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Iration and UB40’s Spectacular Night at Red Rocks

Iration and UB40’s Spectacular Night at Red Rocks

Richard Mosko

May 27th, 2019

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On May 23rd, Iration graced Red Rocks with their music on their “Live From Paradise” tour. The band hails from Hawaii with a modern reggae feel. Co-headlining with reggae Pioneers UB40 (featuring Ali and Astro), this was Iration’s first time headlining Red Rocks! Openers included Fiji, with special guest Nattali Rize, Fortunate Youth, and Toots and the Maytals.


Photo Credit: Team Iration

Upon entering the Red Rocks gates, the views were quite cloudy, the ground was muddy and most people were decked out in ponchos avoiding the cold drizzle. Despite the weather the attendees all seemed to be upbeat and with a positive, anticipatory vibe. As the gates opened and the first act began to play, it was a breeze getting into the show.

 The old school reggae tunes that Fiji brought out had the crowd bumping and smiling, some with joyful tears in their eyes. The moist, cold and cloudy weather certainly wasn’t dampening the high love energy. Fortunate Youth came with a much fresher, upbeat, “young surfer” reggae vibe, similar to bands like Pepper and Slightly Stoopid.

 Toots and the Maytals brought back a lot of great memories for this writer as well as a lot of the older crowd. It was a blessing to hear reggae music from some of the greatest original artists. As Toots and the Maytals ended their set, the clouds had parted revealing clear blue skies for the setting sun.

 UB40 entered the stage with a deep, welcoming wave of bass and dived into classic songs like “(I can’t help) Falling in Love With You,” from their 1993 album Promises and Lies. followed by “Red Red Wine,” from the 1983 album Labour of Love and “Version Girl” from the same album. This included a large amount of the attendees singing along and embracing each other with smiles all over.  The older band members were all high energy and using a lot of the stage as they interacted with the crowd through their entire set. They closed out with another booming wave of bass as they exited the stage. At this point it already felt like everyone was on a Caribbean island in the sun, sipping Jamaican rum, even though it was so cold at Red Rocks.

 After UB40, a short break led in to Iration’s set as they opened up with a fan favorite “Time Bomb,” from their second album also titled Time Bomb. The band was illuminated by neon sign behind them that read: Live From Paradise, in all capital letters. Iration is much younger than most of the bands that played, closer to the age of Fortunate Youth. This was apparent in their music, especially when they dropped an instrumental ska version of Blink 182’s hit, “What’s My Age Again?”.  That surprise lit up a lot of the crowd, bringing back pop punk and ska memories from the early 2000’s. They followed up with some more popular songs like “Automatic” and “One Way Track,” from the eclectic 2013 album Automatic, which the band says, mostly describes their music, displaying their full range of styles

Overall this was a great modern reggae show. More of a lovey, family friendly reggae concert vibe than a raging party, though still definitely a wonderful celebration. We look forward to see this music again and hope to see all of these talented musicians return to Red Rocks and the Denver area in general.


For a full live stream recap of the Iration show check out this link!:

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