Friday, September 14, 2012 at 12:53 p.m.
Daniel Tello and Michael Belk of The Originalites
House of Blues Anaheim
September 13, 2012
It isn't common to find a local band that knows how to deliver the frenetic energy of a small stage like Chain Reaction to a larger, House of Blues venue. But if there's one band that proved last night that they can make it happen, it's The Originalites.
It didn't take long for a throng of people to inundate the floor once Huntington Beach's hybrid ska outfit began setting up for their set. Fans shoved their way to the front, determined to get a spot against the barricade and as close to the band as possible.
Once the band started playing, saxophonist Mike Belk immediately set the atmosphere of the night. Belk grooved nonstop with his saxophone in hand, dancing along the edge of the stage, almost close enough for fans to touch his brass instrument. Fans fed off his infectious energy and started dancing while singing along.
The energy was at a constant high as both the band and fans fed off energy from one another throughout the night. The band effectively used all the space onstage, skanking from side to side, rallying up the sea of fans. At one point, the barricade became loose from the floor. Fans near the front looked at each other in disbelief as the barricade wobbled along in time with the rhythm of the crowd. Those near the back, unaware of the brief moment of panic fans near of the front faced, continued to dance wildly.
There wasn't a moment where bodies weren't grooving to the funky bass lines or sax solos. Songs like "Unpretty City" and "Spinning Round" where highlights of the night as band members where able to individually showcase their talents with sax and guitar solos. By the time the band finished their set with a cover of Sublime's "Date Rape," someone in the crowd had too many beers during the nonstop dance session and wound up spewing vomit on the floor. Apparently that was a theme at the House of Blues this week.
The Originalites' kick off gig for their "Skate of Die" tour was undoubtedly a success. The band had a packed venue, despite the slow start of the show. Dedicated fans will without a doubt miss the band's weekly performances at Gallagher's Pub and new fans will anxiously await until the band returns to Orange County to dance the night away to a new set of tunes.
Critic's Bias: Not a huge fan of reggae music, but Belk's high energy was definitely infectious--even the security guard seemed to dig their sound.
Overheard: "Hey, who is this? Did the Originalites already go onstage? I only came to see them!"