Date: Thursday, June 9th, 2011
Line up: Northwest Sons, Natural Heights, and Rian B and The Roosters
Location: Winstons. San Diego, CA. 21+
On June 9th, Northwest Sons, Natural Heights, and Rian B and The Roosters played at Winston’s in San Diego, California. This bar is located in Ocean Beach, a well-known beach town for reggae music. It was 9PM on a Thursday night, and people were roaming the streets—most likely looking for a spot to hit up since the main avenue is filled with many bars to choose from. Winston’s sits just at the corner of this main avenue.
At 9:30PM, Northwest Sons hit the stage to perform an acoustic set. Hailing from Seattle, Washington, the two guitarists, Chris and Ian claimed they decided to jump on a plane to Cali’ and play some acoustic music. They were out promoting their new album titled Out of The Rain that was released on May 13th, 2011.
They found themselves Out of the Rain on Thursday night as they opened up their set with “Sexy Time” and talked about relationships and love. Both guys switched in singing, and both addressed the crowd well. At one point, a girl from the crowd asked if she could join them by playing her fiddler. The guys agreed, and she played with them for the rest of their set, playing brilliantly during most of the choruses, and other times, simply backing the acoustic play. Both guys played really well on guitar, with Chris playing what sounded like island-inspired riffs. Other songs like “Shelter” and “Lost and Found” spoke of living life, enjoying it, and staying positive. The fiddler definitely brought an old-age vibe to the conscientious reggae-rock.
Natural Heights, a rock band from Riverside consisting of 4 members was next to take the stage. Obviously influenced by the original Sublime, the band played similar punk-rock reggae. I really enjoyed the fast instrumentals mixed with the mellow vocals. Scott Hall, the vocalist, has a very similar voice to that of Bradley Nowell of Sublime. At times, the music was too similar, but they did a song about “drinking” which is due out in a new CD coming soon. The surf-reggae sound gave the band a more independent style; especially because the following song was also more on the reggae side. They covered Sublime’s “Date Rape,” and gave respects to the original front-man by saying everyone in the crowd should know the song and sing and move along to it. They did the same with Pepper’s “Ashes.”
“The Roosters” is how Rian B. and his band refer to themselves. They are an L.A. reggae band that plays roots music and carry an island sound, with some members being from Hawaii. The Roosters consist of seven members with three guitarists, including Rian B, the vocalist on one, a female backup singer, a bass man, keyboard player, and drummer. The keys were enjoyable with a sound resembling gospel-rock, and one of the guitarists busting really good solos. One of their songs which really stuck out was a version of Gregory Isaac’s “Night Nurse,” . Some of their music was a bit soulful too, which included a song that said, “Gimme Your Love.” Most of their music spoke of life, love, and the struggle. A song called, “Revolution,” featured a guest singer, and got good feedback from the crowd. The Roosters had a lot of supporters in the place, with some fans asking for an encore at the end.
– Article by: Liz sandieganliz Pimentel
– Photos by: Ashley Parda