For more than a decade, Tropidelic has been spreading its unique blend of energetic reggae, funk and jam stylings around the country. However, no matter how far from home, the Cleveland-based outfit always returns during the holidays for its annual New Year’s Eve show.
“As things have grown, you play your hometown less and less,” Tropidelic singer Matthew Roads said. “Unfortunately, that’s kind of how it is. The demand is higher in more cities now that we’re on the road more and more, but the holidays are a good time of year to be at home.
“Schedule-wise, it kind of worked the first few years, and now people have come to expect a New Year’s Eve show. It’s been great.”
After selling out the Grog Shop and Beachland Ballroom the last two years, Tropidelic has booked a New Year’s Eve show at the House of Blues. Roads admitted that even though a special holiday concert seems like a no-brainer, early on he had concerns about the date drawing an audience.
“Every year I’m surprised,” Roads said. “Every year, I’m kind of like, maybe this won’t do that great this year and then every year I’m just proven wrong. We added the last couple of years a VIP party, which is like a pre-party.
“And we’re doing an after-party this year in the Cambridge Room. Both are sold out. I’m super grateful for it all. This year we have a bunch of our friends on the show.”
What’s billed as “The Freak Drop” features the headliner supported by Bumpin Uglies, the Palmer Squares, Joey Harkum and Toby.
Tropidelic will have plenty of new material to play for its audience beginning with the group’s sixth studio project Here in the Heights, which this summer debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard reggae charts. The material boasts a late ’90s ska sound with Roads’ favorites being “Snow Country” and “Bad One.”
The six-piece will also be playing tunes from its December 13-released EP Flyover Renaissance. The five-track effort, which found the group exploring its hip-hop roots, included new song “Open Book” featuring Flobots.
“We just write music that feels right and without bearing to genre or anything,” Roads said. “For the full-length album, we wanted to make something more cohesive. A bunch of hip-hop stuff that was kind of written at the same time didn’t quite fit on Here in the Heights.
“Now being like six months since the that release, we thought it would be appropriate to put out ‘Flyover Renaissance.’ It’s just so important nowadays to keep content just coming and coming.”
With the New Year upon us, Tropidelic is optimistically looking forward. For Roads, that mindset began a few years ago.
“My 2020 motto is just positive thoughts, that’s it,” Roads said. “My three-year anniversary of getting sober was in September. It’s uncanny how much has changed moving myself in a positive direction. I’m just going to continue that pattern.
“I’d like to think 2020 is going to be a big year. We have the ‘Freakstomp’ festival in the summer. We’re also focused on releasing music and taking tours as they come. We have another six-week tour in the spring, so, yeah, we’re staying busy.”