Date: Sunday, May 24th 2015 (12:00 – 1:00pm in The Bowl)
Line Up: Fortunate Youth
Venue: California Roots Music and Arts Festival. Monterey County Fairgrounds. Monterey, CA
Live: Fortunate Youth @ Cali-Roots (5-24-15)
Opening up Cali Roots’ Bowl Stage on the final day of the festival was the six-piece reggae band Fortunate Youth. Starting in fine fashion, Fortunate Youth brought on a few of their frequent collaborators to play a set filled with tracks off their new album Don’t Think Twice and popular songs from previous releases.
Among the cast of characters sharing the stage with Fortunate Youth on Sunday were Cas Haley, Hirie, Gonzo, Caleb from The Green, and Micah Brown from Iration. Haley and Hirie helped perform “Sweet Sensi” off of Fortunate Youth’s 2013 album, It’s All A Jam.
Gonzo, from Tribal Seeds fame and an up-and-coming solo artist in his own right, came on for “Sweet Love.” Caleb from The Green and Micah Brown from Iration closed out the show with a participatory rendition of “Peace Love & Unity.”
Coming to this festival has become tradition for Fortunate Youth. The band tries to make it out to Cali Roots every year to go camping and see some of their favorite artists. An experience that percussionist Travi Bongos confesses is just as much about the people as it is the music.
“I had a friend come up to me with their daughter telling me ‘remember when you were holding her in your hands?’ And now she is out there running around on the grass. I almost started crying, it really is just a blessing to be here.”
There was a point in the band’s early years where the guys had to figure out what they wanted out of their musical careers. The chops were there, the band just needed the exposure that comes with heavy touring if they wanted to reach their potential. It was back in 2011 when Fortunate Youth and their manager Jared Segawa ambitiously decided to book as many shows as they could.
“We had to make a decision whether we should jump off the cliff and go touring or stay local and do a couple shows here and there. We decided to jump off the cliff and go do it. We ended up playing 270 shows in 365 days” Lead singer Dan Kelly told The Pier.
Don’t Think Twice, the band’s third album which dropped on May 5th, features a steady mix of some of the scene’s most prominent artists. Travi Bongos told us that Don’t Think Twice has a slightly different sound, complimented by their collaborators.
“This album has some really heavy hitting bass and drums. We worked with Caleb from The Green, Marlon Asher, and The Expanders. It was a big family project so I am excited to see what it can do.”
Fortunate Youth has an interesting summer of festivals to look forward to. Among their expected appearances, the group plans to play the Lake Tahoe Reggae Fest on June 27th and KAABOO Music Festival in San Diego on September 18th.
Fortunate Youth Set-List
Til The End
Pass The Herb
Peace Love & Unity
The Pier: Set-Lists at Cali-Roots 2015
Fortunate Youth MP3 Massive (FREE MP3)
Fortunate Youth Website
Fortunate Youth Facebook
Article By: Keenan Donath
Photos By: Jeff Pliskin
Watch: The Pier at Cali-Roots 2015
More Photos From The Set…