Reggae-rock band Jamm set the stage ablaze on April 23 with crowd members pushed shoulder to shoulder. What appeared to be a laid-back house show turned into a four-man band outdone by a crowd of nearly 200 people. Under the stars of a warm spring night, a crowd of young people attended an amazing musical evening.
With flashing beams of colored lights illuminating the stage, Jamm performed to a standing audience, performing original songs and covers of alternative rock hits. The crowd was instantly engulfed in the rock-and-roll universe with loud cheers and headbangs.
The show took place in the backyard of a house on Seventh Street Jamm was additionally accompanied by newly formed bands Sweet Release and Prisbros. As each act progressed, more and more people showed up. Once it was time for Jamm’s set, audience members would push to get to the front. Almost every inch of space was filled with people.
Jamm consists of vocalist Anthony Coseo, guitarist Matt Crocco, bassist Ian McIssac and David R. Bygum on drums. The band describes themselves as more than a standard reggae act. The four members combine elements of jazz, blues, metal and punk. Audiences witnessed this when Anthony Coseo performed an intense saxophone solo.
“We’re chaotic and experimental,” Bygum said.
The band’s musicality changed throughout the show with a mix of laid-back reggae blues and raging grunge anthems. Audience members went back and forth between standing peacefully and starting mosh pits. One of the standout moments was the band’s cover of Lit’s “My Own Worst Enemy”. The screaming voices of the choir could be heard blocks away.
The group was formed in the summer of 2018 by Crocco after posting an advertisement on Craigslist. He wanted to start a rock band in Chico and was looking for local talent. Anthony Coseo was the last person to contact them before Crocco shut down the ad. At the time, he was just a freshman, naïve to the Chico music scene.
Shortly after, Crocco hooked up with Ian Mclssac after finding out they were neighbors. The three immediately clicked and started working together.
Once COVID-19 disrupted live performances, the band flew under the radar and temporarily disbanded. A year and a half later, Mclssac met his current drummer, David Bygum, in the recording arts program at Butte College.
“David brings the groove to the band,” Mclssac said. “Before, our songs were simple, but now his drums make our sound more laid back.”
Once the band reunited, the trajectory of their musicality changed forever. Since 2021, they have performed in venues across Chico. Jamm became a household name in the Chico music community and quickly grew in popularity. Their April 23 show was their biggest show to date.
A month before their performance, flyers were circulated widely on social media and placed in downtown bars. Anthony Coseo mentioned that the participation was a resounding success because of this.
“It also helps when you have a good group of friends,” Coseo said. “The people of Chico won’t miss the opportunity to pass on free music and we’ve seen the result.”
Jamm had no doubts about whether they could energize the busy outdoor crowd. They did this through flashing lights and changing gradient backgrounds wrapped around the silhouettes of the four musicians. They mentioned that it’s more than a show for them, it’s an experience for everyone to have a good time and listen to music.
“After each song, I look up and see how the faces are exploding with joy and happiness. The adrenaline then surges inside me. It’s almost surreal to know that we created this experience,” Bygum said.
Jamm’s next show will be on May 21 to celebrate Chico’s promotion. Details of this show will be posted on Instagram. They can also be found performing at the Harambee Festival in Oroville in June and plan to perform all summer.
Jolie Asuncion can be contacted at [email protected]