By Chyrisse Tabone, Tampa Correspondent
Venue: Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre, Tampa, Florida–August 14, 2015
The Mid-Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre had very dark ominous clouds perched on top of the bandshell on Friday night. I was fortunate to get there early before the gates of “rain hell” opened and soaked the entire parking lot. Lightning was cracking in the sky and thunder was booming like a giant gong.
Fortunately, the first performer, Mickey Avalon, was not delayed too long as the rain began to subside. Avalon is a hip hop artist with really catchy songs and humorous videos on YouTube. He was alone on the stage except for his DJ side-kick assisting with the backbeats. Since it was early and the crowd was starting to arrive, the reception was lukewarm. There were a bunch of interested girls near the front barricade who seemed rather entranced with Avalon.
The second band of the evening was reggae hip-hop group Pepper who hail from Hawaii. The lead singer Kaleo Wassman was very energetic, bouncing around the stage, smiling and interacting with the crowd. He laid on the speakers perched on the front of the stage and reached out to the audience which was worked up to a frenzy at this point. The band members swayed and stomped to the beat. I could smell the first doobie permeate the air as this free-spirited island band captured the hearts of the crowd.
The third band of the evening was the Californian reggae ska band Rebelution which continued the reggae-party theme of the evening. They had keyboards, a horn section, and were another crowd pleaser. As the band frolicked across the stage, staged smoke thickened in the air, and the concert crowd danced and grooved, pushing closer to the stage. As part of the act two people located at the side of the stage were painting pictures of sailboats on a large easel. This was a first for me!
Finally, the headliner Sublime with Rome arrived on the stage to a totally packed amphitheatre. We were not allowed to photograph them near the stage but at the soundboard hence the paucity of decent photos. The band was hidden behind a veil of darkness or was saturated with red or blue lights. The lead singer was visible with the lone white spotlight. From what I could see, the crowd dancing and enjoying the performance.
Overall, it was a fun evening and I am sure everybody was thankful Mother Nature gave us a reprieve after the first artist played. To be honest, I would have been thrilled just to see Pepper and Rebelution that evening. The bands have now gained a new fan with this girl!
Sublime with Rome
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