REVIEW: Iration at Summerfest 2021
It was a perfect end of summer day when the good vibes only band, Iration, took to the stage. It was a welcome treat to have a more well-known band play at 4 PM. The sun was shining, the crowd was feeling the vibes and reggae was pumping through the speakers. As Iration came out, the crowd began to roar as they stepped right into it with “Always Gold”. Within seconds Iration had the crowd swaying and dancing to their hit. And just like that I knew that we were in for something special.
Iration is a reggae/pop group from Santa Barbara, California. All members originally hail from Hawaii. They play a mix of reggae, dub, pop and rock. The group is one of the leading bands in the genre of sunshine reggae. The 13 year old band has built a following over the years which lead to their surprisingly full 4 PM show at Summerfest. The island ispired reggae draws from other big hitters in the genre like Pepper and 311. While not as big as other acts in the genre they fit in perfectly as openers to warm the crowd up for the larger bands. One thing that stands out with Iration is their catchy lyrics and easy to follow beats that allow fans to dance and sing with the band.
As previously mentioned Iration has no trouble getting the audience to get their fans into a groove. Out of all the Summerfest shows I’ve seen this year Iration hands down had the most interaction with the audience. Sometimes this can come as a direction, but in this particular case, it was a welcome surprise. Whether it was getting people to sway from side to side or skank in place, the lead singer controlled the audience like a puppet master. And it was a ton of fun!
As the show went on, hit after hit was played including crowd favorites Summer Nights, Reelin, and Time Bomb, which got people jamming with the band. The highlight was the welcomed solos by each member of the band members particularly the horns which had people reacting more than any other instrument, myself included. At one point there was even a cover of Redbone’s titular hit “Come and Get Your Love.” Made popular again by the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack. Despite being a 4 PM show it was clear that the crowd was loving Iration and everything they were putting out.
As the show was coming to a close there were still a few songs I was surprised that they didn’t get to play, gearing up for an encore, but it appears they hit their time limit and the band had ended. Leaving all of us want more, more reggae, more good vibes. Till next time I suppose!
Iration is one of those agnostic bands in the sense that even if you don’t regularly listen to that type of music there is something for everyone to like. Loads of songs to sing along with, dance around and have a fantastic time. I can’t wait to see Iration time and time again. If you haven’t listened to them yet, I highly recommend checking them out.