By Priya Hutner ·
June 26 | 12:30 p.m.
$45 | $90 VIP | $10 12 and younger | Free 6 and younger
Hard Rock Casino | Stateline, Nev.
Matisyahu, Iration headline Reggae Festival
Matisyahu and Iration co-headline the 3rd annual Lake Tahoe Reggae Festival in an all-day, outdoor festival at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on June 27. The festival also features The Green, Don Carlos, Fortunate Youth, Vokab Kompany and Squarefield Massive.
Festivalgoers will enjoy a special treat when Matisyahu perform songs from his fifth album, “Akeda.”
“Akeda is the story of when Abraham went up the mountain to sacrifice his son,” Matisyahu says. It is a reflection of the changes that have taken place in his life after a long period of much change in the artists’ life.
“This album is an organic, natural evolution of who I am,” Matisyahu adds.
While many of the songs on the album retain his reggae vibes and other songs stay true to his hip hop roots, many of the songs offer a new sound and departure from Matisyahu’s previous work. “The Hard Way” and “Sick For So Long” reflect the depth of his transition and continuing evolution.
Matisyahu was born into the Jewish faith and after a number of years of hard times as a teenager he says that he came out of his darkness and converted to the Hassidic faith. He has since taken off his yarmulke, shaved his beard and experienced a shift in his life.
“That’s what this album represents,” Matisyahu said. “I need to trust my own intuition. I realized this is my life and I don’t want to live by anyone else’s rules,” he added.
Matisyahu is known for his interactive shows and depth of connection with the audience. “It’s important to create an experience and tap into the feelings and emotions of the audience,” he shared. “I don’t feel my shows are necessarily as much about entertainment, but more about creating a show where people can feel that connection.”
A new venture is planned for Matisyahu this fall as he begins a new tour, “Live at Stubbs: A 10th Anniversary.”
“It will be a lot of improvisation and a very spiritually oriented show,” Matisyahu says.
Blending reggae, Hawaiian sounds
Also performing at the Tahoe Reggae Festival is The Green from Oahu, Hawaii. Their music is positive, upbeat and full of loving reggae sounds.
“We love life, and where we come from. We celebrate that and are super thankful for everything in our lives,” says Zion Thompson, one of the band’s lead vocalist and guitarist.
“Our music weaves the Hawaiian culture with reggae music. When reggae came to Hawaii in the ‘70s it caught fire. Reggae resonates with the Hawaiian culture,” Thompson said. “When we went to Jamaica, there was so much that resonated, it was a very similar environment, the same plants, birds and water, and the nature and connection to the music was inspiring.”
The Green brings Hawaiian culture to the mainland, says Thompson.
“Life is about awareness, constant growth and education. It is part of what we write and our music. It’s about our experience of life and sharing the wisdom of what we learn along the way. We are all one,” he says.
On their latest album, “Hawaii’13,” the first song is a chant sung by Hawaiian youth. Written by Hina Wong Kalu, the chant, “He Mele No Lu’u Hawai’I” translates as “for my Hawaii.”
“It is a call to our ancestors,” explains Thompson.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit hardrockcasinolaketahoe.com.