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  • John Geiger

The Island Glow Tour celebrates 20 years of Dirty Heads

The Island Glow Tour 2023 stopped at TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park on Thursday July 6th, 2023, a concert/party celebrating the 20th anniversary of SoCal-based band Dirty Heads.

Rockers Dirty Heads were not the only must-see music act on the stage that night as they brought along friends Tropidelic and G. Love & Special Sauce to party with fans as if they were on a sunny beach.

The night started with Tropidelic’s style, a blend of reggae rock, hip-hop, and high-energy funk. It didn’t take much time before fans were jumping and hopping around in sync with the band. The enthusiasm and energy were contagious. So much so, that the band smartly stopped the show so medics could attend to a concertgoer who was overtaken by the heat. It was nice to see an orderly and courteous crowd help staff and medics get to the person in need.

Afterward, Tropidelic quickly got the fans back to the mood, bringing back the festive atmosphere with lead vocalist, Matthew Roads, lead guitarist Bobby Chronic, along with David Pags on bass, Rex Larkman on drums, Rob Shafer on trumpet, and James Begin on trombone. (You can pick up music by Tropidelic from Indy CD & Vinyl HERE)

Tropidelic live at TCU Amphitheater in Indianapolis
Tropidelic live at TCU Amphitheater in Indianapolis

I first saw the next band, G. Love & Special Sauce, perform live in Chicago back in 1999 while they were promoting their 4th studio album “Philadelphonic” - which I still highly recommend. 24 years later those same three musicians, G. Love (aka Garrett Dutton) on guitar, Jeffrey Clemens on drums, and Jim Prescott on string bass are still providing crowds a great opportunity to dance along with their signature "sloppy and laid back" sound. (You can pick up music by G. Love & Special Sauce from Indy CD & Vinyl HERE)

G.Love live at TCU Amphitheater in Indianapolis
G.Love live at TCU Amphitheater in Indianapolis

By this time, the amphitheater was packed and getting even hotter as staff and security were handing out cups of water to the crowd while waiting for the main event. Then everything changed. Dirty Heads hit the stage with their hit “Heavy Water,” and it seemed as if a cool island breeze washed out from the stage during the sweltering hot evening. Lead guitarist Duddy B (aka Dustin Bushnell) broke out his wah-wah guitar pedal to create their signature good-feeling summertime vibe music, and the crowd knew every word and sang along with lead singer Dirty J (aka Jared Watson) to the next hit “Medusa."

Dirty Heads live at TCU Amphitheater in Indianapolis
Dirty Heads live at TCU Amphitheater in Indianapolis

Fans can tell that Dirty Heads have an absolute blast when they perform. The other members, Jon Olazabal, Matt Ochoa, David Foral, and Shawn Gonzalez, help combine into a sweet mix thier fusion-reggae-ska-funk-hip-hop-punk-rock that’s fun to dance along with. Their super energetic performance included other favorites like “Vacation,” and the finale of the night was “Island Glow” off their newest album.

If you’re looking to kick up your summer with upbeat party surf music, fun rhythms, and the relaxed vibe of feel-good lyrics complete with trumpet and trombone, Dirty Heads are the accessible, authentic, soulful, and powerful artists that you should have in your collection.

The band released their 8th studio album 'Midnight Control' in August 2022 which featured 10 all-new songs plus their take on Joe Walsh’s 1978 hit “Life’s Been Good.” The Island Glow Tour celebrates 20 years of Dirty Heads. (You can pick up music by Dirty Heads from Indy CD & Vinyl HERE)

John Geiger for Indy CD & Vinyl

Check out the entire concert photo gallery:

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