Monday, December 15, 2008

The Aquabats, DJ Lance and Friends Rock the Halls

Thanks to Metblogs LA, we scored tix Friday to check out The Aquabats' famous annual holiday show at the Henry Fonda in Hollywood.

The Aquabats' MC Bat Commander and crew.

Fellow Orange County bands Suburban Legends and Dusty Rhodes and the River Band opened the show -- along with DJ Lance Rock, the host of our fave preschool show, "Yo Gabba Gabba."

The whole Yo Gabba Gabba! gang on stage.

Yep, that's right -- Maria and I get a sitter to see our first concert together in ages, and wouldn't ya know, we go to the one featuring characters from the kids' show we watch with the Blogger Preschooler. As you know, we're quite the "Yo Gabba Gabba" fans at Franklin Avenue HQ.

It felt like we were cheating on our little guy, especially when we looked around and saw quite a few hipster parents with their kids in tow. But we figured (a) the show was late -- the Aquabats wouldn't go on until 10:30 -- plus the B.P. is a bit under the weather -- so bringing him was a non-starter.

Brobee, attempting to keep his moustache on.

The "YGG!" characters all made it to stage to dance along to some of the show's most popular grooves -- "It's Time to Dance," etc. Plex also proclaimed that "This is Radio Clash" is his favorite song. Poor Brobee's mouth kept coming off. And I marveled that all of the characters stayed so long in costume -- as I learned from our visit this summer, it's so hot inside that the actors who play Brobee, Muno, et. al., can only stay zipped up for a few minutes at a time.

DJ Lance and Plex bust some moves.

The crowd itself was quite a mix: Older attendees (some of whom, we learned later, were parents of the bands); plenty of aging hipsters -- some with kids, most without; and a ton of teens. So many teens, it was the first time I'd seen people playing "Duck, Duck, Goose" on the venue floor between bands.

We caught most of the evening upstairs from the Fonda balcony -- perfect for us old farts.

One more DJ Lance/Plex shot.

After DJ Lance, we dug the sounds of Dusty Rhodes and the River Band. The group's mix of rock, jazz, bluegrass, country and folk comes courtesy their use of violin, accordion, organ, mandolin and other instruments.

Then, the ska-tinged Suburban Legends opened with an old Alfonso Ribiero "how to breakdance" ad, walking on stage with their own moves. They survived a bad mic to get the crowd going; lead singer Vince Walker proclaimed it "the best L.A. show ever."

Fans flash the Aquabats sign.

And then, the main event...

We'd never been to an Aquabats show, but I'd come knowing what to expect: A lot of energy. The 'Bats -- MC Bat Commander, Crash McLarson, Jimmy The Robot, Ricky Fitness and Eagle "Bones" Falconhawk -- performed our favorite, "Pool Party," fought off bad guy White Buffalo, screened a clip from their TV pilot, and played long after the 11:30 curfew.

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