Reggae on the Rocks: Jet West CD Release Party
Walking into the band’s one-story house built beautifully into the side of Mt. Soledad, glass was smashed in the kitchen and a kid skateboarded through the hallway on his stomach. Having met San Diego band Jet West at our bands’ mutual rehearsal studio about a year ago, it has been an awesome trip watching their musical journey unfold. From house-parties and two-man acoustic gigs to a brand new full-length album, this band has big things in store for them.
On Saturday September 11th, 2010 at Mission Beach’s own Sound Wave venue, Jet West hosted a CD release party for their debut album “Dropping In”. The show featured awesome live music, beautiful girls, DJ Debonair (Keith Urban’s DJ), and a high-end laser show… but first a little info. on the band.
Jet West formed in the summer of 2009 when Chris Warner and Scott Floquet (lead guitar and vocals) teamed up to start writing and build on Scott’s previously developed songs. Playing house parties and small fundraisers in the beginning, their music was met with positive reviews. It was time to find a band. Finding perfect fits Derek Potter (drums) and Deren Schneider (bass) right in their own circle of friends, the ball started rolling.
With influences ranging from Slightly Stoopid to Linkin Park they quickly developed their own sound, riding radically on the lines of surf reggae and hard rock. Early on, the band scored solid gigs with Canes (now Sound Wave), 710 Beach Club and Winston’s, which are still band favorites. Since their inception they have racked up radio play, live interviews on 91X Loudspeaker with Rowley, sets on the morning news with KUSI, a full-length album, a music video and played Nascar VIP event all the way in Bristol, TN. They are even being featured on a surf-cruise-cup this coming Halloween! So believe it, the CD release party was a nice look at what could be in store for this extremely driven band.
The pre-party was hosted at guitarist Chris Warner’s house, and friends of the band rolled to the show in style on three packed party buses. In true rock star fashion the buses were stocked with everything from champagne to pole-dancing. Upon arrival at the venue, the line at the entrance was growing by the minute, and we were later informed it was one of the most packed events Sound Wave has hosted.
Reggae locals Full Blown Stone rocked the opening set and played a skankin’ rendition of Sublime’s “Saw Red”, featuring the beautiful Talee Lauren Rooney on vocals and Uproot’s Peter Eichar rocking guitar. The dance floor began crowding as the wildly awesome stage presence of Nick Hein and Ben Palmer (bassist and singer) left the crowd psyched for more, while all around sponsors like the Surfrider Foundation and Photon Light Boards could be seen. The night would be finished out by Dirty Modelo’s always excellent hip hop and rock beats, and right in between sets played the headliner, Jet West.
Lasers pierced the air as the stage darkened. Fans screamed. A sea of people flooded the venue from front to back, and as the opening chords of the guitar rang out a symphony of support washed over the stage. Scott’s vocals held the crowd completely captivated while Chris harmonized with echoing lead guitar. Derek and Deren (the “Double D’s) held it down tight on the rhythm section, locking the groove in place while they played hits like “Sunday” and “Irie Eyes”… even some horns made a guest appearance! When the beautiful women strutted onto stage wearing sexy reggae “flight attendant” uniforms during one song, the crowd let out a roar one might hear as a tsunami comes crashing down.
It was an awe-inspiring moment; that is, seeing a band progress from early shows with ten or so people to a sold out CD release event at one of San Diego’s most prestigious venues. As the band threw beach balls out into the crowd and energy levels peaked, all of Sound Wave was feeling something special (and it wasn’t the brownies). The feeling was being a part of something from the ground up, seeing a band catch one of its first big breaks and the possibility to go anywhere from here.
Since the release party the band has been pushing its way further north, playing bigger venues like Saint Rocke in Hermosa Beach and Tiki Bar in Costa Mesa. The music business certainly isn’t easy or forgiving for independent artists. But for a band that puts in the hard work, persistence and high energy shows they do, good things are bound to happen. Do yourself a favor and catch the wave with Jet West and their debut album “Dropping In”, now on Itunes!