If you drove by Shelter Island on Saturday, you probably didn’t realize what was going on. Fashion Jackson hosted their official merchandise release with an intimate beach concert tucked away on the shore. In trying to prove their success, this event was completely run by the Ocean Beach natives.
Three canopies, one stage, and a lot of people from Point Loma High School occupied the shoreline as the sunset slowly fell into the night. On the left of the stage was their prideful merchandise, including new t-shirts, hats, accessories, and CD’s. On the right, a one of a kind 21+ section that was separated by caution tape and a bonfire. The make-shift stage sat right in the middle, perfectly positioned with San Diego’s downtown skyline in the background.
The night kicked off with live record spinning by DJ Shawn (AKA Shawn Gardner, Fashion Jackson’s drummer). The music selection by him was all over the place, but fitting, featuring artists such as Joy Division, Chance the Rapper, David Bowie, and Bobby Shmurda.
Although unconventional, this was a great opportunity for the early bird fans to get a taste of what the band members actually listen to and what they’re influenced by.
Fashion Jackson took the stage at exactly 8:30 pm. Eddy Allen, Matt Alcantara, Sterling Gietzen, and Shawn Gardner all confidently took their position on the stage. Once they got all set up, they started with “Just Like Baby Jesus,” off of their debut EP Gossamer. Throughout the night they played a handful of other hits from their previously released discography, such as “She’s Alright,” “Club Marina,” and “It Doesn’t Rain in California.” These songs are essential to their set, and they hold as a staple for their fan-base.
The classics were promising for the crowd, but the new songs, such as “Shiloh” and “Honey,” debuted for the first time and were met with outstanding reactions. “Honey” was remarkably similar to their most popular song “Gossamer,” but for all the right reasons. Although it had very close parallels to “Gossamer,” it was clear to be a comical gesture to mock the success of the song, and not a continuation of style.
There were a few moments throughout the performance that gave the night a little more color, for better or worse. The band stopped the set to bring out a birthday cake and wish one of their good friends, Alexis, a happy birthday. Another significant moment that hindered the night was when the power cut in the middle of “Cinnamon Burn.” The moment the sound left the stage, Sterling Gietzen sprinted around the canopy screaming “THE GENERATOR.” No more than two minutes passed by before Gietzen saved the day. While this was happening, Eddy Allen kept singing the chorus with the crowd, keeping the song alive long enough to fix the problem.
“I don’t know if you know this, but I’m quitting this band, I hate all these guys,” Allen jokingly said. “So we have a new lead singer, Tommy Ragen, and this is gonna be his first show.”
10-year-old Tommy Ragen jumped on stage and immediately started shredding on his guitar before even speaking into the microphone, proving his talent instantly. After introducing himself and throwing a few jokes in, he played one song, “Perfect.” Before this, Ragen was in a band called PB & Jam with Shawn Gardner and Matt Alcantara, and the chemistry clearly transferred over to this guest appearance. It only took one song for Ragen to prove himself as the next generation of San Diego rock.
Then, the moment everyone was waiting for happened: they played “Gossamer.” Although their shows shouldn’t be classified by this one song, it was screamed by everyone in the crowd throughout the night, and it didn’t disappoint, as it never does. Allen’s conviction and emotion put into this song is enough to send it to Coachella’s bill.
This was a wonderful night for Fashion Jackson, even if there were a few speed bumps along the way. Their already released music proved their status as a band, while their new music was enough to bring us to their next show. These boys have character, heart and pure talent, which is going to propel them into the spotlight with time. They are playing all around San Diego in the upcoming weeks, and you should definitely make time to see them.
Find Them On Instagram
Fashion Jackson- @fashionjackson_
Carlos Garate: @former.child