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First-round artists revealed for Tony Hawk’s premiere Wonderfront Festival | Top Shelf Reggae

Ever since Street Scene San Diego evaporated into salty coastal air over a decade ago, SD residents have had to live with a hole in their hearts. Street Scene represented not only the best in entertainment, but the unique city itself: residing smack dab in the middle of downtown's Gaslamp District, not some arid stretch of desert hours away. That was the city's festival — for the city, by the city. Since its departure, other festivals around the city have risen although few come close to its reign. CRSSD keeps the rave kids happy; KAABOO Del Mar pleases the wealthy of all ages. Yet, KAABOO is isolated as its own entity; you can't really explore past the Del Mar Racetrack fence. And, you definitely cannot leave and come back! So many restrictions.

… Wonderfront Festival promises to showcase the spirit of San Diego …

Residents of San Diego recall the good ol' times, when you can wander around the city's bustling streets, catching a bite to eat at a local restaurant in between music stages and art installations. Cue a couple local celebrities to the rescue. Pro skater and San Diego native Tony Hawk has had enough. Hawk took his lavish ideas for a multi-day musical event to his friends, pro surfer Rob Machado and the Padres' Trevor Hoffman, who agreed to go all in for the first annual Wonderfront Festival.

Set to host seven stages, 80 bands and 300,000 guests, the premiere Wonderfront Festival promises to showcase the spirit of San Diego this upcoming November 22nd-24th. What better way to welcome the holidays than with a giant festival putting everyone in good cheer? Wonderfront will stretch the entire span of downtown's Seaport Village (and a little beyond), with ends at the Hilton Hotel and the Broadway Port Pier. Being on the water, attendees have the option to hop between musical stages on a 400 person water taxi or splurge for sunset boat cruises and beyond. Talk about premium viewing. Speaking of when the sun goes down, the party doesn't end after the music stops. Just like Street Scene, festivalgoers are encouraging to disperse into the hopping nightlife of the Gaslamp, Little Italy and the East Village.

Now, with the city's eclectic musical tastes comes the challenge to build a lineup to everyone's liking. San Diego is known for reggae rock legends, alt-fusion bands and, naturally, a big Top 40 emphasis at the clubs. A well-rounded lineup is crucial. Moreover, the initial installment of artists has to get the hype going for ticket sales. It could make or break a fledgling fest. Hawk, Hoffman and Machado know this all too well apparently, for they hit the nail on the head. The first artists announced for Wonderfront Year One are local reggae-rockers Slightly Stoopid, bluesy Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals and alternative heavyweights MGMT at the top of the list. But, that epic triad is only scraping the surface. Also to perform is Walk The Moon, Michael Franti & Spearhead, X Ambassadors, Phantogram, Bob Moses, Tribal Seeds, Thievery Corporation, Manchester Orchestra, Pepper, Common Kings, Parquet Courts, Hippo Campus, The Knocks, Moon Taxi, .grandson, Grace Vanderwaal, Bad Suns, Japanese Breakfast, Alice Merton, Broods, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, English Beat, Boombox, Donna Missal, Allie X, Susnsquabi, Andi Frasco & The U.N., Ghost Light, Earthless, Schizophonics, Capyac, SFM, Henry + The Invisibles, The Routine, Haddon Cord and (naturally) Rob Machado making an appearance with friends.

What about the hip hop and EDM scene, you say? Hold on, we're not done. With more artists to be announced, other stages will host Miguel, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Vince Staples, Big Gigantic, Tyga, Lil Dicky, Big Wild, STS9, Lil Baby, Busta Rhymes, Aminé, Flatbush Zombies, 3LAU, Tokimonsta, Bryce Vine, Jonas Blue, Ari Lennox, Bas, Earthgang, Duchwrth, Fakear, Chrome Sparks, Goldfish, Sodown, Exmag, Cofresi, Gioi & Assia, Wild Prxfits and Jordan Hollywood. For those of the Latin persuasion, south of the border entertainment includes Nicky Jam, Don Omar, Los Angeles Azules, Tucanes de Tijuana, Zion & Lennox, CNCO, Banda Los Sebastianes, Reykon, Ximena Sariñana, Diamante Eléctrico, Victoria La Mala, Chesca and Marie Monti. 

At this point, there's one denomination left out… we're aware. Don't you fret, punk rockers, since Tony Hawk is bringing back the Huck Jam on a special skate ramp stage. Get ready to mosh at the half pipe, since Pennywise, Suicidal Tendencies, X, The Vandals and all of it emceed by DJ Z-Trip. Don't be surprised if Hawk hops on a board himself.

With a list like this, you would think the lineup is complete. Oh, darling, we've only just begun. More artists will be disclosed by the end of summertime, so make sure to grab your weekend passes now before prices hike! Early bird tickets go on sale this Friday, June 7th, allowing you to secure your Wondefront experience at the lowest price. For more information, visit the links below or www.wonderfrontfestival.com.

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/news/first-round-artists-revealed-for-tony-hawks-premiere-wonderfront-festival

BeachLife Fest 2019: Day Three | Top Shelf Reggae

BeachLife Festival Day Three in Redondo Beach, California kept the good times flowing to all, with The Hollow Legs opening up the Riptide side stage for the final day. Two days down and another weather-blessed day on the sandy shores of Redondo to go, as attendees filed in early for Venice and Chris Pierce on the bigger stages. Keller Williams' Grateful Gospel got people dancing and singing with Colin Hay (of Men At Work) following midday. Pancho Sanchez brought horns into the mix before Blues Traveler's signature harmonica brought folky, fun vibes. 

Until next year, BeachLife stands as a perfect weekend on the water. 

Big Head Todd and the Monsters continued the party along before Lost Beach and Grace Potter rocked people into the evening. Charlie Overbey closed down the side stage leading to two legends closing down the first year fest. That's right, Ziggy Marley and Willie Nelson were Sunday night headliners, leaving people with fond memories of the weekend before all were on the road again home. Until next year, BeachLife stands as a perfect weekend on the water. Now to just find out who is going to be gracing the stage for Year Two!

Photography by Sean McCracken

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/gallery/beachlife-fest-2019-day-three

Steel Pulse drops first album in 15 years, ‘Mass Manipulation’ | Top Shelf Reggae

Birmingham, England roots-reggae legendary band Steel Pulse has done it again! 15 years since their last album, forming founder David Hinds and the group have given fans Mass Manipulation, a 17-track record that will, for sure, be a front runner for a GRAMMY nod this year. The band has produced 12 albums since their formation in 1975, with their 1986 release Babylon The Bandit winning a GRAMMY and making them the first non-Jamaican reggae band to take home the trophy. Their records Victims (1991), Rastafari Centennial (1992), Rage and Fury (1998) and Living Legacy (2000) were all nominated for GRAMMYs, as well.

'Mass Manipulation' re-establishes the groups' stance on the state of the world today.

Giving fans a taste of the album, the band released their first single “Stop You Coming and Come” in December of 2018. The album dropped officially as of May 17th, following the March kickoff of their North American tour. For this album, the band elected not to take the traditional route of using a major label. Shunning larger labels they have worked with in the past, Steel Pulse chose to partner with Rootfire Cooperative, a nonprofit label allowing artists to record with interest-free loans to produce and market their recorded music while maintaining 100% ownership.

Steel Pulse took several years to write the album and included with the new songs is a sweet cover with a solid reggae twist of Steve Winwood's “Higher Love”. Steel Pulse has stayed true to their decades' old message of the power of music, bringing people together and its ability to be the voice of generations, speaking out against the injustices of the world. Hinds hopes to ignite and motivate a new generation while still rallying old-school fans. This album addresses present-day issues: everything from human trafficking and police shootings of unarmed civilians to stopping the pillaging of Africa and its natural resources by foreigners, all the while thanking reggae greats who paved the way for this album to exist. Mass Manipulation re-establishes the groups' stance on the state of the world today.

The band has come a long way since opening for Bob Marley's 1978 Kaya tour in Europe, reaching milestones like signing with big name labels allowing for increased exposure and enabling them to become the first perform on the Jay Leno Show to making history as the first reggae band that was asked by Bill Clinton to perform at a Presidential Inauguration. Even though there have been member changes over the last four decades, their sound is transcendent over time. Steel Pulse members have grown as musicians, making way for the recent sounds coming out of bands today. With deep moving lyrics, a horn section like no other, perfectly blended guitars and drums to get you dancing along, Steel Pulse lights up the stage! If you didn't catch their recent set at the amazing Cali Roots Festival in Monterrey over Memorial Day Weekend, you can relive the fun through photos and reviews by the fabulous Sean McCracken, glamorous Gia Krietzberg and rockin' Kristy Rose! Don't miss Steel Pulse this summer!

Purchase or stream Mass Manipulation album:

Track listing:

  1. Rize
  2. Zem Dem
  3. Stop You Coming and Come
  4. Thank The Rebels
  5. Justice In Jena
  6. Human Trafficking
  7. Cry Cry Blood
  8. Don't Shoot
  9. Trinkets and Beads?
  10. No Satan Side
  11. Natty
  12. Mass Manipulation
  13. World Gone Mad
  14. Black and White Oppressors
  15. The Final Call
  16. Higher Love (Rasta Love)
  17. Nations Of The World

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/reviews/steel-pulse-drops-first-album-in-15-years-mass-manipulation

Iration at Indianapolis’ Egyptian Room | Top Shelf Reggae

Iration brought paradise to the Indianapolis' Egyptian Room of the Old National Centre on May 16th with a jamming set list that got everyone feeling the good vibes — complete with palm trees! Live From Paradise is the tour you need to catch his summer if you want to have a night in complete musical bliss. With support from the boys of Pepper, Fortunate Youth and Katastro, you are sure to feel like you are in heaven! 

Photography by Ashley James

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/gallery/iration-at-indianapolis-egyptian-room

BeachLife Fest 2019: Day Two | Top Shelf Reggae

Day Two BeachLife Festival was upon Redondo Beach: one exciting day in the books, capped by Grateful Dead icon Bob Weir, and another yet to come for this first year fest. Saturday on the ocean brought with it perfect weather on May 4th, 2019. Attendees lined the entrance fence as opening band Latchkey Kid serenated the early birds already nside. Speaking of early birds, 80s alt band Berlin took to the stage at a surprising 11am slot. Frontwoman Terri Nunn stated into the mic that the band was celebrating their 40th anniversary on the road, hence the early call time with another show looming that night. 40 years and that woman hasn't aged a day. Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath definitely had something to say about it, shouting at Nunn to “AGE ALREADY. You're making us all look bad”. The 90s hearthrob, highlights and all, still got the ladies going regardless of his self-depricating remarks.

Let it be known that Tomorrows Bad Seeds remains the only band that achieved an encore all weekend…

As Sugar Ray reminded us they just want to fly, Barley on the side stage kept the festival gates hopping. Next up on the main Hightide Stage was pop-punkers Everclear, prompting most of the audience to recount every word to their late 90s anthems. Best Coast took over from there, as femme fatale band V Torres slayed the smaller stage, illuminating just how badass girls can be on guitar. And, right when the crowd thought they had a mellow moment, Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters galloped onto the main stage — tight leopard pants and all — to perform Van Halen hits — in both front and back of house, singing and drumming — via a coverband he likes to call Chevy Metal. Cue all men headbanging in unison; cue all women getting hot and heavy over Hawkins. Cue also a guest apperance by Weezer drummer Patrick Wilson. Oh the joy had by all.

Dawes kept the good times rolling (switching to business casual attire from Hawkins' paint-on pants), as His Eyes Have Fangs brought some trancy vibes to the Riptide side stage. Violent Femmes were next up, inviting a slew of percussion patrons to accompany them (some as young as grade school!!). Talk about a good ol' fashioned Femme-ily band. Before Jason Mraz's colorful crew closed down the sandy Lowtide Stage, one band up and stole the entire weekend. That's right, LA's Tomorrows Bad Seeds was welcomed by an oversized crowd, much too big for the stage they were assigned to. Fans of the band moshed, sang, shouted and moshed again as the TBS boys threw every ounce of energy into their evening performance. Reggae-rock bredren Jason J even made an appearance amongst the madness. Let it be known that Tomorrows Bad Seeds remains the only band that achieved an encore all weekend… attendees wouldn't have it any other way, to be honest. The shouts for “FIVE MORE SONGS” wouldn't have stopped until the demand was acquiesced.

Finally, Beach Boy legend Brian Wilson wheeled onstage, in good health enough to bust out old favorites despite his stationary status. Songs like “Don't Worry Baby” made festivalgoers cry and sway before songs like “I Get Around” created a groovy, twisting frenzy throughout Saturday's twilight hours. Fans dispersed into the night knowing that BeachLife Year One was already a success… and there was still one more day to go! Stay tuned for Day Three photos, coming soon.

Photography by Kristy Rose

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/gallery/beachlife-fest-2019-day-two

HIRIE at Newport Dunes | Top Shelf Reggae

With the pink and orange sherbet California sun setting on the sparkling bay in Newport Beach, HIRIE took to the stage for a fun-filled family evening of reggae on the beach. Families and groups of friends took to the VIP areas, the picnic benches and sand to grab a spot to enjoy the show. Excited fans filled the pit area, waiting anxiously for their favorite band to take the stage.

Excited fans filled the pit area, waiting anxiously for their favorite band to take the stage.

The crowd went crazy as the band, dressed in all white, found their places onstage and HIRIE herself made her way out, dressed in a beautifully flowing pink dress and her signature six-inch heels. In command of the stage and engaging her fans of all ages, HIRIE entertained with fan favorites like “Sensi Boy”, “She Go”, “Don’t Take My Ganja” and “Sun And Shine”. She also entertained with a medley of cover songs that included Matisyahu’s “One Day”.  In her true Ohana fashion as she stood on the stage alone, HIRIE reminded fans of her anxiety when it comes to public speaking and the struggles she has had with mental illness herself, encouraging fans to reach out to anyone in the band for support in times of need. She then launched into her latest release, “I Messed Up”.

“HIRIE is a lifestyle choice; it’s about healing the body, the mind and the spirit. Our fans and our band are always saying ‘let’s get HIRIE’ as a way to detach from the painful complexities of the world and bask in joyous energy,” says the band’s lead singer. “Basking in joyous energy” is exactly what the crowd did, with one fan even telling me that the band’s music has helped her get through the past year. Be sure to catch HIRIE on tour this summer near you!

Photography by Jenni Lynne

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/gallery/hirie-at-newport-dunes

Steel Pulse sits down with Top Shelf Music | Top Shelf Reggae

Steel Pulse members David Hinds and Selwyn Brown sit down with Top Shelf Music journalist Keela Sweeney following their Day One BeachLife Festival performance in Redondo Beach, California. With their long-awaited Mass Manipulation album out as of May 17th, Steel Pulse chats about the inspiration behind the album that took 15 years in the making and more. 

Purchase or stream Mass Manipulation album:

Band links: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/video/steel-pulse-sits-down-with-top-shelf-music

WORLD VIDEO PREMIERE: Ras Teo x Lone Ark “Down In The Garrison” | Top Shelf Reggae

Ras Teo brings his humanitarian efforts to the forefront in his new track “Down In The Garrison” off his Ten Thousand Lions album and featuring the likes of Lone Ark. The duo felt called to action after witnessing the struggles of the Caribbean streets, a situation that doesn't seem to be improving any time soon. “Down In The Garrison” preaches although times are hard, violence isn't the answer: “let go the violence” for shooting up the place doesn't solve anything. It doesn't help that ghettos keep getting flooded with guns, either.

The track's video shows just how bleak it is, with actual footage around the streets…

The track's video shows just how bleak it is, with actual footage around the streets in question. “Down in the ghetto, life no easy,” Teo chants and it's clear to be true. Rundown buildings house hungry residents, working around the clock to get by however they can. No wonder outbursts erupt as a result; everyone wants deliverance and yet, no one in office is raising a finger to help. Good thing Ras Teo and Lone Ark shine a light on the ignored.

Ras Teo Links: Facebook | Twitter 

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/video/world-video-premiere-ras-teo-x-lone-arc-down-in-the-garrison

Back To The Beach Fest: Day Two | Top Shelf Reggae

Fans returned to the Back To The Beach Festival on Sunday, April 28th, excited for another day of music and family fun. Kids were off making sand castles as punk rock and ska fans made their way to the stage to check out the music.

Back To The Beach Fest remains the rockin' ska-centric epitome of what punk rock fests should be.

Starting out the day, pulling the crowd to the stage was Lowlives. Taking to the stage next was Teenage Wrist and Story Of The Year. Fan favorites Less Than Jake and The Wonder Years lit up the stage next and got the crowd circling in endless skank pits. Rounding out the evening was Anthony Green, The Story So Far and The Used

Back To The Beach Fest remains the rockin' ska-centric epitome of what punk rock fests should be. Cheers till next year! 

Recap by Jenni Lynne; Photography by Sean McCracken

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/gallery/back-to-the-beach-fest-day-two

Locos Por Juana drop new video for “Don’t Tell Me No” | Top Shelf Reggae

Earlier this month, the GRAMMY-nominated bilingual band Locos Por Juana blessed the internet with brand new raging music video for their new song “Don't Tell Me No”, featuring the living legend reggae artist Freddie McGregor. With upbeat and feel good lyrics, LPJ’s new song does not disappoint. “Don't Tell Me No” is the second release off their upcoming album, due out early summer 2019.

“This song was inspired by love and perseverance.”

Prior to the release of this song, the Miami-based band released the music video of their lead single “Crazy for Jane”, featuring Common Kings in mid-February. Mark Kondrat, composer and guitarist for Locos Por Juana, reflects, “This song was inspired by love and perseverance. The best things in life don't come easy and when something feels right, the only answer is yes!”

Mark continues, “[Freddie McGregor] came to the studio and met with us and laid down his verse that same night. It was surreal to be able to work and write with someone like Freddie and we were also lucky to get him to join us in the video shoot for the song.”

Locos has been touring nonstop throughout the United States and is gearing up to release their new reggae album Crazy for Jane later this year. The new song “Don't Tell Me No” is out now and available everywhere you purchase and stream music.

Links: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Source: https://topshelfreggae.com/video/locos-por-juana-drop-new-video-for-dont-tell-me-no