Date: Saturday, December 31st, 2011
Line up: Iration, Seedless, Micah Brown
Location: House of Blues. Anaheim, CA
The glitz and glamour of a star-studded event were accentuated on New Years Eve in Anaheim, California. Hawaiian sensation, Iration, brought their lovable melodic harmonies to their second home in Southern California with local highly acclaimed acts Seedless and Micah Brown completing an elite lineup for an unrelenting evening of reggae music. The fans were dressed to impress with all the sparkles and firmly pressed dress attire, both in the crowd and on stage.
Opening up the remarkable night of music at the House of Blues was one of the top rising stars in the reggae-rock community, Micah Brown. For many of Brown’s past sets, his counterpart on stage was none other than his six-string acoustic guitar. But, for an occasion of this magnitude, Lewis Richards flanked the self-titled artist on bass, Travis Walpole of Fortunate Youth on percussions, Juan Rios from Common Kings and formerly of Seedless on keys, while Kevin Offitzer of Outlaw Nation held it down on drums. As Micah Brown’s set unfolded, it didn’t take long for a few more friends to join in the festivities. Both Matt (Seedless) and sister Susie Liufao jumped on stage and grabbed a microphone for their latest hits “All That You Need” and “Finally Free”.
“The Mayor” as Micah is affectionately known as, absolutely kick-started the night on the right foot with his deep, soulful, heartfelt lyrics, simply capturing the crowd’s emotion with his first verse. It won’t take long before Brown is taking over clubs across the country as the main headliner. Honestly, it is just a matter of time. Powerful and soulful are two words that typically accommodate a Micah Brown performance, but on New Years Eve, his set was overpowering in the most resounding fashion.
After what felt like a complete night of music after the first time slot, a headliner in their own right, Seedless jumped on the stage dawning suit jackets, slickly parted hair, and just the right amount of easy listening to couple Micah Brown’s prior performance. Seedless also had a few tricks up their sleeve for an unforgettable 2011 performance as Timothy Haddock was featured on the saxophone throughout their set.
From Seedless’ opener of “911”, up until “Rise Up”, a song normally relegated to acoustic sets, the atmosphere inside of the double layered theatre reached unforeseen heights. The night was painted in a fully expressed, loving manor with simmering love songs, “Baby Don’t Go”, “In Time” and “Two Weeks”. Yet, with a packed house, new music from the Orange County natives revved up the packed house another notch, as Casey Sullivan (vocals and guitar) and Grant Rivera (bass) faced each other during extended instrumentals.
Continuing with the intensity indoors and the affection being exuded from the stage, it was an opportune time to unleash Seedless’ radio hit “Twisted Love”, while watching as the crowd responded accordingly. Shay Pino was highlighted immensely during this live performance, and with this being his first full performance behind the drum kit in over a month, it was a bright spot for all beat masters in attendance.
Still, it was rapidly approaching midnight, and the crowd began to pair off as Seedless’ final song, “Energy” set the stage for Iration. As the Hawaiian natives walked onstage sporting black button down shirts and bright, white ties, they might have been dressed for business, but the party was only beginning. Seamlessly transitioning into their preferred energy, “Electricity”, the walls of Anaheim’s House of Blues bordered on destruction. The sold-out crowd was undoubtedly feeling the music from head to toe.
But, as the special event coincided with New Years Eve, in proper form, the band stopped as everyone in attendance counted the last ten-seconds of 2011. Just as Micah Pueschel (guitar and vocals) and Kai Rediske (percussion and vocals) wished everyone standing a happy new year, an enormous batch of balloons and ticker tape drop from the ceiling, sparking the start of another momentous year in time.
At this point in the fanfare, Iration broke away from their original songs while covering Bad Company’s “I Feel Like Making Love”, before transitioning into their own personal love making ballad, “Falling”. Lipstick was swapped like it was going out of style as fans belted out the chorus, drowning out the speakers.
The New Year officially began, and Iration hosted one of the best parties imaginable on a national holiday. From unreleased tracks “Undertow” and “No Time”, Iration still managed to fit in an old classic, “Cookie Jar”, before the night was over.
From coast to coast, and one continent to the next, it would be difficult to find another New Year’s Eve show that matched the excitement and celebration within the confines of the Anaheim House of Blues. A lineup that rivals what fans witnessed on this particular night is hard to come by, but perhaps this won’t be the last we hear of these three groups teaming up for an action packed evening of reggae-rock.
– Article By: Kris Siuta
– Photos By: Jenni Anspach
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SEEDLESS SET LIST:
Baby Don’t Go
— Talking —
— Talking —
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