Trinbagonian band shares sweet Soca at largest US Reggae Festival

Kes the Band literally brought the sunshine and Soca to Monterey, California last weekend as the band of brothers performed at the twelfth edition of the annual music festival produced by Good Vibez Presents. Held at the Monterey County Fairgrounds in the quaint and cosy coastal town situated on the west coast of the United States, the four-day festival featured an ecclectic range of performers, creatives, merchandisers, visual artists and restaurateurs amongst thousands of music-loving fans and patrons.

Challenged with the task of introducing Soca for the first time live on the main stage after an overcast morning (with temperatures dipping in the 12 - 14 degree Celcius range on day 3), Kes wasted no time in delivering their unique blend of Carnival energy. Enhanced with catchy hooks, conscious lyrics and cool Caribbean melodies, slangs and fun references, the number one trending Soca band delivered infectious songs like "Hello", "Falling", "People", "Jub Jub" and "Wotless". As Soca music reverberated throughout the spacious and well organized venue, the music-loving, marijuna-indulgant, recycle-friendly audience soon gathered in the main bowl to experience the Trini music they had only heard mentioned and described previously.

"It's shows like these that make the Carnival circuit fun," said Dieffenthaller minutes before taking the stage. "Ah like when it's a new crowd and they're not familiar with the music so we get to teach them first and see how they react and respond and just have fun with it. This venue is rooted in music history as the stage where Jimi Hendrix burnt his guitar and the town itself is famous for hosting so many great festivals and even being the precursor to Woodstock and that whole freedom movement. So it's an honor to be included on the CaliRoots cast and we're happy to be the first to represent for Soca out here also."

@CaliRootsFest patrons enjoying Soca music

A section of the audience gets engaged by Kes

a few T&T flags were spotted in the crowd

Churning the captivated audience into a sea of swirling rags and flags, Kees commanded hands to wave left and right and received immediate compliance, so much so that even percussionist, Robbie Persaud got in on the action and directed one side of the assembly in a contest of participation with the eventual result being a united show of involvement. Maintaining the conscious vibe of the festival while adding a slice of Carnival energy, Kes delivered on the promise of Soca.

"It's all about the vibe, you know," said Good Vibez Pesents Founder, Dan Sheehan in an interview with Overtime Media. "We always want to showcase new music and talent, but it has to fit the vibe and fit into flow of the day. Kes is a perfect example because we know that Kes deserves a later slot on the card like - that's where they should be - because they're awesome! But then, we have to consider that there are other bands that are more known in this community and are literally selling more tickets and have been for years - and its the music business after all, so we can't discount that and we still have to look at the flow of each day and the vibe that we're cultivating, so it's tough and challenging every time..."

Following the band's energetic and engaging set, which immediately illicited tonnes of cheers, applause and positive comments on the festival's live streaming broadcast, Kees was interviewed by local and regional media outlets before checking out the many booths and separate stages at the festival. Later that night he hit the stage again as a special guest on Shaggy's set and received a rousing welcome as the pair shared their hit collaboration, "Mood". 

"Big up to Shaggy every time. We have shows in Orlando from tomorrow or I would love to stay and take in the rest of it," Dieffenthller added, after linking up with Collie Buddz and Ineffable Records President backstage, Adam Gross backstage. "I love the energy and the vibe here - it's rare to assemble so many like-minded people - or as we say kindred spirits - in one place, so it was our first time, but I doubt it will be our last..."