I WAS THERE . . . Pepper @ Irving Plaza 10.26.08

Pepper love NYC All photos by Jennifer Hein

Irving Plaza
October 26, 2008

Pepper took the stage at the Fillmore to the tune of “Burnin’ Down the House” and that they did. On the home stretch of their “Here Comes the Law” tour with Passafire and The Supervillains, the Hawaiian-based, Southern California dwelling band pulled out all the stops to give the packed house an energized mix of reggae rock, punk, hip hop and even disco.

The shirtless trio consisting of vocalist/bassist Bret Bollinger, guitarist/vocalist Kaleo Wassman and drummer Yesod Williams stormed through a raucous set that was determined by their tradition of letting the audience pick songs and then feeding off their energy. There was no shortage of energy in the city that never sleeps as they busted out old school favorites like “Office” and “Ashes” and gave us a taste of their latest album Pink Crustaceans and Good Vibrations with the hard-rocking single “Blackout” that rounded out a night of pure mayhem.

The band was so thankful to the fans and the sheer greatness of playing a New York City venue that they could hardly contain their excitement, which kept everyone in a complete frenzy from the anticipation. A spontaneous drum solo at the beginning fired up the crowd made up of a mix of NYU undergrads, die-hard reggae rock lovers, and hipster kids.

During the fan favorite “Too Much,” Wassman jammed out a killer guitar solo and then proclaimed his love by blowing the audience a kiss. Bollinger got the pit really rocking as he told everyone to “scream as loud as you can” and reacted with “now that is what New York City sounds like on a Sunday night.” To top it off, Wassman just sighed into the microphone and simply said “it feels so good to be in a real F’ing city” and the applause they received was a fitting end to an insane night.

It was surely not a normal Sunday night, but the fans were completely gratuitous for a stellar show and putting some warmth into the chilly NYC air.

Jennifer Hein

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