Day 2 at Cali Roots was truly a gift from the festival gods. The weather was beautiful and the music was real; yesterday we had Tribal Theory, Unified Highway, the Darenots, Tyrone’s Jacket, Easy Star All Stars, Rising Appalachia, Through the Roots, Alborosie, Protoje, Nahko & Medicine for the People, Iration and Nas.
Nas headlining was definitely a huge highlight for me personally, but so many other cool things happened too. For one, I officially fell in love with Beebs yesterday for two reasons: she covered “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” originally by the Rolling Stones on the pop-up stage annnd her booth, Beebs Boutique, is stuffed with an amazing curated collection of festival fashions and branded merch she designed herself. Speaking of festie style, everyone looked so cute yesterday! I found myself complimenting girls all day long on their amazing outfits. There were tons of sixties and seventies influences; lots of bell bottoms, headbands, macrame vests and sweaters. Mirrored, geometric sunglasses were also popular, as well as faux fur jackets and ripped boyfriend jeans with cropped tees.
Yesterday I went behind the scenes and back in time to 1967 at the official Cali Roots music video shoot with Hire, Stick Figure and Beebs, produced by Bulldog Media. Complete with Volkswagen buses and flower child garb, the crew remade a popular throwback track that I can’t wait for you all to hear. Actually, throwback was the theme of the day now that I think about it. Yellowman graced us with his legendary presence on the Original stage and sang one of my favorite reggae songs of all time, “Bam Bam” by Sister Nancy. After busting out a ridiculous number of push-ups on stage, the Man also gave us some sage advice about love:
“Be careful falling in love, you might never get up”
Around sunset Hirie followed up Iration and played a special acoustic set. The crowd sang along to every word as dusk settled on the Bowl stage and in that moment I looked at the smiling faces in the crowd and truly understood how much her fans love her and the band. Immediately after that I went to the other end of the fairgrounds to the Cali Roots stage and was met with an equally captivated sea of humans moving and shouting lyrics back to Nahko and Medicine for the People. I think he might have one of the most dedicated fan bases, the passion and love his listeners have for him is unlike anything I’ve seen.
My favorite moment of the night was the last set, Nas. Amp Live opened with a DJ set full of 90’s throwback’s and I danced my little heart out with the other photographers in the pit as we waited for Nas’ set to start. The crowd was getting so pumped up. After his opening song he jokingly reminded us that he’s been making albums since cassette tapes were a thing. His set included a remix of the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” and his powerful ballad to the children “I Can”.
Catch tomorrow’s recap of Day 3! I’ll catch you up on Iya Terra, Thievery Corporation, Jurassic 5, Jah9 and more.