Good Vibes Tour 2013 Guest Blog: Zion I Share Highs & Lows in San Diego
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 1 - Aug. 10 at Open Air Theatre in San Diego:
We mobbed into San Diego State semi-early trying to catch a quick soundcheck, to no avail. We haven't had one all tour, such is the fate of an opener on a tour where everyone has a band, and we have three mics, a laptop and controllers.
Matisyahu's band, the Dub Trio, ironed out some kinks as they dropped slinky basslines over skittish drums, while techs shuttled to and fro. There was a giddiness in the air that happens when a show is going to be dope, at least that's what I felt.
I went to the stage just before doors to inquire who would be mixing our sound, no one knew anything. Huh? Now, I was suddenly concerned. I hollered at Rebelution's tour manager and he chirped the radio a few times. Suddenly a distraught blond showed up and dictated out mixing responsibilities to the same grizzled cats who had just said "no" to me. Whatever. Just get it done, mang.
The Open Air Theater is a wide stage that stretches upwards and features stacks of seats and stairs. The crowd started milling in around 6:30PM sporting various degrees of red, gold and green. AmpLive immediately started to nice it up with some classic rockers. The early minglers chilled into their seats, as the theater slowly filled up.
We stepped to the stage at 7:30PM to a mellow audience. It's our job to set it off, so we bounced onstage to the minimal boom of 'The Ceiling.' It's always interesting coming out to a reggae crowd, because although eclectic, our foundation is hip hop. It takes folks about three to four songs to loosen up and flow with us because we're not what they expect. Once they get the fact that our style is aggressive, but the content is aligned with roots and culture music, they start to wave their hands and rock.
By the time we dipped into 'Human Being,' SD State was energized and bouncing. People were streaming into their seats with fresh beers and spiffs lit. We finished with 'Coastin',' just as the sun began to slip back into the underworld. A perfect way to begin the night. I jumped down with the crowd and gave pounds and took flicks for awhile before heading backstage.
Matisyahu came on next and murked with his unique vocal stylings, and killer band. But, the night ultimately belonged to Rebelution, as all of the massive surged back and forth to their infectious melodies. I re-emerged on the first song of their encore 'So High,' our collective tribute to the most righteous of herbs.
After the show is, of course, the after party, which was apparent as artists and groupies alike scrambled towards the party bus. Equipped with stripper poles, and flashing lights, it was a scene of ratchet excess as surfer girls twerked back and forth as bottles changed hands.
The club itself, Typhoon, was an exhibition of more of the same, with all of the bus heading upstairs to VIP. Dysfunctional Species took the stage for a brief moment, before Amp rounded out the night with some club bangers. A good time was had by one and all as everyone made it home safely. Just another night in the life. We'll do it again in a few. Peace.
Caption: #SanDiego is poppin!!! #goodvibestour #reggae #hiphop #JahBizness #zioni