Katchafire Brings the Fire to Hollywood

Sara Purington

Dreadlocks, “Redemption Song,” Jah, red, green and yellow, were all part of the fire at the ideal Katchafire show at the Roxy Theatre in Hollywood last Thursday night.

A packed Roxy Theatre and the Polynesian Underground hosted New Zealand’s number one reggae band Katchafire opened by Rebel Souljahz and Bohdi Rock. The show kicked off with a performance by Bohdi Rock, as the band got the small crowd fired up with some sultry vocals from the band’s female singer. The crowd grooved on with the engaging brass trio of trumpet, trombone and saxophone. And the guitar player got into the zone during his solo as he whipped around his blond locks.

After Bohdi Rock’s set, the growing crowd started to chant for Katchafire, but their call had to wait. Luckily, the Hawaiian-based group Rebel Souljahz began their performance and staved off the audience’s hunger.

The Rebel Souljahz brought the heat with their rhythmic performance and got the crowd moving. Soon a mysterious haze seemed to cover the smoky mob. They sang some of their own songs like “Skankin” and also some classics like “One Love.” The four leading men, Mike Maglinti, Will Su’a, Andrew “Bubba” Hodges and Kulani Cozo quenched the audience’s thirst for banging bass beats that could be felt vibrating through ones body. Their performance was a perfect preparation for Katchafire as they engaged the crowd and really got the show going.

Finally, around 11 p.m. after three hours of waiting the anticipation came to a peak as Katchafire came to the stage greeted by overwhelming applause. The packed audience couldn’t have been more satisfied as one song converged into the next as everyone bobbed, bounced, danced, and jumped. After about the sixth song sweat began to drip from saxaphonist/keyboardist/vocalist Jamey Ferguson’s big bald head.

The band’s performace was never lacking.

Katchafire caught that fire as the audience went crazy when they started singing the beginning words “Seriously, it’s been a long time since I’ve heard from thee,” from their hit song “Seriously,” which had the crowd singing every line of the chorus “Shine-eyed girl the one that I’ll never know.” They also sang their song “Rude Girl,” which lead vocalist and gutairist Logan Bell dedicated to the ladies. The crowd couldn’t get enough when they performed the Bob Marley classic “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” with the audience shouting out every word.

When they finished their set, the crowd begged for more by chanting their name which led them back for an encore performance including “Redemption Song.”

Katchfire definitely brought the fire which was evident from a hazy cloud of smoke. The show was exactly what would be expected from any reggae concert which for any reggae enthusiast is satisfactory.