Stacy Clark and Steve Guzman, who organized the event
Stacy Clark and Steve Guzman, who organized the event
Christopher Victorio / OC Weekly

Friday: MS Benefit at the Yost, Featuring Stacy Clark, I Hate You Just Kidding & More

Yeah we sent two writers to one charity concert. What of it? The first guy was obsessed with Stereofix. Read below for Danielle's more panoramic take on the evening. And see a slideshow of the acts here.

The Hype:  Music saved lives Friday night at the Yost Theater in Santa Ana. Go ahead and call me sentimental if you must, but the seven local bands gave it their all for a worthy cause. The end result?  The non-profit Turkey and Friends raised more than $2,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

DJ Oldboy rocked the oldies-but-goodies, shaking his tambourine (and his ass) between band sets. Piper Michelle, the bubbly MC and guitarist from Canvas hosted the event and kept the crowd screaming for more as she raffled sweet prizes from Hurley, Paul Frank, Stüssy and Obey artwork. The five-and-a-half hour marathon featured a wild local lineup of Stereofix, Stacy Clark, Beta Wolf, the Relative Strangers, We Are The Pilots, Brother Cecil and I Hate You Just Kidding.

Lot to choose from there, but we were really looking forward to seeing Clark, who's still buzzing after being crowned the OC Music Awards' Best Pop Artist. The singer/songwriter has already gained national attention appearing on MTV, CW, ABC and Bravo. She recently signed with Vanguard Records and is set to release her second album, Connect the Dots, on July 27.  

The Show: Sweet as pie, Stacy Clark evokes Zooey Deschanel singing the angelic ballads of Avril Lavigne. Her lovable lyrics and catchy, hip-swaying rhythms are buffeted by the group's pillowy, acoustic strums.  Clark opened with the moody sing-along "Touch & Go," from her new album. Soft blue lights illuminated the songstress, who serenaded the microphone with spry vocals that dipped and dove with added verve as keyboardist Brian Willett lorded over his stack of keys.

Her music is somewhere between folk and poetic pop, with a relaxed vibe and brief instrumental fragments spliced between songs. Clark's brown hair framed her cherubic face, her eyes a little mascara-smudged from the heat.

Clark got emotional with her song, "Hold On," uttering lyrics like, "I just want to be left alone/ without you knocking on my door/ Without you pressuring me for more."  Her songs chart every mood, digging deep into the kind of love that lingers and resonates. With the subtle deployment of slow drumbeats and bass, the overall effect is charmingly minimalistic.

Costa Mesa pop/folk duo I Hate You Just Kidding also stood out. They sound like something you'd hear on the Juno soundtrack, twangy and intimate with a cutesy twist. Singer Jessi Fulghum's gentle, airy vocals mesh perfectly with her tambourine and exuberant toe-taps. Guitarist Jeremy Brock plucked to Bright Eyes "Seashell Tale" and Willie Nelson's "On The Road Again."  Although it would have been nice to hear the band's own music, the six-piece set included "Speakeasy," their most notable song.

The Crowd: A little teeny-bopper in the front row was having a blast bouncing up and down to the music as wisps of his hair were blowing under his Hurley hat. A female under-ager glided across the dance floor with an acid-blue shirt and industrial zipper, her eyes ringed in heavy black shadow and liner.  The rest of the crowd stretched their legs out in front of them on seats, propped themselves on their elbows, as if they were at the beach.  A man who looked to bein his late 50s gazed at his feet, tapping them together while his wife filmed the event.

Overheard:  "Everyone get up here," exhorted Stacy Clark. "That's pretty lame, it's freaking Friday. We need a sugar rush. I know because I ate all the gummy bears before the show!"  The crowd laughed as a young male shouted, "We need some of you!"


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