Fortunate Youth at North Park Observatory, March 10th

Concert coverage by Kate Richards, USD Radio Contributor

Smoke clouds of every type drifted through the air in North Park as the crowd awaited the arrival of Fortunate Youth. The energy in the room was restless in a way that wasn’t anxious but rather completely peaceful and, for lack of a better word, chill. Reggae music creates a sense of unity in a way that other genres are unable to, and Fortunate Youth was able to provide this atmosphere when they performed.
The six-piece reggae band from LA came out on stage amidst all of the hazy air and instantly connected with the energy of the crowd. Their sound was mellow yet not uninteresting – Fortunate Youth is not the type of band that relies on dance beats to draw the crowd in. That sense of unity inspired by reggae is what makes Fortunate Youth so appealing: the whole crowd and the band seemed connected by the music as everyone just swayed back and forth and shouted out the lyrics they knew. The Observatory was the perfect venue for this type of performance: the dark, intimate room really helped amplify the sense of connection and unity that is embodied in Fortunate Youth’s SoCal reggae style.
Dan, the band’s lead singer, sang just as good live as he sounds on recorded tracks. He was an entertaining performer who knew how to command the stage: he engaged with his fellow bandmates and it looked like the whole group was having fun onstage together, especially when the drummer proceeded to take his shirt off and they all passed around a joint (this air of carefree and relaxed recklessness permeated the entire crowd; there was none of the usual chaotic pushing and shouting that often occurs at concerts). When the band performed “Love is the Most High,” the sense of unity was at its peak. Everyone was loudly singing along and holding hands and it really did feel like we were all one.
Overall, Fortunate Youth performed an excellent concert that definitely made me more interested in listening to their music (the fact that they have a tour dog named Coco who comes out on stage didn’t hurt either).