Date: Thursday, April 17th, 2014
Line Up: The Green & Stick Figure
Venue: House of Blues. Anaheim, CA
It was a Thursday night in Southern California. The air was cool and crisp and just as the crowds from Disneyland were beginning to pour out, there was a different crowd flooding into the grounds nearby the amusement park.
The establishment this crowd was heading towards was the House of Blues Anaheim, a venue located in the heart of Downtown Disney. I knew I didn’t want to miss a second of the show with such a diversely talented lineup! After “patiently” waiting for a parking spot to open up, I rushed through a sea of people, old and young, towards the venue. Finally, the moment I had been looking forward to all week was finally here, night 2 of The Green, Stick Figure and Hirie at the House Of Blues in Anaheim!!
8:30pm – HIRIE
Starting things out was the upcoming female-led reggae band, Hirie. The band, who has only been together for just over a year, has found a way to infuse reggae, pop, island, acoustic, and a little dub into one sound that has people catching on quick. The set started off with an instrumental intro to get the crowd moving only while building up anticipation for Trish (Hirie) to hit the stage. As she walks out, the intro transitions into an a capella with the opening lines of the popular track, “Wiseman.” A strong horn line and guitar riff follows up the quick vocal solo just as the rhythm joins in and the crowd begins to liven up.
For the 4th song in the set, the band covered Tanya Stephens’ “It’s A Pity,” showcasing Hirie’s vocal talent backed by the band’s strong horn section. Next up, the band’s saxophonist, Chris Hampton, brought out the melodica for their newest song, “Dear Mr. Babylon.” The crowd went wild, as most of those in attendance hadn’t heard the unreleased song before. As was the case for 90% of the set, the entire band was jumping up and down as Hirie skanked across the stage. After a couple more songs, including a rendition of Rihanna’s chorus from the radio hit, “Where Have You Been,” the band ended the 30 minute set with Hirie performing their breakout single, “Sensi Boy.” Before leaving the stage, Hirie made sure to shout out all her fellow Hawaiians in the house that were in attendance for the evening.
9:30pm – Stick Figure
Next up were the heavy dub-influenced sounds of Stick Figure. With this came a complete change of tempo from Hirie’s previous set. The band opened up with their signature dub instrumental leading into a crowd favorite in the song “Breathe.” As you looked around, you could see the crowd singing along to the chorus. Since all of Stick Figure’s music is created and produced by frontman, Scott Woodruff, adding the talents of Kevin Offitzer on the drums, Kevin Bong’s high energy on the keys and Tommy Sulliman swaying on the bass, really contributes some great elements to the live show experience. However, for the first time, Cocoa the tour dog wasn’t seen roaming around on stage!
As usual, the lights were very dim throughout Stick Figure’s set, setting the right mood for the band’s musical style. There were lots of dub breakdowns featuring the sounds of synthesizers along with heavy bass-lines found in-between songs as well. Instead of skanking on stage like Hirie did, the front line for Stick Figure had more of a back and forth sway from side to side.
Other crowd favorites included “Burial Ground” and songs from 2009’s Smoke Stack album, including “Vibes Alive,” “Hawaii Song,” “Thick & Thin” and more. The set was wrapped up with yet another instrumental dub jam that led up to Scott’s newest creation, an unreleased track titled, “Smokin Love.” Up to this point, the sounds throughout the night had been on point and the venue was reaching its peak as the bottom floor was packed. It was clear that the crowd could “Hear The Green coming.”
10:15pm – The Green
As the DJ shut down the volume, the crowd grew louder and louder in anticipation for Hawaii’s The Green to hit the stage. As the curtains were pulled open, you could tell the whole place was ready for the main event. Out came The Green with an old time favorite, “Jah Love.” Caleb, Ikaika, JP, Zion, Brad and Jordan followed up with the popular “Gotta Be” from their 2011 release, Ways and Means. To give the fans a taste of their newer music, they performed the crowd favorite, “Good Vibe Killah.” Next was an a capella start to “What Will Be Will Be” that eventually transitioned into another song from their self-titled album with “Love I.”
From all corners of the venue, you could hear women screaming at the top of their lungs and the men in the crowd yelling out the classic Hawaiian expression for excitement, “Chee Huuuu!!” The Hawaiian natives put together an amazing set list consisting of their most cherished and well-known songs from all of their albums. Songs from their first 2 albums were mixed in effortlessly with tracks from their latest album, 2013’s Hawai’i 13. “Rootsie Roots,” “Never” and “Something About It” were all played in a row, showcasing The Green’s full Hawaiian roots style. After several more hits, the band finished up strong with “Love & Affection.” Zion’s guitar solo was mesmerizing as the flashing lights had the crowd pumped full of energy.
As the band thanked those in attendance for their continued support and walked off stage, the crowd was so loud that you couldn’t hear yourself talk. Eager for an encore, chants of “Hana Hou” quickly commenced and The Green came out for three more songs. First was “Power In The Words.” During this song, the crowd began clapping their hands to the beat as Zion emphatically expressed how the song was all about unity. The Hawaiian’s backed up their claim for unity as the long time band had their harmonies in full effect throughout the entire set. The show eventually ended with the crowd singing along to “Good One,” summing up the theme for the night.
What made this event really special is that it showcased three completely different styles of reggae music from all bands involved. The atmosphere was great and full of positive vibes throughout the entire night. The energy was high and you could tell everyone was having a great time during all three sets.
After the live music was over, the fun continued as everyone migrated to the merch booths. There, the concertgoers got their merch signed and also had the opportunity to take pictures with their favorite musicians as they wanted to show love right back to their supporters. Also in attendance were members of Pacific Dub, Chiquis of The Expanders/Arise Roots, Corey Groove of Through The Roots, Yesod of Pepper, and MMA Jason “Mayhem” Miller. The fan interaction at the shows is something that truly makes this scene awesome and I am truly blessed to be witness, as this movement is only getting bigger!
Although neither of the bands were touring together, they linked up for these 3 shows on the west coast that left fans craving for more. This being their last show of their 3-night run, the bands split ways the next morning, all going in opposite directions. Hirie headed south for a show in San Diego while Stick Figure went north towards Fresno. Meanwhile, The Green boarded a plane back to Hawaii for three sold-out shows with Bruno Mars!
The Green Set List: (Un-Official)
Ways and Means
Good Vibe Killah
What Will Be Will Be
Something About It
Love Is Strong
Love & Affection
Power In The Words
The Green Website
Stick Figure Website
Article by: David Garcia
Photos by: Edgar Gaytan
More Photos From The Night…