Album Review :
Fish Fest: The O.C. Supertones, Thousand Foot Krutch, Tyrone Wells, Run Kid Run

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Event: Fish Fest

Location: Irvine, CA.

Date: June 12th 2010

Bands (that I actually watched): Run Kid Run, Tyrone Wells, Thousand Foot Krutch, The O.C. Supertones

I didn’t really know what to expect with Fish Fest. My expectations were sort of low considering I knew all the bands that I wanted to see were playing the “Edge” stage and not the huge amphitheater. When I first caught wind of the fest, I had anticipated that The O.C. Supertones would be on the main stage. I was wrong however and they ended up getting booked for the smaller “Edge Stage”, a disappointment for me considering I am old and like to sit down for a show. LOL. It wasn’t until the show(s) actually started that I began to understand the reason these bands were meant to play a side stage, and not a major event like stage where the crowd all sits down like old people 😉 The first band to start, like literally 5 minutes after we arrived, was none other than Run Kid Run (Tooth & Nail Records). The band began to play and I was instantly drawn into their vocals which were crisp, clear, and upfront (thank you sound guys). They played songs off of both their albums and introduced a new song as well. I can’t remember the names of any of the songs or the new one because I am slowly aging and my mind is not as sharp as it once was. LOL. I have horrible memory retention. I do remember thinking that Run Kid Run sounded a bit like Fall Out Boy for some reason during their live set. Not so much on CD but live, they did sound a little bit like FOB. It’s not a bad thing and I thought this vocalist could carry a tune much better than Patrick Stump. The keyboard was a nice addition when the second guitarist took it over. The band was a four piece during Fish Fest. The band closed with a new song and said that they would begin recording a new album towards the end of summer. Yay!

Run Kid Run ended their set and my son and I scattered. We walked around the merch tents which were surprisingly not as cheesy as the ones I saw at Cornerstone a few years ago. No little button makers, or Christian retailers selling Jesus ts and Holy Chocolate or Jesus Mints. Kidding, I didn’t actually see the Jesus candy at Cornerstone but you get the point. I was very impressed by the sheer number of booths dedicated to the well being of children and adults living in third world countries affected by disease, malnourishment, and poverty. There was a compassion international booth, booths for Tom Shoes, which is a very awesome company that dedicates themselves to providing shoes to third world needy kids, I saw some shirts being sold to benefit the people of Haiti, and another booth that provides clothing sewn my people in impoverished countries with the funding going to them. I forget the name though of that booth (lame memory, sorry). Fish Fest also had a “Family Stage” with little kid music which I actually thought was a nice touch for this very family oriented festival. The fest had the typical barbeque food and other carnival treats, which were too expensive for me and I didn’t feel like eating at a festival or standing in those huge lines. Plus there was literally nowhere to sit and enjoy the food yum yums. If I had any complaints it was the lack of seating in the grounds area. Oh well, enough of my old man crying. So where were we? Oh yeah, the bands…..

After we walked around aimlessly and a bit bored, my son and I headed back to the side stage after debating for a bit whether or not we should even approach the main stage/seating to see Brandon Heath. My son said he didn’t want to see any contemporary music artists so I smiled a wee bit and obliged his request. So anyway, we headed back to the Edge Stage and stood in the middle of the crowd just in time for Tyrone Wells to begin. I had heard the name of Tyrone Wells for a few years and remembered he used to be in some alternative Christian rock band way back but the name escapes me now. I just had never checked out his solo music because I either thought it was a) more contemporary music or b) another singer songwriter out of touch with the rest of the world. So I listened with low expectations but an open mind. He began to play a song or two and it started to don on me that this was actually an artist with a great deal of talent behind him. I deal with a bit of anxiety on a daily basis and what he said that night really hit home for me. He said this song (forget the name of it) is for anybody experiencing anxiety or fear in their life. He said “Perfect love casts out all fear” and it really struck a nerve with me. It was the perfect quote for me to remember the evening and brought me a great deal of comfort to prepare myself for the rest of the evening. The guy was super talented and he even sang one song halfway through, acappella without instruments. Not many people can pull off a song acapella and actually carry the tune but Tyrone hit it perfectly and without any cringe worthy moments. If Chris Carraba were to pull this off live without instruments, it would be a disaster. You know what I am talking about. Just about any singer songwriter hiding behind his or her guitar would have a difficult time singing a song acappella. I do remember one song though, it was called “Sea breeze” and was the perfect tune for a summer day. A couple actually came up on stage and the man proposed to his girlfriend before the song began. Awesome. Tyrone left the stage with the small crowd (a lot of females for some reason) with a feeling of delight and a smile planted on all of our faces. This was summer music and perfect for a beautiful warm Orange County evening. Then the rock started………

Instead of departing the stage again and browsing more booths, my son and I decided to move up closer to the stage and wait for Thousand Foot Krutch to begin. The band came out and tested their instruments (Sound check) and it was evident that it was going to be a LOUD set, because the sound was cranked up for them. After what seemed like just a few brief moments (probably closer to 30 minutes), the band came out. It was funny before they started, my son said “Look, I think that’s Thousand Foot Krutch and they are wearing costumes”. I had a brief LOL moment so I looked over and sure enough they were decked out in all black with what appeared to be typical Hot Topic gear. Lol. Then it began. They came out on stage and the crowd erupted in a sea of cheers for them. Some of these kids having waited hours to see TFK in action as were evidenced by the slightly younger crowd around me. You ever get the feeling that when you’re taller and have more grey hairs, that maybe you’re out of place; yeah that’s how I felt. Ha ha. So the band came out with background music playing (Intro) and Trevor walked on stage carrying a gold flashy flag with the band’s logo on it. I sort of giggled when I saw the spectacle but my sarcasm was completely changed to a grin as the band tore into their first some “Welcome to the Masquerade”. Holy crap, this was intense and LOUD. They really cranked up the amps and speakers for this show and we standing a few people back from the stage. My ears were ringing by about the third song. The band at one point came out and said, “we’re not going to play any ballads for you tonight” and I was a bit surprised considering this band probably gets quite a few of their ballads played on CCM stations ( I wouldn’t know though for sure since I don’t listen to CCM radio). They played through “Welcome to the Masquerade”, “Fire It Up”, “Rawkfist”, and several other songs I can’t remember. Each one was rock anthem, crowd igniter. They even played one song off their very first album, the name escapes me. I went in with low expectations and by the end of TFK’s set, I was won over. Sure, they sound a bit like a Christian version of Limp Bizkit but overall, their sound has enough variance to distinguish them from the other sound alike clones out there. I didn’t think they sounded outdated but others may disagree with me on that issue. I couldn’t believe the kids moshing either; it was interesting to say in the least. The crowd went nuts but it’s completely understandable when you’re dealing with a LOUD sound system set up like they had. So that was that.

We stood around for a little while more after the band finished but I grew bored of waiting so we walked over to the OC Supertones booth and bought some merch. Considering this may or may not be the last time I see the band, ever, I decided to buy some overpriced T-shirts and stickers. I even bought my son a pair of TFK drum sticks because he’s a drummer and enjoys that sort of thing. I am sorry, I love The OC Supertones but $20 for a T-shirt is a bit steep. I still bought two but man it seemed a little expensive. Maybe it was the fact that it was a festival at a major concert venue and that was why the tshirts were so high in price (as is often the case with these high profile gigs). So after we bought our Tour t-shirts, Supertones stickers, and TFK drum sticks, we walked back to the Edge Stage to begin the wait for my favorite band, The O.C. Supertones. I wasn’t alone in the waiting game either, other people were beginning to gather around the stage as well. When their banner dropped behind the stage, the crowd cheered. The band members slowly came out and began to sound check, something we were all eagerly waiting for. The crowd was even cheering their “Warm ups”. After much anticipation, unsure expectations, and a half hour of waiting, the band came out to the old 70’s tune “Reunited and it feels so good….”. The crowd now numbered hundreds and expanded throughout the small grounds we were provided with to stand. My son and I were up front near the stage but not immediately in front, more so to the middle of the audience. The famous intro to “Adonai” was echoed and the band began! With ferocity, they tore through Adonai, igniting the crowd into a dancing frenzy. I was reliving my old high school days all over again. It was nuts. The nostalgia brought a smile to my face and adrenaline to my veins. I was singing along proudly without a care in the world. The band played through mostly older songs off their first 3 albums, quite a few from “Adventures of the OC Supertones”, probably due to the fact that they were very much into bringing back the ska glory of the 90’s. It was evident in their merch (the old school Superman logo blue shirt, remember that one?, the ska checkerboard black/white stickers, and the Black/white Ska Ska Ska ts) and on everyone’s clothing. Heck I even saw an older woman, probably close to my age (wow that’s old Brandon), wearing an old school Supertones patch, safety pinned to her jacket, just like old times! Back to the music. The ska was alive and being played with the intensity not seen from this band since their introduction to the world as The O.C. Supertones back in 95’ after they changed their name from “Saved”. This band was excited to be back in action and their newfound enjoyment for playing music again was clear to see in the way this band presented themselves to the audience. At one point, Matt even said you kids have your emo-rock that’s made you all depressed, well we’ve come back to change all that and we’re here to party, or something along those lines. It was pure awesomeness. When they started “Supertones Strike Back” the crowd started to surge and got absolutely nuts. People were crowd surfing like mad, one right after the other, moshing, dancing, you name it. Their show was like one huge awesome PARTY, with a purpose of sharing the Lord, getting people to dance, and bringing about smiles on faces rather than just standing around moping. It wasn’t until I watched this set that I realized how much I miss the FUN in going to a show. A place where you can fellowship with other believers (mostly strangers), and sing songs at the top of your lungs to the Lord while getting active in the crowd. It was weird being at this show because it reminded me so much of my youth, of high school, and the sheer amount of fun I used to have going to see The OC Supertones around Orange County during the heyday of the 90’s. The band played “Unite” and as expected the crowd erupted in a fury of voices and fists in the air. Jersey Shore “Fist Pumping” took on a whole new meaning this evening and I was as excited (as if you couldn’t tell). The band played through a bunch of songs off their first 3 albums including “Adonai, “OC Supertones”, “Unknown”, “Supertones Strike Back”, “Unite”, “Little Man”, “Away From You”, “Hallelujah”, and a few more I am forgetting. Half way through the set list, the band paused and a few of the guys alternated instruments with Matt going to Bass, Tony going to Drums, and Jason Carson coming out from behind the kit with an acoustic guitar. They immediately began playing a worship song I so sincerely apologize that I can’t recall the name of. The crowd joined together in worship and we were all truly singing from our hearts to the Lord. It was magical.  The band ended their set with “Unite” and it was powerful, let me tell you.  After the band left the stage a few people began to scatter and head off until the crowd started chanting “ONE MORE SONG, ONE MORE SONG…..” As expected, the band came back out for an encore and offered us the fans, one choice for which song to play last. Matt said we could either choose between “Jury Duty”, and “Chase the Sun”. He let the crowd choose, and they cheered for “Chase the Sun” a bit more than my favorite, “Jury Duty”. Well, they ended their set with a fine song and left all of us yearning for something greater in our lives. Something of lasting value, something of substance, and that was a closer relationship with our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Gone was the moping, self analyzing, apathetic, emo-tion found in so many of today’s rock bands, and in its place was a PARTY, good times, and rock music that wasn’t depressing in the least bit. The seriousness replaced with a healthy dose of humor, and warm feelings of joy. I even had a tear in my eye during their set, forgetting how much I missed The O.C. Supertones and their fun, light hearted music.

I am planning on seeing them one last time at Harvest Crusade in Anaheim, CA. on August 7th at Angels Stadium. If that is to be my last time seeing them, ever (or until another 5 years from now), then let this concert serve as a reminder of what a great band they were, and will forever be in my heart. I wasn’t the only “Old” guy at the show as I glanced through the crowds and saw familiar faces, and people both young and old. It was an event you had to be there to truly understand its power. The Holy Spirit was at work on June 12th and Fish Fest and The O.C. Supertones truly brought out the fun. My heart is touched and let their call for “Ska Ska Ska” serves you as a warning for what to expect the rest of the summer, as they hit a festival near you. The White and Black are back!

Bands on Facebook:

[Run Kid Run] [Tyrone Wells] [Thousand Foot Krutch] [The O.C. Supertones]

Concert Promoter:

Transparent Productions