, “Luck & Chance No More.” E.N Young pre-records his own music, and then plays it for the crowd while also playing keys, and singing. Songs “Don’t Burn Your Bridges” and “I Know It’s True,” have a nice-flowing reggae sound while his music is very conscientious and brings about a relaxing calm.
Promoters for the night, Polynesian Underground, provided Polynesian dancers prior to Kora’s performance. In this case, two dancers came out and danced next to the stage and pool. The two girls wore a red skirt and a red flower in her hair while shaking their body to some Polynesian drumbeats.
Kora came on stage and addressed the crowd to come join the party since it was their first stop in the States. The intro’ was amazing in itself with the build-up of keys and vocals, which just screamed “Yeahhhhh!”. Then the music dropped down into a funky trance-like sound with electro-beats and keys bringing in the funk. It felt like being in a time zone from the disco era, but also new-age in music due to the electronic approach. The most amazing part of Kora is the vocals that Francis, Laughton, and Stu performed, blowing people’s minds in the process. The singing was sensational, and how each of them addressed the crowd was fantastic; especially when they played a song about “Freaks.” The use of the bass guitar in each of their songs is great with how well it defines the funk.
Kora played a reggae song called, “Politician,” which they claimed was the first song they wrote as a band. “Politician, can ya make a right decision for all of us…will ya bring us comfort?” One would think that’s how they’d end it, but in fact, they ended with some rock and roll using a heavy electric guitar. The music was a bit more funky blues, and even included a freeze in it. Finally, they told the crowd, “We’re being kicked off,” and said farewell in their native language.
These guys definitely know how to mix things up, and they do so by gracing the stage with four keyboards, a bass, two electric guitars, and drums. I have to state that the most memorable part of Kora’s performance was each member’s personality on stage, with three of the members on the mic’ adding quite a flair.
– Article by: Liz sandieganliz Pimentel
– Photos by: David Norris