Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Dirty Heads build on with 'Cabin By The Sea'

ORLANDO — SoCal summer reggae sound filled the House of Blues Orlando on June 25, as Big B, The Expendables, and The Dirty Heads sailed through on their “Cabin By The Sea Tour.”

All three groups that performed on this night have California roots and this musical styles reflected this fact. High-powered rapper Big B, started off the night with his aggressive underground hip-hop performance, and became a great hype man, getting the young crowd excited for the rest of the night.

Most of the fans in attendance represented typical summer break loving high school and college kids looking to have fun and blow off some steam between semesters. Brightly colored tank tops for the guys and tight fitting short shorts for the girls were almost a mandatory dress code for this concert.

Unlike their name would imply, The Expendables were vital to the overall success of this show. They performed an energetic set ranging from mesmerizing psychedelic reggae to moments of fast-paced punk rock breakdowns and solos. This group was highly divers in playing style with most of their songs featuring driving rhythms and catchy reggae choruses that fit perfectly with the overall tone of the show.

Anticipation slowly built between sets as the audience members waited for The Dirty Heads to take the stage, and they were not disappointed. It was undeniable from the start of their performance they possessed a strongly crisp sound that embodied confidence and fun.

The Dirty Heads sound and playing style represented an eclectic blend of surf rock, punk ska, rap and reggae music, perfect for relaxing with friends on the beach and kicking back with a cold drink. Reminiscent of other groups like Sublime and Slightly Stoopid, their rhythm-heavy songs were driven by tight percussion and walking bass lines combined with a fusion of laid back reggae and spirited hip-hop.

A large roar of applause from passionate fans came between each song performed, and the band members smiled and cheered back with unquestionable appreciation. One lucky contest-winning fan was even brought on stage a few songs into their set, and presented with a light blue colored Ernie Ball Music Man guitar that guitarist Dustin Bushnell had been performing with.

One audience members, Charles Frizzell, had seen The Dirty Heads perform several times before and said “Over the years they keep better with their live shows and the crowds keep getting bigger and with more energy.”

Some of the standout songs performed this night were “Believe,” where they pay homage to the artist that inspired their music, “Stand Tall” that had a large number of audience members singing along with the group word for word, and “Spread Too Thin” that created a audible exclamation point near the end of their concert.

Going back to the roots of reggae, they also covered “Sinsemilla” by the classic reggae group Black Uhuru. The chorus from this songs was blended with a jam session of The Dirty Heads sound that breathed new life into the decades old tune.

The evening could not have been complete without the band performing their breakout song “Lay Me Down,” which they saved until the second encore song near the end of the show.
Audience members lovingly danced and sang along as this live rendition that added a long jam sessions that isn't found in the radio edit version of this song that most fans are familiar with.

“They're really good dudes and you can tell when they’re having a good time, it’s like Orlando is a second home to them,” said concertgoer Jim Harvey.

Big things are on the horizon for these talented boys from Long Beach, California, as they continue to prove their west coast sound has a wide appeal that is supported by an ever-growing fan base.

By James Tutten

(All photos by James Tutten)


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