by Gunnar Snyder
It’s rare to see a band seven times over three years and have each show be progressively better than the last. Mike Love and his band brought forth a cornucopia of roots, culture, and soul. Mike always brings his brother Sam Ites to fuel the fire but this time he stepped it up. Newcomers Jon Hawes and brother Keith carried the band’s vibe to levels of euphoria. The addition of the full band, doubling down instruments and the amount of love projected on stage enhanced the live experience exponentially. This culminated in an unforgettable roots reggae act. Also featured was opening act, Henry + The Invisibles, a one man band and local favorite.
Sam Ites has been playing with Mike since the beginning of his touring days. At one point, they were called the Mike Love Duo. For this show, Sam had a few more percussion pieces (cymbals, toms, etc.). We have yet to hear him play a full drum set with Mike Love, but his rhythm is the heartbeat of the band. Killing it on the keys, we had Keith. He’s a young guy who also plays guitar in another reggae movement called Humble Soul. They just finished a summer festival tour in Japan to critical acclaim. Jon Hawes is another Hawaiian native, who plays bass and indulges in many local projects. His wisdom and knowledge of music and instruments are a priceless asset to the band.
The evening commenced with Henry + The Invisibles, a local Austin funk-fusion band. Henry has opened for countless acts, and is one of my personal favorites to see live. He is always full of energy and has an amazing stage presence. Every performance is a uniquely groovy time. His funky rhythms layered on piece by piece fit together so perfectly to form a love makin’ one-man orchestra. To say the least, the man’s got some boogie on his ‘oogie. As the music began to flow smiles, cheers, love, and dancing abounded in the North Door. In between sets, people were ready for more while enjoying a smoke, sharing a laugh, and having drinks. When Mike Love took the stage, the fans were pumped. After an almost 2 hour set including encores that shook the house, they left us with a hymn of inspiration that seemed to calm the fans to the most high fulfillment.
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