Reggae-rock band Jamm lit the stage ablaze on April 23 with crowd members pushed shoulder to shoulder. What seemed like a casual house show turned into a four-man band overmatched against a crowd of nearly 200 people. Under the stars of a warm spring night, a youthful crowd witnessed an astounding night of music.
With flashing beams of colored lights illuminating the stage, Jamm performed in front of a standing room audience, performing original songs and covers of alternative-rock hits. The crowd was instantly engulfed into the rock-and-roll universe with loud cheers and headbangs.
The show took place in the backyard of a house located on Seventh Street Jamm was additionally accompanied by the newly formed bands Sweet Release and Prisbros. During each act, more and more people showed up. Once it was time for Jamm’s set, audience members were pushing to get to the front. Nearly 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. All four members combine elements of jazz, blues, metal and punk. The audience witnessed this when Anthony Coseo performed an intense saxophone solo.
“We’re chaotic and experimental,” Bygum said.
The band’s musicality shifted throughout the show with a mix of laid-back reggae blues to raging grunge anthems. Audience members went back and forth between standing peacefully to starting mosh pits. One of the most pivotal moments was the band’s cover of “My Own Worst Enemy” by Lit. The screaming voices of the chorus could be heard from blocks away.
The band was formed in the summer of 2018 by Crocco after posting a Craigslist advertisement. He wanted to start a rock band in Chico and was on the search for local talent. Anthony Coseo was the last person to contact them before Crocco shut down the advertisement. At the time he was only a freshman, naive to Chico’s music scene.
Shortly after, Crocco connected with Ian Mclssac after discovering they were neighbors. The three of them instantly clicked and began working together.
Once COVID-19 disrupted live performances, the band flew under the radar and temporarily disbanded. One year and a half later, Mclssac met their current drummer, David Bygum at Butte College’s Recording Arts program.
“David brings the groove to the band,” Mclssac said. “Our songs used to be straightforward but now his drumming makes our sound more laid-back.”
Once the band was back together, the trajectory of their musicianship changed forever. Since 2021, they have performed in venues across Chico. Jamm became a well-known name in the Chico music community and quickly grew in popularity. Their show on April 23 was their biggest show yet.
Guitarist Matt Crocco. Photo by Bode Scott.
Bassist Ian McIssac. Photo by Bode Scott.
One month before their performance, flyers were heavily advertised all over social media and placed in bars downtown. Anthony Coseo mentioned that the turnout was a resounding success because of this.
“It also helps when you have a good group of friends,” Coseo said. “People in Chico won’t miss the opportunity to pass up free music and we saw the outcome of that.”
Jamm had no doubts about whether they could energize the busy, outdoor crowd. They did it through flashing lights and shifting gradient backdrops wrapped around the four musician’s silhouettes. They mentioned it’s more than a show to them, it’s an experience for everyone to have a good time and listen to music.
“After every song, I just look up and see how faces are exploding with cheer and happiness. The adrenaline kicks in for me then. It’s almost surreal knowing we created that experience,” Bygum said.
Jamm’s next show will be on May 21 to celebrate Chico’s graduating class. Details about this show will be posted on Instagram. They can also be found performing in Oroville’s Harambee Festival in June and plan to perform all summer long.
Jolie Asuncion can be reached at [email protected]