It’s Sunday, September 29 and entering Ohana Fest on the final day is bittersweet because it signals the final day of an amazing festival filled with positive vibes, so needed in society today. The Red Hot Chili Peppers were the band most of the audience came out to see. In the crowds, you could see tons and tons of Red Hot Chili Peppers t-shirts and when they took the stage the crowd went off. They sang hits like, “Scar Tissue,” “Snow,” “Californication,” and “Under The Bridge” but one of the best moments was when Eddie Vedder jumped on stage to perform Ric Ocasek and The Cars’ “Just What I Needed” with the band. Moments after, Flea later says (after Vedder exits the stage) “Who was that guy? Security! Security! Apparently, they’ll just let anyone saunter up here.” Anthony Kiedis was amazing, donning jean shorts and a tank top that said Led Zeppelin, the band was on fire and better than ever.
In the afternoon, a highly talented band, Las Cafeteras, who are born and raised in East LA got the crowd shaking their hips with their positive vibes. They sang “La Bamba” and one of the singers busted out with lyrics, “What would you do if you were President, or you, or you, or you (pointing to audience members)? We don’t believe in borders, no borders in here (motions to his heart) or in here (motions to his head).” The six-piece band was digging deep into their roots and using their music to spread truth and positivity.
Jack Irons took to the drums as a solo act in the afternoon and kept the beat grooving. Later that night during their own set, Red-Hot Chili Peppers Flea said, “Jack Irons is one of the kindest, most generous souls on earth.” Anthony Kiedis joined in, “We wouldn’t be here without him, in more ways than one.” Irons is best known as the founding drummer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and former member of Pearl Jam.
Lukas Nelson and the Promise of the Real took to the main stage with their refreshing, country-folk style singing songs, “Find Yourself,” “Turn Off The News” and more. Lukas Nelson was in every sense spectacular, seeming to channel The Allman Brothers and a level of genius that was heartfelt and deep. The guitar performance and vocals set him apart as someone to watch now and in the coming years. Eddie Vedder came out to join Nelson on, “Maybe It’s Time” from the movie A Star is Born and the crowd was blown away because it was mid-day and Vedder showed up unexpectedly. The acoustics and feel of the song was touching.
Lewis Capaldi from Scotland sang “Forever” and “Bruises” at his show with his deep and penetrating voice. He joked with the crowd saying how the next song was over six minutes long and very sad. At one point, he put on a different pair of glasses with one of the lenses missing. He said, “Do you see what I’m working with?” His humbleness and sense of humor kept the atmosphere light. During the song, people started clapping and he said in his thick Scottish accent, “I appreciate the applause but the song is not over, so shut the f@$% up.” His keyboardist told him, “That sounded like shit.” And Capaldi said, “My mate just said that sounded like shit. Thanks for the moral support.” Lewis learned to play drums and guitar when he was two and began his musical career singing in pubs by age 9. By 17 he had committed to a career in music.
Jacob Banks later took to the stage, channeling an individual sound of what seemed like 20 choir members combined…but coming out of one person. His profound vocals were mesmerizing with depth and soulfulness, set against solid bass, hard drums and a guitarist by his side. He sang, “Unknown,” “Mercy” and “Chainsmoking.” His spirit had a feel of a blues-like, Lenny Kravitz and Seal combined. After one of his songs, he says “I go by the name of Jacob Banks and we sing songs.”
Mt. Joy performed on the Tiki Stage with hits like, “I’m Your Wreck” and “Astrovan” and did a cover of the song by Buffalo Springfield, “Stop Children What’s That Sound” which sounded great. This talented and electric band will perform at The Wiltern on November 8, 2019. This five-piece indie rock band with roots in Philadelphia is based in Los Angeles and consists of Matt Quinn (vocals, guitar), Sam Cooper (guitar), Sotiris Eliopoulos (drums), Jackie Miclau (keyboards), and Michael Byrnes (bass).
Jenny Lewis took the main stage decked out with a pink piano, pink backdrop and her suited up band which was extremely retro. Someone in the crowd shouted, “Jenny I love you” and somehow made his way to the very front to get a better look. She wore an elaborate, pink sequined, fitted one suit jumper with furry cuffs and large sunglasses with pink rhinestones. Her song, “Happy” seemed to channel a Loretta Lynn feel with her dynamic, clear and sonorous voice. Her backup singer, female guitarist and male keyboardist were excellent. She performed, “Do Si Do” with lyrics, “Open the window, get back in the saddle, this ain’t no ghetto, Jo, you’re on the payroll!”
Poolside is a described as a “daytime disco” group from Los Angeles with members Jeff Paradise, Vito Roccoforte (The Rapture), Mattie Safer (The Rapture), Brijean Murphy (Toro y Moi) and Casey Butler (Pharaohs). Their songs were filled with electronic beats and they moved in harmony onstage. They performed “Do You Believe” and “Harvest Moon” on the Tiki Stage.
Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats rocked the crowd, picking up the energy at the show once the sunset over the massive crowd which had filled the arena to thousands. His seven-piece band includes, horns, guitar, keyboards, guitar and drums and they provided an incredible backdrop for his powerful voice. Rateliff has abundant energy and the entire band moves in rhythm, grinding to the floor and slamming the crowd with a down-home, bluesy folk sound that shakes thunderously. It was impossible not to dance when they are jamming and many were clapping while they played. The band sang, “Out on The Weekend,” “I Need Never Get Old,” “You Worry Me” and more. Rateliff grew up in rural Missouri, learning to play the drums at age seven and joining his family’s gospel band. When Rateliff was 13, his father was killed in a car crash and he taught himself guitar and began writing his own songs.
Photo Credit: Stephen Hoffmeister