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Good Vibes 2013 Tour Guest Blog: Zion I Head to Oregon, Experience Pit Problems

Zion I
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Editor’s Note: TheDrop.fm asked performers on the Good Vibes tour to share their stories in a series of guest blog posts. Meet Zion I, a hip-hop duo from Oakland, Calif., comprised of producer AmpLive and emcee Zumbi. With more than eight albums and songs like ‘The Vapors’ and ‘Human Being’ in their catalog, Zion I share their aggressive style, relatable lyrics and head-nodding beats with the masses.

Blog 2 – Aug. 16 at Britt Pavilion in Jacksonville, Ore.,:

We sauntered into the small town of Jacksonville, Ore., around 3:30PM, after a long seven-hour drive through the mountains of Northern Cali and Southern Oregon. As soon as I hopped out of the car, the sweltering, sticky heat slapped me in the grill. We’re not used to humidity in the Bay. I put on a tank top and shorts and proceeded inside.

The backstage was a cramped mess, as both Zion I and Collie Buddz were assigned the same room. It was literally equipped with three chairs to accommodate 12 people. Okay. At least catering was set up, and I grubbed on a veggie burger that wasn’t half bad. From there, I wiggled into what I’ll call the lobby area where all the groups were mingling, because the dressing rooms were too small.

Marley, the bass player from Rebelution, hooked up his TRX workout system and a few of us started throwing down reps as he schooled us in proper technique. It was just what I needed to get my blood pumping before the show.

Zion I hit the stage at 5:30PM to a meager crowd nestled on a downward, sloping hill. The Britt Pavilion is a nice venue with its array of rolling hills and tree top canopies. However, right in front of the stage is the pit, where people usually dance. Except at this venue, the pit tickets are the most expensive, and the people had to have a special wrist band just to come down in front of the stage. Huh?

Behind the pit, were seats arching up the hill. Behind the seats was a large grass field where most of the smokers were posted up. As we bounced onstage, the crowd gave us awkward smiles and gestures, seemingly embarrassed by our unabashed approach and the lack of audience in the front row.

We continued to rock, making light of the situation, and played off the growing energy of the crowd as they began to relax. By the time we reached ‘Don’t Lose Ya Head,’ there was a large mass surging behind the small handrail holding them back from the pit. It felt good to see the crowd go from uncomfortable to enthusiastic. It would have been even better if the pit was open to everyone, but such is life.

By the time Collie hit, the pit was full and the Britt was teeming with life. Matisyahu rocked with his mercurial technique, and Rebelution rounded out the night with their melodic bass.

After the show, all the crews merged into the lobby along with various friends, groupies and stoners. The party quickly diverged, as a large group of young ladies were beckoned to one of the tour buses. The rest of us lounged, and had a pre-celebration for Collie, as it was his birthday at 12AM.

We toasted as he and his backup singer danced a jerky salsa to a reggae roots track. It was all jokes and giggles as the room slowly filtered out, and we were the last ones there, left waiting for our tour manager to finish counting out merch. The life of an opener, the first to rock and the last to leave. I’m not complaining, I’m just saying. Goodnight Jacksonville, Ore., maybe our paths will cross again. Peace.

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