With bluebonnets blooming across town, the start of Spring has brought memories of sunshine back from a gloomy winter. In Austin, TX there was no better way to start touring season then the Wicked Awesome Tour rolling through. Walking up stairs to the Parish, fans are immediately introduced to an impressive range of artwork and mediums with a robust merch market, made extra stylish with the help of Calibis.
The humpday blues were quickly remedied by Colorado natives Tatanka, who brought a heavy dose of dub to familiar riddims. With their unique embracing of digital concepts, Tatanka made sure they stood out as the room steadily began to fill out. After a quick change, Ballyhoo! took the stage to a properly-filled room, showing Austin’s love for the reggae community is in full-force, even on a weekday.
Ballyhoo! hit with the stage with a resurgence of energy. Veteran leadership and a youthful core has brought Ballyhoo! back to their high-energy fusion of styles. Giving a punk rock vibe to reggae rhythms got the crowd sweating and drinks flowing. The band kicked off a sneak peak of their upcoming single “I Don’t Wanna Go,” showcasing that they haven’t lost a step in their long and thriving career. Themes of girls, both love and lost, angst, and parties set and enjoyable atmosphere that got everyone’s heart racing. Heavy doses of crowd interaction showed a band who is willing to give all they’ve got on the stage each and every night. Highlights of the setlist included “Diamonds,” 2018’s “This Chick is Wack,” and “Battle Cry,” before the heartfelt emotional changeup of “The Struggle” was added based on the loud request of a dedicated fan.
As the dust settled on the high-energy set of Ballyhoo!, arrangements were made to setup the stage plot of headliners Fortunate Youth. With instruments being taken off from the openers, the true depth of the stage was revealed, allowing members plenty of floor space to work. By the time the lights went out for the start of their set, the crowd was packed all the way to the back bar. An anthem for the genre they represent so well, “Reggae Radio” kicked off the set, showing what all Fortunate Youth fans already know, that Dan Kelly has a killer range and delivery. A truly show-stealing talent, backed by some of the finest original musicianship in the scene. Each member of the group is constantly in-sync with the other’s, being able to swap instruments without anything getting lost in transition. Fortunate Youth comes across as a band with the musicianship to keep a crowd entertained for a 5-hour-show, if they needed to, with chops parallel to those of the jamband bend. The band instantly set the tone for the night when they happily took joints from audience members and boldly showed their pro-pot stance in action. Highlights from the set included “Burn One,” “Love is the Most High,” “One and Only,” and “So Rude.”
With rough winter storms making their exit, the highway system of America is cleaned up and ready to handle touring vehicles and vacationers for the foreseeable future. The Wicked Awesome Tour made sure touring season got started on the right foot, shortly after the mania of SXSW, Austin, TX appears to be a hotspot for routing schedules across the board and it won’t be too long before MusicBailout digs into the next one. Until then, make sure and catch this tour when they stop in your area. Dates below.
Fortunate Youth Tour Dates: