By: Priscella Vega
4th Annual Ska Luau, featuring Starpool and Suburban Legends House of Blues Anaheim 12/30/13
The 4th Annual Ska Luau's sold out show featuring beloved OC acts Suburban Legends and Starpool proved once again that the horn-heavy genre discarded by the mainstream since the '90s is still very much alive.
This year's event called for a night of different celebrations: Save the Swim Team would officially play their last set after performing throughout the states for over nine years, Starpool was finally playing live after what felt like forever and TBone Willy would literally drop the ball at the stroke of twelve as an early celebration of the new year ahead.
As usual, the Magnolia Polynesian Dance Troupe started off the luau with a variety of dances, staying true to the theme of the night. Codename: Rocky and Save the Swim Team later got a big crowd to kick off the skank fest in the pit. As the crowd's energy picked up, a musky odor of sweat and cheap beer filled the air.
Suburban Legends garnered the wildest response with an endless stream of crowd surfers and fans mimicking the band's choreographed dance moves all while packed in like sardines. Although the band has performed the same choreography for years, it's impossible to not want to dance along with their infectious energy and pep stage presence.
When Starpool took stage, luau veterans braced themselves to watch band go all out for their set. Confetti was exploded into the crowd twice, vocalist Alan Meade stepped onstage sporting a white tuxedo and top hat all the while having backup dancers dressed as 1920s flappers during a funky cover track, giant glow sticks were passed out to the crowd and some fans where lucky enough to dance onstage.
Although the Ska Luau always has a stellar lineup, one thing most fans look forward to is Starpool's encore of "TBone Willy." The first luau, TBone crowed surfed while playing his instrument. The second year, he dressed up as a woman, wearing a coconut bra, a wig and bright red lipstick. The third year, he crowd surfed while on a surf board. Fans knew whatever Tbone did, it was going to be wild and it would definitely top previous years.
This year, TBone was pushed out into the crowd while inside a giant, inflatable zorb--basically a person-sized hamster ball. It was an interesting moment as some fans stared almost in disbelief at the zorb, others huddled to help keep it afloat and some laughed at what was happening. It's going to be tough to top that next year.
Like all Starpool shows, the band concluded their set with a cover of The Isley Brother's "Shout" and had the room shaking as fans danced to the last song of the night.
Random Notebook Dump: Suburban Legends' Aaron Bertram jokingly poked a security guard while performing but the security gaurd didn't find it too amusing. The guy definitely didn't look like he was enjoying himself.
The Crowd: Dedicated fans who are seen at every gig, a few hardcore kids, and musicians like Aaron Barrett of Reel Big Fish who showed up to support fellow ska friends.
Overheard: Two friends where talking about how they were sure they were going to get punched in the face during Save the Swim Team's set.
Critical Bias: I somehow always end up next to that drunk guy who causes a scene during the night--tonight wasn't an exception.
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See the set list below
Setlist: Here We Go Again Ready or Not New Light Start Again La Luna Don't Know What I Want Living In Transition Despise Falling Down Give Me Your Love Nite Klub (cover) Boneshaker Minnie the Moocher It's Alright Tbone Willy Shout