[Crítica del concierto] RDGLDGRN, SOJA & The Dirty Heads en Cocoa Village Park

Friday, June 9 was the launch of SOJA’s summer tour to promote their upcoming album. The kickoff took place in Cocoa, FL.

While I do my best to keep my reviews neutral, as a fan myself this is somewhat biased. SOJA is the only band that can turn this 34 year old single mom into a 16 year old fangirl the minute they hit the stage.

As SOJA’s frontman Jacob Hemphill has said, “Our goal as a band is to stick up for the human race. We see the world, and try to make it better in the limited time we have here.”

SOJA truly lives up to that statement and you can feel the energy of that intention when they go on stage. This is what brings his growing family of fans together.

I’ve seen SOJA perform several times and every show has been better than the last. I have no issue whatsoever traveling to their shows.

I purposely arrived at Cocoa from my hometown in North Orlando an hour before the doors opened so I could find decent parking and a good spot at the venue. Turns out, I showed up at the perfect place, at the perfect time. I found a parking space at the strip of restaurants and bars across the street from the Cocoa Village Park Amphitheater, just as Hemphill was walking past my car, looking for a place to grab a meal before hitting the stage.

For me, this was an awkward moment. I left home in such a rush that I decided to apply my makeup in the car once I found parking. I still managed to put my full face on, even though my hand was shaking from the excitement. I had just finished applying my makeup when he walked back past me, and that’s when I stepped up to the opportunity. I introduced myself, telling Hemphill I was attending the show. He was very friendly and humble: He was even kind enough to take a minute out of his time to take a selfie with me. I knew he was in a bit of a rush, so I thanked him and we went our separate ways as I made my way to check in.

The show was kicked off by RDGLDGRN (pronounced red, gold, green), a band that has already distinguished themselves in the D.C. music scene with their perfect blend of hip hop, punk, indie rock and reggae. It was the first time I’ve seen them perform, and I must say I was quite impressed. They got the audience pumped for the rest of the lineup.

The show was followed by The Green, a reggae group that is also very dear to my heart. Straight from Hawaii, they brought their aloha-spirit to Florida. As someone who spent three years living in Hawaii and was introduced to their music while listening to local stations, to see them perform live for the first time was a real treat. The Green performed two of my favorite songs that have helped get me through life: “What Will Be, Will Be” and “Wake Up,” which set the tone for my most anticipated event of the lineup, SOJA!

SOJA kicked it off with “Tear It Down,” which among many of their hits, brings awareness to the conditions of our world and asks how we can come up with solutions. They closed with “I Believe,” another favorite of mine. “I Believe” is one of those songs that has helped lift my spirits at my lowest points, when I’ve felt like giving up on my dreams and goals. The track features Nahko and Michael Franti. On stage, they were joined by RDGLDGRN, making a powerful and spectacular close.

The Dirty Heads headlined the evening. They performed some of my favorites including “My Sweet Summer,” “Hipster,” “Sloth’s Revenge” and “Moon Tower,” which took on a whole new meaning with the full moon that night. I’ve always enjoyed listening to The Dirty Heads on my reggae station, but when they’re live on stage “You Better Dance All Night,” as their song implies.

My night didn’t officially end with the show. Five hours of standing and creating memories with my camera brought on my appetite so I walked up to Ryan’s Pizza, just before I headed back home. Not to my surprise, all the concert goers had the same idea, so I took the next available seat at the bar. Once I placed my order, I looked up and right across from me was RDGLDGRN’s “Gold” himself, Andrei. I couldn’t pass up the chance to introduce myself. After telling him how great they did, I got to sit down for my late dinner with them and we talked about everything from food to sports. That was the highlight to an already incredible night. I had the experience most music fans can only dream of and I am beyond grateful.

Photos by Omayra Lopez/AltWire. 

Sobre el autor

Omayra López

Omayra es una chica de Florida, madre de tres hijos y artista visual que comparte todo lo relacionado con el arte, la diversión y las cosas bellas de la vida. Cree firmemente que uno crea su propia realidad y lo aplica a su propia vida marchando al ritmo de un tambor diferente, utilizando su cámara como herramienta para ese fin. Omayra es una experta en todos los oficios y los domina todos. Cuando no está detrás de la cámara, está delante. Su experiencia como modelo le ayudó a desarrollar su ojo como fotógrafa.
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