Priscella Vega

The Aquabats @ Irvine Great Park – 8/30/2012

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The Orange County Great Park was filled with cadets dressed in their best rashgaurds for a free concert featuring The Aquabats Thursday night. It didn’t take long for fans to trickle in for the evening’s shenanigans that would consists of beach balls, hugs, and catchy tracks with unconventional lyrics.

A few hours before the concert, fans had already crowded near the stage where a Vans shoe commercial was being filmed with DJ Lance Rock of Yo Gabba Gabba!. Children were near the front of the black and white checkered floor, sporting their bright blue rashgaurds and silver helmets.

Once filming wrapped up, a large group of attendees played ‘Duck Duck Goose’ to pass time. Fans watched as those who were playing chased one another while dressed in wacky outfits. As the game progressed, a Goon Holler, a furry character from Yo Gabba Gabba!, also joined in on the fun and played with the large circle of fans.

Fans called out, “Where is the captain?” as time drew near for the quirky band to step on stage. Soon later, the band came out and kicked off their set with their “Theme Song.” Immediately, the crowd responded positively as they sang and danced along with the vivacious MC Bat Commander (vocals).

“Kids, thank you for coming to this free show tonight!” said the MC Bat Commander. Fans responded in cheers, delighted with how the evening started out.

Toddlers who were on their parents’ shoulders did not refrain from showing their enthusiasm, as they sang and waved their hands throughout tracks. Parents even encouraged their kids to participate by dancing and following the Bat Commander’s orders. Older fans crowd surfed their way to the front, while others danced in a circle, creating a skank pit.

The makeshift barricades had to be replaced during the band’s set as the crowd began got rowdy. There were moments throughout the night where the Bat Commander had to remind fans to “chill out” as kids near the front were at risk of being shoved against the railings.

Midway through their first set, a man dressed in a shrimp consume came onstage to attack the band. Fans cheered on the band, as the Bat Commander and Crash McLarson (bass) judo chopped the mutant shellfish.

“Kids, remember when you’re eating seafood, always clean and prepare the right way because if you eat bad fish, well, that might be shellfish,” joked the Bat Commander.

Fan favorites where played throughout their two sets like “Martian Girl”, “Hey Homies”, and “Pool Party.” The band dedicated numerous songs like “Nerd Alert” to the audience. Toddlers, in particular, seemed to love the band’s performance of “Pool Party” as kids were brought up on stage to dance and as beach balls were tossed out into the crowd.

The positivity of the night, the energy from the band, and fun-loving spirit of all fans helped create a ‘super rad’ evening that surely won’t be forgotten by any of the cadets that where present.

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