Goldenvoice bringing those cool and exciting vibes back to Long Beach with their Second Annual Cali Vibes music festival on February 17th, 18th, and 19th. Hosting a slew of thrilling reggae artists. This was the scene, and this was the place, let me tell you about the action!
The righteous and groovin’ vibrations were truly a happening! From Steel Pulse, Iya Terra, and Ozomatli on Friday; to Methodman & Redman, Kyle Smith, and Matisyahu on Saturday.
There was a tribute to Lee “Scratch” Perry a Memorial Set that was fired up just after noon by Subatomic Sound & Mykal Rose, to everyone there it was beautiful and glorious. As the topper, Fortunate Youth, and The El0vaters gave it their all on Sunday.
When I do get out, these are the events I relish attending, on the beach, with palm trees swaying, and soaking up as many good musical sensations and positive energy that I can possibly groove to. Goldenvoice did just that, delivering nothing short of a magical extravaganza and this they did all weekend long. Oh dig this man, live artwork was again ongoing with the onstage painting by legendary Jimmy Ovadia.
To be at this event the talent came from far and wide, I’m speaking Australia here, with a captivating live performance by Tash Sultana. Tash may have played before the headliners, but make no mistake, this artist left their mark on many in the crowd, with mind-expanding music. Tash’s ability to play multiple instruments and loop them together creates a full, layered sound much like the dimensional sounds of a 3D symphony. Also, Sultana opened their set with ‘Big Smoke’ and rightfully so, an incredible opener that had everybody in attendance, feeling the baring of sounds right into their souls.
Stick Figure lit the place up adding extra elements of excitement and heat to their live set with you guessed it; FIRE and the crowd loved it! These guys always put on an amazing live show whenever I see them, and their canine bandmate Cocoa the Tour Dog was onstage with them. Stick Figure’s unique blend of reggae, dub, and psychedelic sounds enthralls and mesmerizes, and they have a way of transporting listeners to another world.
Both Stephen Marley and Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley are icons. Their father Bob Marley, the innovator that brought his Reggae Army to the Strip in Los Angeles back in the day, that would transform the world of music into a new sound of reggae. Yes, this, was one of the most important and influential figures in the history of world music, with an immeasurable impact on nearly every musical scene throughout the world. He paved the way for future generations with his messages of love, unity, liberation, and social justice that forever inspire people throughout the planet. Both Stephen and Damien come from this wonderful pedigree and to both hear and see them, was something I can only say…otherworldly, and thank the heavens for that!
Cypress Hill was phenomenal! They executed one of the best live shows I have ever seen. DJ Lord got the crowd warmed up with samples of Jimi’s “Excuse Me While I Kiss the Sky”. B-Real and Sen Dog are masters of getting their crowds hyped and moving with their signature sound of energetic Latin-American and hip-hop influences. Cypress Hill opened with “Roll It Up, Light It Up, Smoke It Up,” with B-Real strutting in with an Afro wig on his head as well as the massive joint he hit in between lyrics. Even if you weren’t partaking in the inhale and exhale yourself, you were still getting plenty high by the copious clouds of marijuana smoke that seemed so thick that you could cut it with a knife.
Slightly Stoopid has built a most loyal fanbase, by virtue of their talent and drive. Honing their skills since the ’90s. Kyle McDonald and Miles Doughty are consistently solid in sound and they always put on a most worthy performance.
Snoop Dogg was a real highlight of the Cali Vibes festival and headlined Saturday’s show. The first time I saw Snoop we collaborated on High Times Magazine cover feature How to Roll A Blunt published in issue #417 Oct 2010. I’ve seen him at least a dozen times since, from Palm Springs, Ontario, Riverside, and Los Angeles, and now I was seeing him in the LBC. It was a treat watching him perform in Long Beach, a city rich in hip-hop history, and Snoop Dogg is a big part of that legacy, oftentimes rapping about the city where he grew up in classics like Nuthin But a “G” Thang.
Along with “Upside Down,” one of Jack Johnson‘s more memorable hits from the film Curious George, Johnson paid a touching tribute to the Jamaican legend and innovator of sound. A musical wizard of reggae dub sound who was light years ahead of his time, and who left behind a vast recording legacy of countless production credits that will never be matched, Lee “Scratch” Perry during the last part of his set. It was a meaningful gesture helping continue to carry the torch and keep alive Perry’s contributions to music history. In summary, what multi vibrational EVENT!!!
Photography and words by: Maggie St.Thomas