Jamaica @ Soundwave San Diego Jamaica @ Soundwave San Diego

Jamaica @ Soundwave

Jamaica @ Soundwave
Photos by Rob Schell

Jamaica is not a reggae band.  Nor are they from Jamaica.  They are from Paris, France, they play grungy, energetic indie rock and they just kicked off their first North America tour.  Having gained significant and loyal following in their home market, Jamaica is bravely striking towards new horizons, an endeavor not for the faint of heart (Jamaica is many things, but faint of heart is not one of them).

The starting point of their tour was in San Diego at Soundwave, where they played on a drizzly Wednesday night to a crowd of about 25 people.  While many bands might mistake this as a bad omen or a discouraging turnout, Jamaica rightfully did not.  Like true champions they made light of the situation, offering their condolences to the crowd for the fact that most of the San Diego population had clearly been wiped out in some sort of great catastrophe.  Jamaica’s attitude further endeared an already-excited crowd.  There is something to be said about seeing a band as part of a minute audience, especially if you are already a fan.  It creates a bonding experience with fellow audience members in knowing that you are privy to something that the rest of the world is missing.  It creates a closer connection to the band in the increased likelihood that the band is actually hearing your cheers and your applause, responding to your energy.

Photos by Rob Schell

Jamaica understood all of these phenomena and capitalized on them while playing their show at the Soundwave in San Diego.  They put everything they had into their music and distributed it to the audience, each person receiving industrial quantities.  During their final climactic song, lead singer/guitarist Antoine handed his guitar to an audience member (mid-solo) and wandered over to assist with the drums, allowing the enthralled audience member to perform his own version of the guitar solo.

Jamaica delivered a show bigger than the audience and it was one that I think every audience member will remember.  If they continue to rock the rest of their tour the way they did San Diego, Jamaica is sure to explode throughout North America…at which point the 25 of us that saw them in San Diego can proudly say “remember when we got that private show at the Soundwave!”



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