The Show: It's not hard to feel a little sense of nostalgia walking into the vintage, blood red belly of the Continental Room in downtown Fullerton. Especially when you happen to run into a band that sounds like a blast from the surf-punk past. At first listen, the hip-shaking twang of Bon Bon recalled bands like the Trashmen, even some early Misfits. Though they were the first opener of the night, this all-girl instrumental punk group garnered some respectable attention as they thrashed away on a tirade of punk power.
It was clear that by the time Anaheim five-piece the Field Trip took the stage, people were in the mood to waste the last drops of their New Year's weekend on jittery folk sing-a-longs and cold beers. Armed with surging, watery guitar riffs, group vocals and a charmingly reckless aesthetic, the band inspired swaying waves of hipsters with songs like “Whisper Party” and “Head West.” Over all, their catchy choruses and loose shards of soul were a perfect complement to a packed crowd of half-drunk night owls. Especially when they indulged us with a refreshingly rowdy take on the Jungle Book movie song “I Wanna Be Like You.”
After the Field Trip figured out how to really warm up the crowd, headliners the Rambles seemed hell bent on scorching the audience. As the crimson red curtain raised up to reveal this vivacious five-piece (formerly known as Fun Tree), they wasted no time in pushing their pop-rock party anthems and unstoppable charisma on the Continental crowd. Powered by the fist pumping, gang vocals of songs like “Stay” and “Get To You,” the Rambles proved that radio-ready rock can still be smart. They had a pretty easy time getting the audience involved (whether they liked it or not) as the shaggy-haired lead singer hopped off stage with his tambourine and engaged in some bona fide gyrating with audience members. If they weren't feeling the music before, they were sure feeling it then.
The Crowd: A typical mixed bag of rockers, hipsters and undergraduate wanderers that are often drawn to the weekend shows at the Continental Room. And seeing as how the club's weekly band night, Notes From the Underground, is now on Sundays, it will probably stay that way for a while.
Overheard: At various point during the Field Trip's set, someone kept shouting “show us your boobs!” Odd since Bon Bon had already left the stage.