Obi Fernandez – World Cafe Live – Philadelphia, PA – 1/4/13

I think it’s time to start incorporating a new section into this website.  Besides talking about my vinyl collection and places I’ve been too, why not add the places I went to see and hear the music?  Seeing the music live has always spark inspiration in me and adding the photos is just a perk.

The first installment will be of Obi Fernandez.  Lead singer and trombone player of the great ska/reggae band Westbound Train.  I first heard of Westbound Train while on tour with Tokyo Rose.  Ryan Dominguez, lead singer and guitar player of Tokyo Rose, played me their music knowing I like ska.  He said he knows Obi and they just signed to Hellcat Records.  I was hooked.  The musicianship, the vocals, and the lyrics had me wanting more.  I would then proceed to see them live and I remember buying all their records in one shot.  They are that good.

Now Westbound Train is taking a break and Obi is still going, but as a solo artist.  I must say, the music could sound completely different and I wouldn’t care.  Obi’s vocals and lyrics are an A+, it is my main selling point.  It is only a plus that he’s still playing music similar to Westbound Train as a solo artist.  Which isn’t a bad thing, both entities have their differences.

The show was in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at World Café Live.  A great venue with an intimate atmosphere, and what looks like great food.  I need to try it sometime, but that’s not the point right now.  Obi’s show was better than I expected.  I wasn’t sure if he was playing just acoustic or with a full band.  He did play acoustic during certain songs and just vocals on others with a backing band throughout.  Regardless, his backing band was there and he picked the right people.  These musicians, who are friends and not some hired guns, were on target.  I would’ve thought this band was playing for years together.

The highlight was hearing “I Feel Fine” stripped down.  Originally a Westbound Train song and one of my favorite songs, hearing it in the beginning made the rest of the night perfect.  One drawback to the show was that everyone was seated and eating.  Obi urged everyone to come up front and dance, but he only had a few participants.  This made getting photos tough, since I felt like I was sticking out and I didn’t want to block anyone’s view.

Overall a great show and I hope Obi makes a tour out of this.  I also hope everyone tries to meet him in person; he is a very nice and positive person to talk to.  Now if only we can get Confessions, Waves, and the Garden State pressed on vinyl.

Obi 1 Obi 2 Obi 3 Obi 4 Obi 5 Obi 6 Obi 7 Obi 8 Obi 9 Obi 10 Obi 11 Obi 12 Obi 13 Obi 14 Obi 15

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