April 13, 2022 Concert Review by Rachael Contreras
With Big D and the Kids Table’s Do Your Art Tour rolling into Orange County, the local ska community was primed for a night to remember.
With songs like “My Girl is a Lesbian,” “Ain’t No Fun,” “Baby, I Love You,” and “Greenland is Melting” on their set list, you’re not quite sure what to expect from The Maxies. In true form, they were introduced by their friend and OC Music News editor-in-chief, Jimmy Alvarez, as “Interpol’s Most Wanted.”
On to the stage jumped the seven band members and they started with “How High.” While tossing around red streamers and stringing the room with toilet paper, front-man Maximum Maxie toyed with the crowd and playfully flirted with some of the girls through his thick Nuuk-ian accent.
While they were all wearing masks, you could still see the excitement and energy in the faces of the band as they played “Sandy.” They found someone in the crowd who would be celebrating their birthday soon and dedicated their signature birthday song to her: “Happy Birthday, You’re a Dick.” This got a roar of laughter from the moshing crowd and the soon-to-be birthday girl.
It’s not every day you see a moshing polar bear in a leather vest and red shorts, but there we were. Moshing through the entire set and having fun with the crowd was their mascot, Bi-Polar Bear Tom. He even gave Tara, from the ska-punk band Half Past Two, the royal treatment and carried her to the stage, where she joined the Greenlander boys for a song.
The Maxies finished their set with “My Band,” where they declare how much better their band is than anyone else’s, then quickly ran off the stage to avoid any international government agencies trying to take them in.
Left Alone took the stage to tune their instruments and get ready for a tremendous performance. Once ready, front-man Elvis Cortez asked the crowd to close their eyes and open them back up as though the band just appeared onstage ready to rock. Cortez mentioned that their bassist had a family emergency and couldn’t make the show, so they were going to play without him, and then they jumped right into “Sad Story.”
Left Alone played fan favorites “West End Girl,” “City to City,” and even two songs in Spanish, “Ta Quiero Ver” and “Mi Barrio.” Cortez was joined onstage by a very excited fan to sing the chorus of one of their songs, which elated the crowd and gave them hopes that they too may be asked to join the band onstage sometime. Left Alone finished off the set with their hit “Mile High,” and the skanking crowd cheered with glee and sang along while dancing around.
We spoke with Cortez and Left Alone keyboardist, Pablo Fiasco, afterwards and found out that not only was Cortez dealing with a cold and losing his voice, but Fiasco was doing his best to play deeper notes to help fill in the missing bassist sound, even holding notes with both hands so he had to push keyboard buttons with his nose! We were mesmerized by their tenacity and although their bassist was missed as the fourth stage member, the band did an amazing job filling in the cracks and overcoming these adversities.
As the crowd took a break, the anticipation was building almost immediately as the locals couldn’t wait to see Boston’s premier ska-punk band, Big D and the Kids Table.
We spoke with McWane just before they went on stage, and he confirmed what we were all feeling. Just like The Maxies and Left Alone, Big D was pumped and ready to entertain the home of Third Wave ska!
As Alvarez went back on stage to introduce the band, the cameras went up immediately, then David McWane and the rest of the band made their way to the stage. From the first note, the mosh-pit opened up as Big D went into “Dead Bottle,” and segued into their latest, “Too Much.”
The crowd was cartoon-crazy and matched the intensity from the band. With skankin’ taking place throughout the Constellation Room, Big D reminded the locals that Third Wave was still alive and well. They lined up just like planes coming in to land. Fans danced and screamed to “Toyed,” “New Day,” “Myself,” “G.L.D.,” “5 Gardner,” “Fly Away” and fan favorite “Shining On!”
Perhaps the time off the past two years built up the band’s energy because they were intense from beginning to end. High-energy and amped are two words that can best describe how the band was feeling and performing.
The fans were younger and older, locals and Boston natives, but mostly, ska fans! Before the night ended, Big D played other favorites, “Draw the Line,” “Strictly Rude,” “Steady Riot,” and “LAX.” By the time the last note was played, the entire room was spent because they danced their asses off yet they stayed and screamed for more.
Big D did not disappoint as they came back out to “Little Bitch” and “Noise Complaint.” It’s been a few years since Big D and the Kids Table played in the OC, but wow, was it worth the wait!
Big D continues their Do Your Art Tour next month as they kick-off their East Coast leg. If that’s where you call home, get your skankin’ shoes ready because Big D and the Kids Table is coming your way!
Your 2022 “To-Do List” should include checking out Big D and the Kids Table so you can see for yourself what all the rage is about why they are considered the class of the ska-punk scene!