Last Night: OC Music Awards Showcase No. 5, Chain Reaction, Anaheim

The Hype: This week's OC Music Awards showcase convened at Chain Reaction in Anaheim, OC's most recognizable (and sweaty) all-ages venue. Five bands competed for the category of "Best Live Band," including high-velocity hip-hop trio BLOK, who've recently earned multiple OCMA noms for "Best New Artist," "Best Hip-Hop" and "Best Electronic."

BLOK party
BLOK party
Christopher Victorio

The Show: Battering down the dividing line between crowd and stage, the red-faced ferocity of BLOK rained down on flailing, front-row fans last night. Led by the growling rhyme delivery of Damien B, this spastic group of sibling performers demonstrated the kind of grimy, infectious sound that earned them OCMA award nominations in three different categories. 

Even though he was suspiciously absent for the first half of the set, glittery-eyed, hype man/vocalist Jesse St. John made a grand entrance, indulging the crowd with his own brand of knee-jerk dance moves and a randomly brilliant rendition of Prince's "Little Red Corvette." Though it was hard to grasp what they were rhyming about half the time, BLOK never had a problem getting their point across with their performance. Closing out their sweat-drenched set with the song "Butter," it's obvious that BLOK's sound packs enough power to create a serious melt down.

The recognition is fitting, given the fact that their performance is able to go in three different directions at any given moment. Walking out to a heroe's welcome, Damien B and leggy, blond hype woman/vocalist Gianna Gianna fired off spastic, interpretive dance moves over a barrage of mechanical beats during songs like "Get On It" and "Pay Attention." Writhing around in a glittery, multicolored leotard, Gianna Gianna's drunken Barbie Doll charisma almost stole the show at several points, creating the frazzled manifestation of Damien B's contorted flow. 

Though the showcase ended on a hip-hop note, last night was dominated by some artfully clever indie rock, including the Colourist (also nominated for OCMA's "Best New Artist" and "Best Song"), the Bolts (nominate for "Best Pop"), Halos (featured in the Weekly's music section) and Local's Only faves Moostache

The Crowd: High school kids wandered in between flannel-wearing clusters of twentysomethings and punk rock chicks with enough lip rings and body hardware to fill a tackle box.

Overheard: As Gianna Gianna of BLOK took the stage with her frazzled hair, leotard and fuzzy backpack, one guy whispered to his friend, "This chick looks like Britney Spears after a three day bender. She's dancing her ass off though."

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