The second night of the Stay Wandering Winter Tour was a chilly Sunday in North Lake Tahoe. Things would soon warm up. Crystal Bay Club’s Red Room hosted the night, with twinkling lights that looked like stars and lit up the ceiling. Concertgoers were in good spirits and seemed to enjoy themselves more with each reggae band performing. By the time HIRIE was up, the room was fully packed.
For Peace Band and Indubious are along for the tour and definitely meshing well with HIRIE. Hailing from Guam, For Peace Band opened the night and had fans in the audience that knew its songs, cool to witness. Indubious continued the good vibes and brought up the energy of the crowd. They, too, had fans singing along to their set.
By the time HIRIE took the stage, almost everyone watching joined the chorus. The musicians straight killed their set and HIRIE provided an outstanding lead. The entire band is solid and knows how to play to its fans. The positive vibrations were on high! HIRIE’s voice is wonderful, and drummer Matt Benoit held down the beat. Bassist Andy Flores’ riffs penetrated to the soul and it was inspiring to see the players groove together and dance. I love watching a band enjoy itself onstage but not lose musical focus.
They had some fun with a few covers and played the favorites, too. The last time I saw HIRIE, the band didn’t have a keyboard player. This time, Charles Roy added a nice flair on keys. Lead guitarist Blaine Dillinger had a bag of tricks and held back when he should let others have their time in the spotlight. The thing that sold me on this band (beside a beautiful, solid female lead) was its amazing horn section, with Chris Hampton on saxophone and Andrew McKee on trombone in addition to playing other instruments. The vocals shined all night long and included the most incredible harmonies.
The crowd loved it so much that they gave us a few encore songs and then all three bands went to their merch areas and hung out with fans after the show. Taking pics and signing autographs, bands should always do that!
– Pheonix Gruneich