Editor’s note: Mystic Roots will perform at Whiskey Dick’s Saloon on Sunday, July 3. The Chico band recently completed a tour with New Zealand’s Katchafire. Here’s a review of their show at Tahoe.
There are positive vibrations, and then there are vibes that change lives.
Lorrie Shaw and DJ Rossco Salazar were on one of those trips Sunday night, when they arrived in Crystal Bay, Nevada, following a 587-mile journey from Ogden, Utah, to absorb a reggae show by Katchafire and Mystic Roots. In a venue packed with happy-smiley people, there were perhaps none more ecstatic than the couple that traveled from the Great Salt Lake to the alpine paradise of Lake Tahoe.
It’s all about the reggae, they said.
“The vibe is spiritual to me. It takes me in a whole new direction,” said Salazar, who first saw Katchafire in Riverside, California, three years ago and will be at a Thursday concert in Salt Lake City. “I had suffered from depression. This has healed my soul. I take no medication, just reggae music.”
Mystic Roots, a reggae fusion band from Chico, California, and Katchafire, with roots firmly planted in New Zealand, are in the final days of their Burn It Down Tour, which opened April 14 in Houston and concludes June 11 in Colorado Springs.
Despite the long and winding road, the bands both provided upbeat, high-energy sets in the Crown Room at Crystal Bay Casino. Katchafire’s sparkling tour bus purred out back, ready to head north to Idaho after the show, while Mystic’s more modest van-and-trailer rested alongside.
“We’ve traveled the country with Katchafire and this is the only show in the 530,” said Mystic Root’s keyboard player and singer, Cootdog Wyman. So close to home, but not there yet. South Lake Tahoe’s “Late Nite” Billy Drewitz knows the feeling. Tour manager for the two-month road trip, he was busy handling the details — and managing the merch booth — Sunday night.
Mystic’s “Lonely Road” laid out the travails of traveling musicians, with Wyman rappin’ the story in hip-hop fashion:
If we don’t get out there and put in work, we comin up short/ So yo, back on the grind again, another tour/ What day will I return, I can’t tell you for sure/ When’s the last time I slept in my own bed? I don’t remember/ Just hotels and motels and Comfort Suites/ Late nights and stage lights and bumpin beats…
Something about medicating and meditating, preparing for the next show. The ganja references were flowing, “Pass the Marijuana” and “Sweet Sinsemilla” among the set list, but the sweet smell of wonder weed was noticeably absent in the no-smoking venue. It was not about zoning out, but rather about tuning in. Concertgoers were all smiles.
“I’m gonna be OK, I’m gonna be alright,” sang Mystic Roots lead vocalist Katherine Ramirez. The Danville, California, native noted that reggae music can help fend off depression — “just want you to know we can do that.” Shaw and Salazar already had figured that out, happy snapping concert photos of musicians, fellow fans and even the between-set DJs. They had booth seats, but didn’t seem to have time to remain seated.
Mystic’s towering drummer, Marko, jumped up several feet off the stage during his band’s performance and had the pleasure of introducing headliners Katchafire: “It’s my duty to inform you that you’ve stepped into a very irie situation.”
Katchafire frontman Logan Bell laid it out: “Katchafire on the road again … workin.” The band’s smooth lyrics and soothing horns were definitely working.
“I don’t got no enemy, but if you test me I will retaliate,” Bell related. “… give me some sinsemilla.”
Some things heal the soul, and the reggae vibes provided just the cure Sunday.
Editor’s note: Tahoe Onstage editor Tim Parsons contributed to this story.
Related story: Crown Room expands capacity to 750. LINK
Related story: Katchafire high on new tour manager from Tahoe. LINK