Native Elements

Standing outside under Curry Up Now’s awning, Jose Pangan, Chris Cortez, and I make small talk. They just finished their performance. They are still sweating.

What does reggae mean to you?

Jose Pangan: Positive messages and the true stories of life. It’s a good way to express yourself.

Chris Cortez: It’s life. Rest a bit from the daily grind. I turn to reggae to turn it off. It beams of sunshine. It hits your soul. It’s the freedom to express yourself.

Peter Hadden walks towards us, carrying his umbrella.

“Vibes, feeling, love.”

JP: I’ve never expressed myself that way. I wrote a song for my grandmother. It was moving. It expresses pure love and undeniable pain.

How do you get along with each others’ musical differences and preferences?

JP: We are brothers, a family. It’s rare you hang out with younger friends. We’re a community.

What does it mean to be in a band?

CC: Our band has a common feel for love and respect. And we have good taste. [laughs]

Do you need 420 to make music?

JP: Not necessarily but it enhances the creative process. It’s a getaway to medicate, to think open-minded and reset.

How was the crowd this evening?

JP: We draw energy from the crowd. Feel the energy and you rise up more. It’s the hometown crowd.

I go back into the venue because its raining and cold. I’m in the green room again to avoid the crowd. I want silence. Inside, Chris Cortez sings “War” by Bob Marley as he packs his drum sticks. “You should check it out. It’s a long speech,” he says as he departs.

While listening to Sol Horizon perform, I jot down how I’m feeling. I write:

I am still ringing in the sounds of “Lively Up Yourself.” It’s a huge birthday party even the concert goers are singing on their way out. The green room, a place where I seek new shelter for my newfound positive vibes always from the sweaty bodies and crowd, I am manifesting my dreams, sober thinking, sober living. This new music trails my dreams to live on and to think more openly rather than closed minded. I am vulnerable and open my heart to music as free and shining as life is suppose to be from the get go.

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