Date: Wednesday, April 25th, 2012
Line up: Steel Pulse & Innercoastal
Location: The Freebird. Jacksonville, FL
Wednesday night I walked up to Freebird at a quarter to eight… the beats of a last minute sound Check were rattling the front doors. As the reggae licks emanated out to the line forming outside, I knew it was going to be a good show, but I didn’t know that that both bands would kill it like they did! At 9:00 Florida’s own Innercoastal took the stage. These guys are truly one of the most talented up and coming bands I have heard in a while. They are a band everyone should become familiar with.
The reggae-rock quartet kept the interesting set bouncing along. It was fun to watch, as the band members constantly switched up parts. Nate Winters on lead guitar and Danny Diaz on drums shared lead vocals throughout the set, a la The Supervillains. Halfway through the set Nate and bassist Chris Masotti switched instruments for a few songs. During “One Drop” Chris broke down a very cool Inspector Gadget sounding instrumental. Just like Slightly Stoopid, both musicians are just as proficient on their secondary instrument as they are on the original axe.
Innercoastal plays modern reggae rock very well, and the crowd seemed to appreciate it. Toward the end of the 45 minute set, Daniel Diaz finally took off his sun glasses saying “wow! I didn’t know there was this many people here!” At that point, the 700 person venue was at half capacity, but the screams of the crowd made the famous double deck venue sound more full than ever. As Innercoastal wound down, the crowd was pumped, eager for Rasta royalty, Steel Pulse.
During the break, I wondered around. I ran into a group of older gentleman who looked liked they had some stories to share. They were excited to see Steel Pulse again, explaining that they saw Steel Pulse play with Bob Marley a year before I was born, back in the ’80s! Wish I could have seen that!
I also got a chance to talk to Nate Winters, from Innercoastal. I told him I liked the newer stuff I heard in the set, and asked what’s up with the new disc. Nate explained about the new material the band is creating and told me “Innercoastal is aiming to release the self-titled EP mid-summer.” Then he explained how “honored Innercoastal was to play with the reggae legends.”
Nate hit the nail on the head. Steel Pulse is legendary! It is an honor just to listen to them play that infamous roots reggae for almost 2 hours. They are true original reggae, and have such a great discography, that spans four long decades. On this night though, Steel Pulse could only play a small sampling.
Around 10:30 the band came out and opened with a instrumental, before introducing David “Dread” Hinds. The front man took the mic and went right into “Earth Crisis.” Steel Pulse jammed for 11 amazing songs before the crowd heard the song they all came to hear. As the intro of “Stepping Out” slowly crept up, in unison the crowd busted into their best reggae step. Everyone loved the extended, set ending version of the Steel Pulse hit.
The Band Left the stage, but with no time to waste, Mr. Hinds, came back out and played an acoustic and sax version of “Back to my Roots.” As that ended the other members came back out to finish the encore, including a sing-along to The Steel Pulse classic “Roller Skates.”
All 16 songs were sweet! They play a great energetic set. David Hinds breaks it down! I think the only person in reggae, that I have seen dance more on stage is Don Carlos. Steel Pulse is a living legend, a ragging fury, and a must add notch, on the old “live concert belt” that hangs in everyone closet.
Steel Pulse Set List:
No More Weapons
Chant A Psalm
No Justice No Peace
Blues Dance Raid
Pan Africans Unite
Black and Proud
Leggo Beast >
Back To My Roots (acoustic/sax)
Babylon Makes The Rules
Steel Pulse Links:
Steel Pulse Website
Steel Pulse Facebook
Article & Photos By: Aaron Solomon
Check out Steel Pulse playing “Stepping Out” live