Written By Yuval Peretz
Saturday, 9pm, Lower East Side, and a small crowd is already lined at the doors of the familiar concert venue; The Bowery Ballroom. Always reggae friendly, The Bowery has a lounge room you walk into once you enter. As soon as we came in we could feel the good vibes. Grabbing drinks at the lounge/bar area is the best start for the night and should cost you around $7 for a beer and $13 for a mixed drink. The selector’s sound was playing through the lounge speakers and it took only a few minutes to get excited and head upstairs to the concert hall.
Rather large, the venue can hold 500-600 people and was almost full during the sound system warm up, which got a huge reaction to some classic tune’s. Up next was Black-Am-I with a 3-song set that got the crowd even more hyped. The great acoustics kept bodies moving in a mixed crowd of young & old, locals & tourists, hipsters & reggae heads of all races.
As soon as Marley’s Flagman took the stage you could notice lighters sparking up joints all around and though it seemed weed-friendly, we’d still recommend being somewhat discrete. The band started playing the riddim for “Confrontation" and at this point the room was packed and people were cheering on, anticipating Damian to take the stage. Coming out like a storm, Jr. Gong lit up the place with his energy. A quick pull-up and mix dropped the “Bun Dem” riddim and the mainstream tune made it official, this show will rock everyone.
Written By Brian Winters
To kick off the first night of fall, co-headliners Zach Deputy and Ballyhoo! took the stage at the Knitting Factory in Williamsburg, with support from Mighty Mystic and Bumpin' Uglies. The show featured a wide scope of musical flavors, featuring everything from Mighty Mystic's unique rock spin on roots reggae, Ballyhoo's surfer punk rock style, and a down-right funky performance from Zach Deputy.
Zach Deputy, Mighty Mystic, and Bumpin' Uglies have each released new albums in 2016, so there was a ton of new music to be heard inside the Knitting Factory walls. Bumpin' Uglies lead things off with a number of songs off of their September release Keep It Together. The reggae rock trio are a member of Ballyhoo!'s label Right Coast Records, and also share the same home state of Maryland. Bumpin' Uglies played a series of high energy songs like “Stop The Fall” and “Load In Load Out,” before bassist Dave Wolf and drummer TJ Haslett left the stage, allowing lead singer and guitarist Brandon Hardesty to sing a slow, stripped down song called “All That I Need.” The passionate song puts a positive spin on all of the struggles of trying to make it as a band.
Remembering Michael "Freestylee" Thompson