Iration ‘Hot Up’ Hollywood Palladium

S.B. Reggae-Rock Stalwarts Still Going Strong

o celebrate the release of their latest album Hotting Up, Hawaiian-born, Santa Barbara-grown Iration ended their latest tour in familiar California. The five-piece reggae group hosted their last show of the Hotting Up tour on November 14 at the Hollywood Palladium, much to the excitement of their massive Southern Californian fan base.

After laid-back opening acts The Green and Hours Eastly, Iration took to the stage under multi-colored lights. The five-piece spread themselves out with frontman, Micha Pueschel, leading in the center, while to the farthest right stood a young female artist who painted a rendition of the Hotting Up album cover throughout the set.

During the opening song, the latest hit single “Reelin,” the painter swayed with the music but continued to add alternating textures and vivid colors to the image. Iration’s energy grew and filled the entire venue with the second song from their 2010 album, Turn Around.

The band were consummate crowd-pleasers as they engaged the audience with fan throwback, “Wait and See” from 2008’s Sample This. Bassist Adam Taylor swayed his arm high from right to left and bounced with the beat, and the audience obediently fell under his spell, rocking their heads from side to side.

Iration continued to play their favorite tracks and the fan favorites, new and old alike, without interruption. Fourth song “Electricity” seemed to be a band favorite, with even the stoic Pueschel moving his hips and letting out a laugh or two. His voice is the highlight of this track as every lyric can be distinguishably heard and his talent is simply undeniable.

After some brief gratitude and a hearty “What’s up, L.A.?” from Pueschel, he lead his boys into “Midnight,” with its fierce bass solo, and another classic, “Let Me Inside.” They played more Hotting Up numbers, including “867,” “Lost and Found,” and “Stay Awake,” before taking on the reggae classic, Bob Marley’s “Is This Love.” The audience echoed Pueschel’s every word, and the sense of overwhelming love, peace and fun filled the space. Pair this with the updated melodies and synths of Iration, and the classic evolved into a more rocking version of itself.

The second cover of the night was Tom Petty’s “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” which was accompanied by a fittingly aggressive smoke machine. The band then concluded their set with an Iration staple from their debut EP, Falling, but the night wasn’t over yet. After continuous fan pleas, Iration stepped back on stage with an encore and played “Summer Nights.”

Unfortunately, the speakers tapped out during the encore and the audience couldn’t hear a single lyric or beat of the drum. Iration continued to play with lack of amplification. Then after repairing the technical difficulties the band announced that they were back and played another favorite, “Timebomb.”

Iration lived up to their reputation of constantly carrying that casual, surfer vibe. Even after all these years, they still play as if they were jamming in a neighbor’s garage with all their closest friends. Iration’s music is for the moment and for the good times, and their live show echoes just that.

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