Where: Santa Barbara Bowl
When: Sunday, 6 p.m.
Information: sbbowl.com or 962-7411
“Coming from Isla Vista, it was always our dream to play the Santa Barbara Bowl,” Eric Rachmany told the News-Press. On Sunday night the singer, guitarist, and lyricist of Grammy-nominated reggae-rock band Rebelution will take the stage of the Santa Barbara Bowl with keyboardist Rory Carey, drummer Wesley Finley, and bassist Marley D. Williams for the fourth stop of the Good Vibes Summer Tour 2019, which the band is headlining. The frontman said Sunday’s show will be the “fifth or sixth” time the band has performed at the venue.
Playing the Santa Barbara Bowl is always a special occasion for the group and during those particular shows, Mr. Rachmany always takes a moment to remind the audience of Santa Barbara’s importance to Rebelution. According to a press release, the band formed in 2004 in Isla Vista, where Mr. Rachmany and his band mates were attending college at UCSB. The band released its debut album “Courage to Grow” in 2007 and has released six albums since then.
The concert will feature a set list of tracks from all of the band’s releases, but will feature a sizeable amount of material from early in the band’s catalogue, as many of those in attendance will be dedicated fans who have followed the band from the beginning.
“In a place like Santa Barbara especially, we need to play some of the old stuff, the fan favorites,” Mr. Rachmany said.
One of Mr. Rachmany’s favorite aspects of performing live is hearing the audience sing the band’s songs back to him and his bandmates, which gives them a feeling “that never gets old.” Offstage, the band gets no shortage of fan mail, much of it fans expressing how one of the band’s concerts moved them to tears or how Rebelution’s music got them through hard times. Mr. Rachmany said of this warm reception, “It’s what keeps us going.”
As the band’s lyricist, Mr. Rachmany hopes to continue helping Rebelution’s fans get through difficult times in life. When asked to name his favorite lyrical teams, he said “encouragement.”
“I want to continue to encourage and motivate people,” he said.
As of late, the singer has also enjoyed writing lyrics about “acceptance” and “feeling comfortable in your own skin.” These themes are apparent in “Celebrate,” a song about celebrating the differences between people and the first track from the band’s most recent studio album, 2018’s “Free Reign.”
Sunday’s show will feature songs from the new album, which Mr. Rachmany described as “especially personal.” Though a vast majority of the songs on all of Rebelution’s albums come from its four members, the singer said that the creativity on “Free Reign” was more “internal” than previous releases and less dependent on outside input such as producers.
Though Mr. Rachmany’s musical influences are numerous and go beyond reggae, his biggest influence within the genre for which Rebelution is known is Jamaican singer Don Carlos, with whom the band collaborated on a track from its 2014 album “Count Me In” entitled “Roots Reggae Music.” Mr. Carlos was the first artist that Mr. Rachmany saw in concert, an experience that left an indelible mark on him. As much as he likes reggae recordings, Mr. Rachmany’s favorite aspect of the genre is its live sound.
“There’s nothing like a live reggae show… I didn’t really hear reggae music until I heard it live,” he said.
Rebelution’s Santa Barbara Bowl concert begins at 6 p.m. and remaining tickets can be purchased on the venue’s website sbbowl.com. The show will also feature special guests Protoje and Durand Jones & The Indications.