The Common Kings came to NYC last year, but the winter put an end to the show before it even started. A blizzard hit and the show was snowed out. Having missed them last year, I had to be there this time around and it seems NYC was finally ready. Nothing could be the more perfect setting then a 70 degree March Wednesday evening, putting everyone in a good mood and ready for a great show. Make sure you check back for the full interview we had with them before this show.
The show started with a set by local Long Island band Oogee Wawa. At 7:00pm there is usually an empty house, with stragglers grabbing beers, close friends and family and a few diehard fans. But Oogee Wawa is no normal band. They opened their set to an almost full house. After touring extensively, they have built up a large fan base who made sure they were well represented here in their home town. With upbeat tracks like Tips and more somber numbers like Jump Off they set the tone for the night. Oogee Wawa’s awesome mix of reggae, rock and hip hop showed why they have such a big local fan base and have been honored with opening for Steel Pulse when they come to town. I can’t wait for their next show.
Following a rocking opening set, Tomorrow Bad Seeds took the stage. They have been performing with Common Kings throughout this tour and this was my first opportunity to see them live. As soon as they started, the crowd was jumping, another group with loyal fans, no matter what city they are in. After a few songs to fire up the crowd, they paused to say, “I know it’s not legal here…” encouraging the crowd to fire up a spliff as they rocked a great rendition of Vices.
As soon as they had the crowd jumping and singing along they broke into some amazing covers, running the range from The Humpty Dance by Digital Underground, Everyday People by Sly & The Family Stone and an incredible cover of Snoop Dogg.
There are two things I judge a band by: their studio music and their live shows. Common Kings, being the incredible and humble band that they are then brought both previous acts on stage for a huge group session of Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds. It was amazing to see the genuine friendships between members with arms around shoulders. It was a great representation of how I describe California reggae and one of the reasons I like this band. After a 15 minute rendition of Three Little Birds, by all three bands, I assumed the show was over, but Common Kings delivered more.
Song after song they continued their set, calling out to the crowd, “can we do one more?” Classic tracks like Wade In Your Water came out one after another as they played half a dozen more. It was a truly incredible show, blending so many great types of music in one band and left fans exhausted from dancing. If you have the chance make sure you see Common Kings next time they come to NYC, no matter what the weather.