Setting the bar high on 311’s Unity Tour 2010, Pepper opened up for the iconic band—along with The Offspring—at Mud Island Amphitheatre on July 18.
Originally from the Big Island of Hawaii, their beach-themed stage setup paid homage to the beautiful, sand-riddled coastlines of their native home, incorporating the necessary items to “hang ten,” like a surfboard and lifeguard buoys. Even the stage crew donned tank tops embellished with the familiar red cross symbolizing that of a lifeguard, along with the customary red board shorts. Very clever, and the set alone alluded to the fact that this was going to be an extremely fun band to watch.
Adorned with zinc-oxide, straw hats, sunglasses, and swim trunks—everything needed to effectively spend the day bumming it on the beach—members Kaleo Wassman, Bret Bollinger, and Yesod Williams made their onstage appearance, wasting no time in bestowing the crowd with some mighty fine rock music, infused with the reggae sounds indicative of Hawaii’s Polynesian culture.
Putting to rest the conventional notion that island-infused music consists of a portly Samoan man gently strumming a Ukulele, the trio studiously showcased many of their hits, including their new single, “Wake Up,” which was a smashing success. The band was full of energy, and proved they can rock a rhythm while remaining true to the sounds they grew up with.
Rounding out the beach-dwelling motif, numerous, Pepper-stamped beach balls were tossed into the crowd and eagerly hit, volleyball style, around the amphitheatre. Fun stuff.
After witnessing the charisma this three guys excrete, there most certainly is a reason they call themselves Pepper; they’re hot and spicy, and pretty much goes great with everything.
Rock on, Memphis!