Date: Friday January 13th, 2012
Line up: Dirty Heads, Duddy B, Casey Sullivan (of Seedless), Micah Brown, Mic Dangerously (of Zen Robbi)
Location: The Galaxy Theatre (Constellation Room). Santa Ana, CA
As the regular workweek came to an end on a known socially superstitious Friday the 13th, there was an all age gathering-taking place at the Constellation Room inside The Galaxy Theater in Sana Ana, CA. The theater, located just off Southern California’s 405 fwy, is split into 2 separate sections to maximize entertainment.
There’s the Observatory, which is the main room where the big stage, dance floor & dine-in seating is located to house big name acts with a 600+ person capacity the venue may be expecting. The 2nd section is known as the Constellation room that houses a more intimate setting, secluded from the rest of the theater, perfect for private performances or in this instance, an acoustic outing.
The Constellation room held about 200+ fans, a bar, couches & a decent size stage that looked to be comfortable enough to seat 5 musicians from left to right. The sound was bright but it wasn’t too loud and still enabled plenty side conversations among fans chatting it up with the night’s entertainment.
The night was a powerhouse of guest appearances out in attendance to enjoy the show. Tim Wu, former Saxophonist of Long Beach Dub All Stars, Todd Elrod, drummer of Mike Pinto Band, Jake B of HB Surround Sound, all of the members of Dirty Heads, members of Pacific dub along with the 17th Street Recording Studio family who produce, network & record most of the genre’s top artists. Producer Lew Richards was welcoming laughs with his sporty shirt that read ”Always On The Guest List”. Also in attendance was the Facebook Group Wicked & Wylee, a fan page dedicated to the awareness & discussion of Dirty Heads music as they maintained their position at the front of the stage the entire night!
This show can be best labeled as a low-key, intimate acoustic night. No bands were billed, just the singers of bands doing their solo acoustics bringing up guests on select songs for some classic unplugged duets. Ranging from Blues, Rock, Reggae & funk blended with a handful of covers, there was something for everyone and everyone there was in for something special.
Mic Dangerously of Long Beach’s Zen Robbi was the first on at 8:40pm playing new songs from his groups new album Lovely In The Middle. From the opening track of ”Champagne” the crowd was engaged & involved with on-beat hand-claps that Mic played soulfully around. He performed horns with his mouth & whistled with his guitar much to the crowds pleasure and threw in a live rendering of Elvis’s ”Heartbreak Hotel”.
Micah Brown, who was nominated by The Pier as 2011’s Break-Out Artist of the Year, had a break out performance silencing the crowd with the first pluck & strum of his guitar. Any side conversations ceased while the spotlight couldn’t have been brighter given the respectful silence he commanded with his soulful, blues rock approach that matched the charisma & poetry of his vocals & lyrics. He had total crowd control for all 30minutes of his set that included a duet with Matt Liufau of Seedless with the song ”Finally Free” . His set also included a Bob Marley cover of ”Is This Love” and the love certainly carried into Casey Sullivan’s set.
Casey Sullivan of Seedless took his guitar to the stage just before 10pm dressed sharp with his nicely combed hair parted over looking like the second coming of Johnny Cash. Opening up with a new Seedless jammer ”Reno”, it wasn’t long before he brought his lovely girlfriend Alyssa Styles to the stage for a handful of duets that included the Dispatch rendering of the song ”Outloud”. After 3 songs together, Seedless band mate Matt Liufau was brought back to the mic to perform a new Seedless jammer titled ”Baby Don’t Go” before closing the set out with the Seedless fan favorite ”Twisted Love”. The energy & chemistry that both Casey & Matt share on the stage together was emphasized in it’s acoustic setting and the 200+ filled Constellation room got to experience what’s not often displayed inside the groups usual 5 piece Reggae-Rock line up.
As the night approached 10:45, Duddy B of Dirty Heads walked up to a cheerful crowd. Dirty Heads have been on break from touring, working on a new album that’s due out this spring and the anticipation for new music was buzzing and matched by the excitement of fans inside the all age room.
Duddy B introduced himself to the crowd with the acoustic cover of The Specials ”Take It Easy” that he molded into a medley that transitioned into his original, ”Someday Soon’’. From ”State of Mind Check” to ”Everything”, he also jammed out ”Ruba Dub Style’ that included an improvised verse where fans are use to hearing Jared rap. The peak and close of his solo performance came when he played ”Crazy Bitches” as fans were cracking up as he used his guitar to gracefully deliver hilarious punchlines such as ”Cuz when we met you was hot so hot, but now just your thighs are, cuz they rub when you walk”.
Before the audience could tame their laughter from ”Crazy Bitches”, Duddy was soon joined by the rest of the members of the Dirty Heads. Four more chairs were brought out on stage set on each side of Duddy. Dave Foral’s bass was plugged in as Jon Jon positioned his conga while drummer Matty O rocked the shakers. Jared Watson spoke into the microphone and asked the crowd ”Are you having a good time with my friend Duddy!?”.
Long time Dirty Heads fans remember the early roots of the group starting out with Duddy singing on acoustic guitar, Jon Jon on congas with Jared rapping & performing in the same intimate setting as in the Constellation room. This time around they had electric bass and shakers displaying the professional growth as performers entertaining old & new fans alike. The surprised audience cheered as the entire group settled in their chairs, using the crowds energy as que to open up with the single ”Stand Tall”. Anyone who had a cell phone was using it for video & pictures, including the bartenders. By this point, no one was ordering drinks, not daring to take their attention or eyes away from the stage.
Hanging on to every word, the crowd sang along as the group performed their latest single ”Believe” before dishing out a cover of their own with the well known Rolling Stones ”Paint It Black”.
Fans were treated to a brand new Dirty Heads song ”Burn By Myself” and I don’t believe the crowd got any louder than when Jared asked Micah Brown to come on stage to help sing the song as he did just that adding his soulful vocals in an unmatched harmony during the chorus. They closed the night out at around 11:30pm with their #1 single ”Lay Me Down” with Jared singing the parts usually occupied by the absent Rome Ramirez of Sublime with Rome.
This was a fantastic show and big thanks and recognition has to go out to the crew at Four Nineteen Management who was responsible for the night’s happenings and played great hospitality to everyone in attendance. The lesson learned from tonight is the next time we see a show billed with Duddy B on the flyer, we’re going to keep our fingers crossed, if not expect a secret performance from The Dirty Heads. No such bad luck on this Friday the 13th.
– Article By: Mike Patti
– Photos By: Allie Gordon
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Here’s the Wicked & Wylee group along with Matt Liufau of Seedless w/Fans showing love to The Pier!