Since 1991, Flamingo Cantina has been a staple of the Live Music Capital that is Austin. As part of the long stretch to the wild scene of 6th street, this venue has been pumping out Reggae vibes, and much more, for nearly 3 decades. Many legends have graced the stage of this iconic venue and it was only fitting to see four up-and-coming bands make their presence felt on a cool Saturday night.
A small venue like this will always make way for easy conversation with the artists before the show and in between sets. Upon arriving you get the sense that something magical is happening here. There is nothing more relaxing than to see a show with such strong positive energy in the air.
Kicking off the night was Saltwater Slide. This band from San Antonio is a breath of fresh air for us here in South Texas. Lead vocalist Brock Butler is extremely energetic in his performance and starts the night off with high energy. A fun and great rendition of The Counting Crows song Mr. Jones was broken down by the band in their classic reggae/dub style. This band has many of the tools for something special in the scene.
Next up was Law Records band, Seranation. Hailing from St. Petersburg, Florida, this band does not disappoint. Fun, exciting, hype, chill, and anything else you want to throw in there. The audience was showing love once they came out with their first song, Turn it Up. This 6 piece band made use of the small stage inside Flamingo Cantina. They were bouncing around all over the stage and making it a fun experience to watch. Everyone from Beard Bruce on keyboards to Bianca Schlosser on bass had the fans smiling. Plus songs like Bonita, (which is an infectious song to whistle to!) are great to see live. Oh! Let’s not forget the lively and enthusiastic lead vocalist J. Carter who makes this stage his own playground. Trust me when I say, you NEED to go to a Seranation show to understand what I am talking about and see this thrilling band for yourself.
Up next are a band that was introduced in our GET TO KNOW section years ago. Since discovering them, I am excited to say that they have developed into a cohesive and strong band over the years. This tour did not disappoint. For this gig, the audience was treated to an acoustic performance from two of the members Seuko Hawkins and Nico Tuliesu. Both have incredible voices that work so well for this kind of set up. The banter back and forth between the two was really fun and made for an incredible performance. Playing fan favorite tracks like Déjà vu, Stuck in the Middle and My Roots. Taking a break from their own catalogue of songs, the two performed two tracks from the one and only Bob Marley - No Woman, No Cry and Redemption Song– these really capped off an incredible set that truly left you wanting more.
It has been a long time since I have been able to see this next band. I still remember my first time seeing them live was at the West Beach Festival in California in 2009. Fast forward to now and Through The Roots has recently been signed on the incredible label Law Records. I must say this band has crafted the art of a stage performance (think U2 on crack-cocaine!). As the bass hit letting the audience know the show was about to begin, these incredible backlights perfectly lit red, and Through The Roots emerged singing Bloodshot Eyes. I was up front for this and I am not lying when I tell you it felt like I was in an arena. I felt encompassed by the music and the lights, almost trance-like. The mood continued and it was so damn fun. Guitarist/Vocals Corrick Watson had me in shock and awe with his talents. He is probably one of my favorites to watch. His face expressions and guitar handles had me entertained the whole night. Lead singer/guitarist Evan Hawkins cannot be left out of the discussion for performance of the night. He created a welcoming atmosphere on such a small stage while engaging the audience continuously. It was truly a special evening as the band played so many of their hits like Weekend, Miss Lovely, Dancing in the Rain, Higher and many more. If I can stress anything in this review is to make sure you show up to a future show and be sure to get yo ass to the front to witness the Reggae fury – STRAIGHT FIRE!!