Surf's Up

Donovon Frankenreiter at the Grove of Anaheim, Saturday, Dec. 30

There was a faint smell of incense lingering in the air (from where it burned onstage) and a friendly (if not sleepy) feeling where we stood on the ground, and if it wasn't already nearly Anaheim circa 2007, the setting could have just as easily been Anaheim circa, oh, 2005. Southern California loves its surfer rock, and if the hairstyles and the music change only slightly from year to year (becoming longer and boringer) it's because we never had it too bad to begin with. And so the offspring of parents who loved the Beach Boys (couldn't surf too well; made some mighty lovely tunes) gathered tonight in their board shorts and sandals to watch Laguna Beach boy Donavon Frankenreiter (avid surfer; can grow a mean mustache) put his laid-back, OC beach boy stamp on top of what bands like Atlanta Rhythm Section and Doobie Brothers recorded decades ago. The set kicked off pleasantly enough with current funk-along/riff-rock single "Move By Yourself" (seven minutes covering pretty much everything people love about KLOS) but quickly lost heat. By the third song in, I was staring down into my empty beer glass. By the fifth, I was gone. Nothing against Frankenreiter—you should just never lead with your single. Plus, the die-hard fans (that would be everybody else) all stayed behind. Even then, though, it's always a trip to see a show like this inside a well-policed venue like the Grove. When you have a crowd full of beach bums and the only smoke in the air is incense, something's definitely missing—only for me, it was maybe more than just weed.

 
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