By Jared LaFosse-Baker
Thursday night July 8th in Hampton Beach NH was a gathering of amazing music and pure love! This show was supposed to be hosted at Bernie’s Beach Bar, but a storm that night had other plans. The sold out show with 800 people was moved over to Wally’s. Which was conveniently located right behind Bernies. With Wally’s being a smaller venue this just meant the vibes would be that much closer!
Opening up the show was north shore homies Over The Bridge and they brought the heat that a headliner brings! It was amazing seeing all the fans and friends come out early to support OTB. The crowd filled in wall to wall when the boys took the stage. Wally’s was thumping as they played, feeding their fans the music they have been jamming to for months! It was great hearing the music they finally got to record being played live again, especially being able to see and feel the energy coming off the crowd when everyone in the room knew the words and music. All the while a poster stood on the side of bass rocker Michael L. Paul (Mike Paul) doing what he loved, playing music with his fam. The poster stands there as a memorial to the band’s brother whose life was cut far too short back in 2019. MP was loved by all who met him, he exuded a sense of energy that everyone could be happy around. So it’s easy to understand how a room full of fans could feel his presence at that show and the band felt it as well. You could see it in their smiles and you could hear it in their music!
OTB kicking the night off with big energy!
Next up was Artikal Sound System, a South Florida reggae band with caribbean inspired vibes. They bring a funky island style sound with messages of good times and love for everyone. That night they really brought those vibes to the show. At this point the crowd was even bigger with more energy than they knew what to do with after OTBs soul filling set! Artikal Sound System put out great vibes throughout their whole set. It was the first time I got to see them live so I was very excited! Seeing the crowd sway with the bands every note was magical. The people at Wally’s were grooving to every beat and entranced by the good-vibe lyrics. So, it was easy to see how this band brings out an awesome group of fans to every show!
Bumpin Uglies closing out the night!
Finally Bumpin Uglies came on and the place went wild! When the Maryland based band took the stage, the 800 fans in that building erupted with pure excitement. They bring a style to the stage that can’t be recreated by any other band. With a fusion of reggae, rock, punk, ska and a dash of Brandon Hardesty style creates an amazing sound that has something for everyone. The lyrics he writes are lessons we can all relate to. From messages of struggling with substance misuse, to songs about working hard to get what you want despite the naysayers! The band came out strong at this show and kept that energy output going during the whole set. Playing new songs and old ones you could tell everyone in the spot knew each song. Moving and grooving to each guitar lyric and drum kick. As the crowd belted out the lyrics with Brandon you could feel the love resonating throughout the venue. They left the stage but everyone knew they would come back for an epic encore and they did!
Brandon and Logan crushing Too Stoned!
Brandon jumped back on stage with an acoustic guitar to jam with the crowd more. He played some more songs and even brought out lead singer for Artikal Sound System Logan Rex. She sang on a new song for Bumping Uglies called Too Stoned. A smooth acoustic jam about something most smokers know all too much about, just being too stoned. Hearing this song live was an experience I had been looking forward to as soon as I heard the two bands were touring together! After the acoustic set finished up Brandon brought out some friends and Michael Forgette and David James Campbell (from OTB) to do some freestyle rapping to close out this breathtaking show!
The night comes to an end:
Leaving the show I still felt the energy from the event. Starting with Over The Bridge opening set, where they fed my home state vibes with their awesome sound and soulful lyrics giving me goosebumps from start to finish. Then, Artikal Sound System viby set filled the middle with good vibes and groovy lyrics. Finishing the show Bumpin Uglies brought the crowd big time energy with their classic jams. They gave the fans what they wanted: high vibes and epic sounds with the lyrics they love singing loud! At the end of the day if you missed this show you missed a life changing event, filled with love, joy and great memories! Next time these bands have shows don’t sleep on it, get a ticket and enjoy the experience!