The security guards were more than a bit frisky.
As I approached the entrance, I emptied my pockets onto the table: a notebook, my wallet, house keys, two pens, and a guitar pick. He gave me a pat down, asked if I had any food, liquid, or drugs, quickly flipped through the pocket sized notebook, opened my wallet, and smelled my guitar pick… seriously, he put my guitar pick up to his nose and gave it a solid sniff. After further inspection, he told me I was good to go.
There was an immediate bond between the concertgoers as everyone who walked into the venue immediately exchanged the universal “what the fuck just happened?” expression. The confusion wore off quickly, though, as Zach Deputy rollicked through his set. Deputy describes his music as “Island-infused drum n’ bass gospel ninja soul” and that description is as apt as it gets. Armed with a handful of mics, a guitar, keyboard and a beat machine, Deputy is one of the few artists still riding the one-man looping band trend of years past. Hailing from North Carolina, Deputy uses dynamics, his wide array of vocal and guitar effects, and driving beats to propel his shows from solo sets, to reggae-tinged dance parties. The soulful quality of his voice is apparent. Deputy closed with his 2011 single “Into The Morning.”
The fact that Iration can fill downtown Reno’s Cargo Concert Hall on a Tuesday speaks volumes about the drawing power of reggae in Northern Nevada and Iration’s choice to include Jamaican artist Protoje says just as much about their commitment to the genre they love.
Protoje is at the forefront of what many are considering the reggae revival. Not unlike how Sturgill Simpson and Chris Stapleton lead the country revival here in the states, reggae also is returning to its roots with an emphasis on conscious lyrical content and live instrumentation. Protoje’s band The InDiggNation was as engaging as it was talented. Members took turns dancing and singing with the frontman and the joy they felt playing their music was palpable. Highlights of the sets included “Can’t Feel No Way” and “Stylin.’ ”
The band is Donald Dennis, bass; Lamont “Monty” Savory,” guitar; Kevin “Zuggu” Patterson, guitar; Peter “Kongz” Samaru, drums; Paris Dennis, keyboards; Thamar Williams, vocalist. Keico Smith, another vocalist, was unable to perform.
With their upbeat music, powerful musicianship, and endearing stage acts, both Zach Deputy and Protoje were successful in uplifting the atmosphere at Cargo Concert Hall.
Related story: Images of Iration as its winter tour hits Reno. LINK