Dirty Heads and SOJA Hype the Crowd at Santa Barbara Bowl

July 27, 2017 - by: Shelby Pool

On Thursday, July 13, The Dirty Heads and SOJA teamed up with The Green and RDGLDGRN at Santa Barbara Bowl for a night of reggae, rap, rock'n'roll, and even a little electro!

First to take the stage was RDGLDGRN all the way from Virginia. They opened their set with some original songs reminiscent of Rage Against the Machine meets Slightly Stoopid and André 3000. Their playful attitudes shined when they covered "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" from The Lion King and held an "East Coast vs. West Coast" rap battle amongst the crowd. They had everyone jumping during the last portion of their set when they did a mash up of "Hypnotize" by Biggie Smalls and "California Love" by Tupac and Dr. Dre.

Next up was The Green hailing all the way from Hawaii. Their roots reggae set was filled with good vibes and a message of love. They played everything from their hits "What Will Be Will Be" and "Love and Affection" to Bob Marley's "Lively Up Yourself." As they were finishing up their set, they encouraged the crowd to "Turn Thursday night into Friday night." And the party continued.

As SOJA took the stage, a black and white version of their "stars n bars" flag appeared behind all eight members of their instrumentally diverse band. After opening with a few classics, lead singer, Jacob Hemphill spoke about their latest project:

"We took five months off of touring to make a new record. It does not have a release date or a title... 

(chuckles) and this is how you market some shit to a bunch of people."

They played a song from this work-in-progress as Hemphill encouraged the crowd to "enjoy it." The remainder of their set was politically charged and less centralized around love for humankind. However, everything came full circle when they ended with "I Believe" and closed their performance with Jacob instructing the crowd to "be nice to each other. We love you guys!" 

The Dirty Heads took the crowd by storm as they opened with "Franco Eyed," a heavy hitting, bassy, electro beat off of Sound of Change. They brought the reggae vibes back when they played "Dance All Night" and "Your Love" from their 2012 release Cabin by the Sea.

The party started again when they brought out Green from RDGLDGRN to help them rap "Medusa." Heavy strobe lights and flashing colors covered the stage and the crowd responded by jumping and pumping their hands to the beat.

The energy stayed high as they played "Silence." Then Dirty J instructed everyone to get out their lighters and cell phones as he brought the lights down low with "Moontower":

Let's go outside
Look up at the stars tonight
See 'em when the full's out
You can meet me at the moon tower
Let's all get high
Look up at the starlit sky
Let's all go for a ride
Meet me at the moon tower tonight

They concluded their set while the crowd sang along to the chorus of both "Sloth's Revenge" and "Lay Me Down." They came back for a three song encore that pushed the limits of curfew and the crowd was still begging for more.

Check out all the show photos by Santa Barbara Bowl House Photographer, A Art Fisher, on our photo library.

Shelby Pool is an editor and author for the Santa Barbara Bowl Blog.

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