The inaugural High & Mighty Festival began with a bang, and the magic carried on over into Day Two in Garden Grove, California. Know-Madik took the stage first, and from what I hear, completely obliterated it with style, grace, and guest appearances. I hear this because the traffic north to OC from San Diego was absolutely ridiculous on a Sunday morning, rendering Top Shelf Reggae two hours late to the party. Know-Madik, we'll catch you next time!! Pacific Dub was holding down the stage when I entered the festival grounds, with a large number of festival-goers already gathered in attendance. High & Mighty knew how to pull the early birds out of their nests with a stacked lineup from beginning to end! Ballyhoo! followed with fans literally falling all over themselves to get to the front of the crowd and sing along. Murs had some technical issues during his set, but being Murs and a master performer, he dropped his own beat to freestyle to while stage hands hustled hectically in the background to resolve the issue. Honestly, it didn't even matter: Murs fans were stoked they got a one-of-a-kind experience from a hip hop legend. Once sound system came back, Murs paid tribute to his Living Legends brothers, Atmosphere, and more. If you weren't dancing before, you were then. The Chief Keef crew kept the rap going after that, followed by the most successful independent rapper of all time, Tech N9ne (and Krizz Kaliko cohort). Tribal Seeds brought da riddim for the dread heads out there before Jurassic 5 kicked it old school and Dirty Heads closed down the 1st Annual fest until next year. Going in without any expectation, High & Mighty 2017 truly delivered on their backyard party vibe mixed with the best music in the business. Now, how to top it for Year 2?
Photography by Kristy Rose