A pungent breath of marijuana welcomed the array of subculture as they stepped into Antone’s this past Saturday night. You could tell by the already blood-shot eyes that the majority of those filtering through the doors of Sixth Street’s original club (now located at Fifth and Lavaca) had not only brought their “stash” along for the night, but a collection of good vibes to go with it. Through just a glance at our scenery, it was safe to say that—in between the tokes—this crowd was deeply rooted in the soul of Tribal Seeds’ music genre.
At a show such as this one, it’s unnecessarily advised to have at least three servings of the sticky icky at your own convenient discretion. Especially those that came out early to catch local act Ashes of Babylon, and their brass section, light the fire for what kind of show was in store for both Tribal Seeds’ and Ballyhoo!’s last show on the Night & Day 2012 Tour.
Ballyhoo!, a rock, pop, punk, reggae-influenced band out of Baltimore, contributed to let the flames lick at their heels with their pop-rock-ish set opener, “Quest for a Boner,” which coincidentally turned the crowd on and set the pace for what would turn into a night of jam-band spontaneous combustion—with a hint of smooth, tangy reggae. The band’s Neal Patrick Harris-resembling lead vocals and guitar provoked an unrestrained sound from their four-man group. Underneath an energetic ability to connect with a crowd and a madman as a bassist, Ballyhoo! had a very visible layer of Brad Nowell-like influence. Which only serves as a reminder of how bands like Sublime and 311 have helped to inspire a generation of ska-rock musicians. The middle set of the night went on to wreak a kind of compulsive enthusiasm when pulling out fan favorites like “Cali Girl” and “Diamonds” before closing out with “Cerveza” to a already sweat-drenched, heaving audience of passive—yet wired—pot enthusiasts.
The six members of Tribal Seeds lackadaisically climbed onto stage in their mellow manner once Ballyhoo! finished thanking the Austin crowd. Songs like “In Your Eyes” and “Beautiful Mysterious” from behind the black wayfarer sunglass frames of Steven Jacobo, lead vocals and guitar, helped a crowd of dancing hippies and mods alike to oblige themselves to a type of bong-mitzvah through their maintained, flowing sound. They went on to drop other tracks from their album, The Harvest, while a swirl of bandanas and flat bill hats began to clammer and stutter in a makeshift mosh-pit.
After saying their thank-you’s and goodbyes to the crowd, the headlining act continued to walk off stage. That was until the fans demanded otherwise. The twisted variety in attendance continued to chant the band’s name until its members all reappeared on stage for one last hooray. “Vampires,” their encore of choice, prompted an all-out jam session between the members of Tribal Seeds, the Neal Patrick Harris-look alike lead man of Ballyhoo! and other dreadlocked musicians that had performed that night only to assimilate a complete force of a head-rocking maniacs, each taking a turn behind the mic to lay down a refreshing reggae lyrical riff of their own.
Following one last toast of appreciation to their fans, the members made their way back to their bus while the audience finished the last rip of their herb before climbing through a cloud of smoke for the exit.