Live: The Green, Passafire, HI Roots (3-9-12)

Live: The Green, Passafire, HI Roots (3-9-12)

Date: Friday, March 9th, 2012
Line up:The Green, Passafire, HI Roots
Location: Belly Up Tavern. Solana Beach, CA

Every once in a while, there is a lineup of artists, at a specific venue that you automatically know you can’t miss. For San Diego on March 9th, The Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach was just that place, with that lineup. The Green, Passafire, and HI Roots took over the Belly Up Tavern with all of their musical talents, massive fan base, and Hawaiian style. Primo Beers, Island tattoos, and plenty of Polynesian Underground gear was present tonight. Polynesian Underground, who hosted the sold out show, brings all the island vibes out here to the West Coast and always brings a great crowd, and artists.

By the time the doors were opening, the line was trailing all the way down the sleepy Cedros district of Solana Beach. Smiles, excitement, and respect filled the air, as friends, family, and musicians greeted each other and shared stoke for the night of music ahead. Showing respect and enjoying the show were members from Rebelution, Through the Roots, and Stranger. The San Diego reggae fans, musicians, and excitement all around proved to be another successful night of reggae for the year of 2012, and displays what good is to come for the rest of the year.

Setting the stage for the evening was San Diego’s HI Roots. HI Roots has their feet grounded in San Diego, and Hawaii in their hearts and when they are on stage playing music, their words, stage energy, and music talent is something to be noted. Seeing HI Roots about a month ago at the same venue with Groundation, their performance seems to improve with each show that they play. Backstage, several members of HI Roots talked about their future plans as a band. From recording a new album at 17th Street Recording Studio, to booking bigger venues and festivals this summer, HI Roots is on their way to bringing their music and positivity to a bigger scale.

Mixing between sets, San Diego’s DJ Carlos Culture held the island music high, mixing tracks from Fiji, The Cartel, Inna Vision, and Ooklah the Moc. Fans went wild hearing their favorite island jams between sets, and it made the wait between groups that much more enjoyable.

Second opening band, Passafire, was one of the highlights of the night as a fan. Their on stage gimmicks, bass power slides, swooning vocals, and keyboard extravaganza was both entertaining, shocking, and still held the ability to fill the venue with great reggae-rock music. Passafire’s attitude toward their music and their fans comes alive when they take the stage, and provided a memorable set, leaving the crowd, and myself wanting more.

One of the tasks at hand for The Pier this evening was to document a special meet and greet of six lucky fans and their guests with the Green backstage. The contestants participated in a Facebook contest to display their Love and Affection for the Green by writing out their favorite song, taking a picture with it, and posting to their Facebook page. The fans backstage were ecstatic about the opportunity to meet the musicians whom they love so much. All the fans seemed to have a reference to Hawaii for their interest in the Green, and wanting to stay involved in the Hawaii scene here in California.

The Green introduced themselves to their anxious contest winners, made themselves comfortable and spent some time talking about life on the road, being home in Hawaii, band members, and song meanings. David Norris, photographer for The Pier, caught some moments between the fans and The Green, and some shaka-filled group shots of everyone together. It noted the Green’s character, and fan appreciation that sets the Green apart from many bands.

Between Passafire and The Green’s set, the stage was blessed with two beautiful Polynesian dancers, story telling through movement and looking beautiful as ever with their long flowing black hair, and gyrating hips. It brought the island spirit to the Belly Up and had the audience captivated and shouting for more with the classic “CHEEE HUUUU”.

Shortly after, The Green was introduced and brought on stage with extreme applause, and excitement. Starting their set off with their single, Come In, (which features Jacob Hemphill of SOJA on their album, “Ways and Means”). The vocals were on point, and the crowd went wild when Zion cut in and took over Hemphill’s vocals.

The Green’s set list featured songs from each of their first 2 albums. Several of the songs included dub-style versions of original’s, slowing down the pace, and speeding it back up to keep the crowd moving. The Green wrapped their set up with the song that started it all, “Rootsie Roots” and left the crowd begging for more.

The Green will be continuing on their tour throughout the weekend with Passafire, and HI Roots. They have recently been touring with Rebelution for their Peace of Mind tour, and did a Hawaii island wide tour with SOJA before returning the mainland. Backstage, The Green noted their future hope for playing New Zealand, and their appreciation and love they have had thus far on their tour. We look forward to see what is in store for all the bands that played the Belly Up, and remain confident that there is nothing but great to come.

Article By: Allie Gordon
Photo By: David Norris