Reggae-influenced alternative rock band Iration played a sold-out show for the final performance of the Concerts In Your Car Series at the Ventura Fairgrounds on December 4th. Since last June, when CBF Productions launched the first drive-in live music experience in California at the Ventura Fairgrounds, there has been a rebirth of live music events on the south coast. A litany of diverse acts has taken the stage at the venue, including Snoop Dogg, Cypress Hill, Fitz, The Tantrums, Los Lobos, Tower of Power and Sublime, and The Beach Boys, and 311. Iration played a three-concert mini-tour of Southern California in support of their new album "Coastin," which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Reggae Albums Chart after its release last summer. The special "Coastin' At The Drive-In" run played Anaheim on December 3rd, Ventura on December 4th, and Del Mar (San Diego) on December 5th.
The sold-out Ventura performance was significant, not only as the final show of the season at the venue but also as the de facto hometown show for the band, which has called Santa Barbara home since they moved from Hawaii decades ago. The group began their rise to popularity in Isla Vista, an unincorporated community connected to UC Santa Barbara, playing reggae covers. The show was so well attended that the start time had to be delayed over an hour so that all the cars at the drive-in show could be situated. The Friday night oceanside concert venue was buffeted by cold, windy conditions, but that did not stop snuggled families and music fans from bundling up by the cars to enjoy the crisp night air.
Micah Pueschel, the band's lead singer, took the stage and immediately addressed the crowd while flashing a wide beaming smile. "We are originally from Hawaii, so we are not used to this cold weather, but we are glad to be here playing for you. It has been a long time since we were able to play a show, and we are so happy to be here." The venue, surrounded by a sea of cars in a 360-degree full circle, exploded with car horns, cheers, and flashing lights. The band then launched into ninety-minutest featuring songs from the new album as well as a smattering of their most well-known tunes. In addition to Pueschel, the band features Adam Taylor on bass, Joe Dickens on drums, Cayson Peterson on keyboard and synth, Micah Brown on guitar and backing vocals, and Drake Peterson on percussions and occasionally a mean trumpet.
The band peppered some of their biggest hits like “I'm With You," "Summer Nights," and "Time Bomb" in between the new material. The scene was a surreal one with cars stretched in all directions to the fairgrounds' very back. It has been a fantastic journey for Iration from a local college cover band to one of the most successful American Rock Reggae groups in the country. The show at the Ventura fairgrounds was a testament to the groups staying power even amid a pandemic.