Date: Saturday, March 17th, 2012
Line up: Rebelution & The Green
Location: The Fillmore. Denver, CO
Is there a better combination than Reggae-Rock music, the Fillmore Auditorium and Saint Patrick’s Day? I think not. What if you throw in a little (or a lot) of green beer, some shots of Jameson and an early start? Yeah, sounds like a recipe for a night to remember, or forget depending on how many shots you took. Judging by the scene in Denver, CO on Saturday night the sold out crowd at the Fillmore Auditorium couldn’t agree with me more.
For those of you thinking, “I thought the Fillmore was in San Francisco?” you are both right and wrong. There are several “Fillmore’s” across the country, including the famous auditorium in San Francisco, which has hosted the world’s best musicians since the late 1980’s. The Fillmore brand has since expanded to Denver, Detroit, Philly, New York City, Miami Beach and Washington D.C. The 3,700 person “Denver Fillmore” opened its doors in 1999 and has hosted the likes of Ben Harper, Snoop Dogg, Slightly Stoopid and, of course, Rebelution. The venue has become the city’s “transition” venue between the smaller Ogden Theatre and the 9,500 seats at the world famous Red Rocks Ampitheatre.
The scene along (in)famous Colfax Avenue and outside the Fillmore was alive, to say the least, in anticipation of Rebelution’s “Peace of Mind Tour.” The stop at the Fillmore also featured the soaring harmonies of Hawaiian roots-pop-reggae band The Green and hip-hop artist Pep Love. The crowd included a bit of a “who’s-who” from the reggae-rock scene, as Mike Pinto and the guys from Fortunate Youth mingled amongst the crowd. The genre’s diverse following were also well represented—the young, the old, white, black, (dread) locked jersey-wearers, Hawaiians, the sober, not-so-sober and everything in between. Though there were obvious differences amongst the crowd, there were two common threads that wove the night together—green shirts and the love for reggae music.
At 8:30 p.m. the Pier editor Mike Patti and I entered the Fillmore along with a rush of twenty-something’s quickly making their way to the venue’s floor. The Fillmore’s trademark chandeliers were dimly lit, drawing my eyes towards the massive stage at the front of the venue. As I looked out at the crowd there were noticeable puffs of celebratory smoke, illuminated smart phone screens and several pockets of fans holding their plastic cups in the air for a five-person “cheers.”Lets just say Saint Patti’s brings out the crazy in people.
The scene in the Fillmore was out of control and featured some quaint Saint Patti’s Day “ambiance” like, green spandex body suits, bathroom stalls over flowing with the chunks of Saturday morning’s kegs-and-eggs, a paramedics station for those a little under the weather, dudes executing the “walk-and-puke” to perfection and quotable shirts reading “Kiss Me I Taste Like Jameson.”
At about 9 p.m. I began my long walk from the back of the venue to the photo pit. My journey included at least a half-dozen random high-fives, a couple “F*ck yeah—I love the Pier” cheers, one guy passed out on the floor in a river of spilt beer. I made it to the photo pit just as The Green broke into their first song, “Good Vibration.” They continued with songs, new and old, including “Love and Affection” and finished up with “Come In”—both from the group’s 2011 album “Ways and Means.” The Green ended the set with the pop-reggae, secret-love inspired ballad “Rootsie Roots.”
I have to admit I didn’t know what to expect from The Green. I first saw them live last year at Cervantes—a much smaller venue in Denver—and didn’t walk away from the show feeling much, good or bad. However, Saturday night was a different experience. There is no other band in the scene that is as vocally versatile as The Green. The group has four different guys that are accomplished song writers, musicians and singers—all of which are capable of providing lead vocals. But, for me, The Green’s harmonies are what set them apart from other bands in the genre. Their voices come together effortlessly, with flawless execution that would make even the best of Motown proud. Following The Green’s set I spoke with diehard fan and Hawaiian native Joey Pabalan. Growing up in Kaunakakai on the island of Molokai, Joey came to the show to see The Green. “The Green’s message is different than bands on the main land. They sing about things that are important to the Islands, like family,” Joey said. He continued, “The Green helps me to remember home.”
Rebelution came to the stage around 10 p.m. to an energized and anxious crowd. The guys set included several songs from 2012’s “Peace of Mind,” including “So High,” “Sky Is the Limit,” and the anti-hate themed, “Good Vibes.” Rebelution kept the crowd engaged, even stopping between songs to gaze out and admire the 7,400 arms in the air. As Rebelution stood in silence, the crowd responded in the customary Denver-fashion, which included attempting to blow the roof off the venue with deafening decibel levels.
Lead singer Eric Rachmany stood with a huge smile on his face and his hands in the air, while bassist Marley Williams and Saxophonist Khris Royal waved their arms up-and-down, encouraging the fans to cheer louder. The highlight of the set was “Closer I Get,” which included a guest appearance and rap interlude by Pep Love. Rebelution’s devoted fans sang every lyric, to every song and provided lead vocals on multiple occasions as Rachmany stopped singing to hear the Fillmore finish the rest of the chorus.
So, what’s next for Rebelution and The Green? Eric, Marley and the guys from The Green continue the “Peace of Mind Tour” with stops at the Pageant Theatre in Saint Louis, MO on March 23 and finally wrapping up the tour in Grand Rapids, MI on March 31st. If the show at the Fillmore is any indication of what is yet to come, the “Peace of Mind Tour” should be at the top of your “must see” list, if it wasn’t there already.
The Green Set List
What Will Be Will Be
Love is Strong
Love and Affection
Article & Photos By: Kit Chalberg
MORE PICTURES FROM THE NIGHT….