Soca-lovers, Kes fans and Caribbean curious patrons came out in their numbers recently to The Fillmore Auditorium in Silver Springs, Maryland, USA to experience the last East Coast stop of the ongoing Liki Tiki US Tour as presented by the Trinbagonian band of brothers known as Kes’. Following successful stops and sets at the Theatre of Living Arts in Philadelphia and The Underground at Ink Block in Boston, opening act, L’shun “Jimmy October” Emmanuel and Haitian collaborator, Jonathan “JPerry” Perry joined the #1 trending Soca band for a ground-breaking sold out show at The Fillmore.
“We played Maryland last night, which was insane!” Stated Emmanuel in an exclusive interview. “Like for real, like.. Last night was really special. It was a sold-out show and I was able to meet up with people and fans after, who were so enthusiastic and happy to see me for the first time and to experience us. Just seeing the energy of the people filling up a room and they’re all loving the music, our culture and loving the new things that we’re doing and its also me seeing Kes doing his thing at the same time too. That man is a legend 100%.”
Emmanuel collaborated with Kes in 2020 on the hit single, “Magic” and revealed that he was thrilled to be included on the band’s current US Tour dates.
“Mind blown! For me, this is my first real tour – like series of shows back to back to back,” explained October, “which is a crazy experience for me – esp seeing people that are familiar with my music, being able to connect with people who are now being introduced to me and kinda being able to play my stuff for them, yeah, its really been overwhelming but in a good way. Definitely one of my favorite experiences thus far in my career, yeah.
“I’m really grateful for this opportunity to tour with Kes.” He added. “There’s so much to learn from him and his skill set and the band and how they do what they do, so to be able to open up the show with my own 20-minute set as well as perform Magic with them is definitely a blessing. Like in my head I’m still this guy from Grande, who’s all the way over here just sharing the gift that God gave me with as many people as possible…”
For more than 50 years, the legendary Fillmore name has stood as the link between some of the most influential artists in music and their fans. Diverse acts from the Grateful Dead, the Rolling Stones, Miles Davis, Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding to non-musical acts like Lenny Bruce and Allen Ginsberg all performed at the original Fillmore, which is located in San Francisco but was damaged by an earthquake in October of 1989 and re-opened five years later with sets by Smashing Pumpkins. Over the past decade, Live Nation has expanded the Fillmore brand by opening venues all over the USA, including: venues in Denver, Detroit, Philadelphia, New York City, Miami Beach and Silver Spring.
Over 2000 patrons packed The Fillmore last weekend and enjoyed several hours of musical entertainment from Kes, Jimmy October and JPerry, who also spoke with LoopTT about his inclusion and experiences on the Liki Tiki Tour thus far. He said:
“Being on the Liki Tiki tour with Kes The Band and Jimmy October has been so exciting and overwhelming. I am truly grateful to be part of such a meaningful movement, because this tour isn’t just about performing and entertainment. It’s about the bigger picture: sharing our positive energy, unifying Caribbean people from all over the world and reminding them that we are one Caribbean.”
The West Coast leg of the Liki Tiki Tour will commence on Wednesday, September 28 at the House of Blues restaurant and bar in Anaheim, California with additional shows scheduled for September 30 at the Freemont Theatre in San Luis Obispo, October 1 at Ace of Spades in Sacramento and October 2 at Cornerstone in Berkeley. Visit kestheband.com and follow @kesthebandoffiicial on IG for more info.
Lee Yan is a journalist based in Cebu, Philippines. For the past 10 years, he has worked in the media and writes part-time for the St. Vincent Times.