Ohana Fest (Day 2)
Doheny State Beach
2:30 p.m. Dana Point Harbor drive is moving at a snails pace. A little boy carries a fishing pole while a surfer to his left rides a wave sitting down on his board. I snag a spot next to an old truck that echoes “Save Trestles.” I hear Wilderado performing “Wheat” as guys on motorcycles talk about a shark citing.
2:45 Chugging alkaline water before they take it from me. Jonny Two Bags's voice pulsates as Rip Curl t-shirts are adorned by patrons. A somewhat rare occupancy when South and North Orange County collide in Dana Point.
3:00 Hyro Flask, Olukai, Cliff Bar, San Onofre Parks Foundation, Surfrider Foundation, Calico Hat, Purpz, merch and boos, and plentiful non-alcoholic options sweep Doho State Park.
3:15 Volcom's “The Science of Surf” exhibit provides a gaze at Rob Machado and Timber Tech's eco-friendly surf birds under dreamy Slater photos. Anatomy of a wave demonstrations by The Ocean Institute are just around the corner.
3:20 Baì hammocks sway under palm tees. The HydroFlask giveaway line is long but worthwhile. Especially since I won. The event is impressively organized, especially considering this is their first go-around. A lady in front of me explains how incredible Eddie was last night. “Kelly was really shy but he held his own” she adds.
3:30 Ryan Bingham is sporting his white cowboy hat and Texas-infused country music Takeshita on Ohana's stage. His fiddle player, Richard Bowden is incredible. “No matter what you do or say you're the butter on my bread…” he sings. “I got a taste and now I can't get enough.”
3:45 I'm feeling envious of a man with a lotus on his shirt, who is leaning back in a Coleman chair as my hips begin to lock against the dusty dirt. But between Bingham's extended guitar solos and his raspy blues-infused lyrics and vocals, he makes a girl who dislike country dig it. “Oh lord I feel like I'm dying..” he sings to “Southside of Heaven”.
4:10 Polynesian Dancers hit the stage. Paying homage to the Ohana festival name and purpose. A duet with two girls begins as hips shake skillfully on the stage. Next a myriad of tiny girls are shaking it. The crab grass beneath us is chopped up— California drought ahoy.
4:20 It's GoTopless day, also known as “free the nipple” but the only nipples I see are older dudes. Jack Johnson is the background music between sets while we wait for Corrine Bailey Rae to arrive.
4:40 Eddie Vedder comes on stage and fans scream. “We're proud of your participation”, he tells us “because we can raise money to protect our beaches against big developers. We're proud of this next band! Please give an Ohana welcome to Corrine Bailey Rae.” The queen of melodic soul's album art to her May record outfits the back of the stage. She opens with “Been to the Moon”.
4:50 “This is one of my favorite Bob Marley songs” Rae tells the crowd. She performs a slowed down rendition of “Is This Love”, with her palms facing up to the sky as her silky rose bell-bottoms blow in the wind.
4:55 “Put Your Record On”, a song that put Rae on the map is performed with a tambourine. Soon she welcomes The Ohana Aloha Connection. She sang the last chorus of the song as the girls smiled and danced. “I need to get one of these skirts— how amazing are they? So beautiful. We're really grateful to Eddie for including us tonight” she said.
5:05 This is for anyone who's ever argued with someone they love. She performs “Like a Star” thumping her guitar like a heartbeat.
5:10 This next song is all about transformation and it's called “The Skies Will Break”. This is one of the most profound songs of her new album. She picks up a sunflower that's been thrown on the stage and holds it high while demonstrating a sort of call and response with the crowd.
5:20 Wilderado take their second set at the Tiki stage. Their LA Americana is taking over Spotify playlists and garnering a new fan base at Ohana. Over at the main stage a Mom lectures a guy in his mid-20s about smoking. “Dude, we're at the beach!”
5:40 With just enough time to use the Porta Potty and grab a new Cliff Bar, Eddie introduced one of his all time favorites Cat Power! The smell of marijuana begins to fill the air and she sings “Don't Explain”.
5:50 A girl wearing black high-top converse walks by me with Lana del Rey on the ankle of her shoes. Cat Power tells the crowd “Im very honored to be invited here,” while placing her hand over her heart.
6:00 “Thank you so much for your patience and open hearts” she says. “I can feel it,” she includes with a quivering voice. But as the lyrics begin to roll off her tongue she is at ease. Several Lana del Rey fans are just now arriving with flowers in their hair and denim layered on denim. Cat Power let's out her signature howl as she sings into two microphones and shakes her hips.
6:20 “I was going to do one more song. What do you guys think about acapella?” The crowd yells, agreeing. She leaves the stage for a moment and returns with Eddie Vedder. They begin to sing “Tonight You Belong to Me”, an Eddie Vedder song featuring Cat Power. (The two have been known to perform at one another's shows.)
6:30 The Palms are at the Tiki stage with a Jamaican sound and hipster outfits. The lead singer, Johnny Zambetti looks like Adam DeVine from Workaholics.
6:45 Kelly Slater in VIP shaking hands and taking pictures. The legend in the flesh after just winning Teahupo'o.
6:40 City and Colour come out with the words “beauty” in black and white behind them. Sexy guitar riffs in full effect as the sun begins to set to the left of the stage, behind eucalyptus trees. They perform “Woman”.
7:00 “How about a round of applause for all the music you've seen and heard today,” Dallas Green says. A chill starts to set in from the water, while purple lighting highlights the band like a effervescent aura.
7:10 “This one is in honor of playing in such a beautiful place” Green says. “A long long time ago I heard a band called Pearl Jam and it made my life take a different path. That's one of the main reasons I started writing my own songs. So to be up here is a huge honor. Thank you to Eddie. On that note this is a song about dying…” he laughs. They perform “Waiting”.
7:25 He sings “Lover Come Back”, which was nominated for the Juno Award for Songwriter of the Year. Gorgeous!
7:37 They perform their chilling song “As Much As I Ever Could” released in 2008. Green sings so gently covered in tattoos and soon collapses his rib cage to his thighs, beginning a guitar solo as jaws drop.
7:50 A guy gets tackled by security for sneaking in to the event. Lana del Rey slated to make her appearance any moment now.
7:58 Lana is yelled by the crowd. Vintage flowy writing says del Rey, at the back of the stage. A guy talks about how “she's a looker” and he “lost all his senses” when he first saw a video of her.
8:15 She comes out. The back of the stage begins to morph into a galaxy. Smoke is covering her platforms and legs, but her tiny '70s dress appears and she with a smile. “I can't believe we're finally back in my favorite place in the whole world” del Rey smiles. She sings “Cruel World”.
8:35 Singing “Born To Die”, a guy asks his girlfriend “Did she just say let me fuck you hard in the pouring rain??” She replies, “Yes, yes she did! That's my girl! I love you.”
9:05 del Rey stops to take pictures and sign autographs w/ the fans in the very front, who devotedly know every lyric to her songs. She kisses fans on the cheek and they kiss her back.
9:10 A guy yells “Lana please I came from Brazil for you!” She grabs the microphone and tells the crowd “I put a song back into my show about someone who made a big impact on me when I was 19. It's called Yayo”. She grabs a white electric guitar and sings “Put me onto your black motorcycle / Fifties baby doll dress for my “I do.”
9:19 “I can't tell you how happy it makes me to sing these songs with you by the ocean” she tells us. “We have one more. I'll see you guys around town. She sings “Off To The Races” and her minimal, barley there movement is outstanding.