Part 2 of 2
Next up was another Arizona band with Island roots that run deep. Although this group happens to feature a close-personal friend of mine, I’ve never pulled punches when critiquing his performances. Real friends, keep it real!
Precision is not a word often used in reggae/island genre but this group immediately brings that to mind. The exacting melodies and harmonies were above most any group reggae or otherwise. The flow of their groove elevated the mood and seemed to disappoint the crowd when the show was over because no one wanted the jam to end. The thing about this group is that they are traditionally island influenced and literally hailed from an island such as Hawaii or New Zealand.
If you plan on hitting up a Kava show soon, give them room to perform. No joking. They number in the hundreds. Okay now I’m joking, seriously though they put about 10 members on the stage and travel really well. The Kava Nation brings out fans by the car load and all are very supportive. That type of support doesn’t happen by accident. This group is on to something and I wish them the best of luck in continuing to grow as artists.
Performance wise, with that many members on stage it can be hard to get organized. I did notice the stage was on the smaller side and only being creative can help. The band is fronted by a quartet of complimentary singers and is backed by tremendous musicians. Balance is critical for a group this size and I never felt that they found it on this night. I’m used to a traditional staging of background singers to a side leaving room for growth through a set and a chance for instrumentalists and vocal solos to take stage-center.
Again, the stage was working against them and might have been the smallest they’ve ever seen. If they could add anything to the group it would be some female voices. A true alto/soprano would broaden the range and give them a new sound that would help to distinguish them from the rest. Especially considering the real island background Kava has. The amazing fact is this group is so new and has some serious backers behind it. The Kava that flows is legit. Mahalo!
The entire night was terrific and I’d do it all over again if I had the chance. Consider each group on its own is good enough to carry a night by themselves and it stands to reason why you’d be remiss to miss their next show. So do yourself a favor, become a fan and don’t miss out on the fun!
BeEasy! -Sonny Flex
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