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Lighters Up

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With sweat dripping down my neck and the taste of stale whiskey on lips, I rocked the dance floor of the Galaxy Theatre in Santa Ana this past Saturday night. The reggae themed Surf Rock Tour took place just east of L.A., bringing out the fabulousness of Chapter 11, OPM, and Common Sense. Oh, and did I mention, there were even a few drunken guys boogieing down to James Brown between sets.

Not to be thrown off by the less than riveting opening act, the group Chapter 11 followed by pumping the crowd and filling the dance floor. Each of the band’s three vocalists had a different style that flowed perfectly over the live drums, guitars, and bongos. Ranging from fast-paced to a slow sway, the pit was packed with dancers of all ages.

The following act transcended the same reggae atmosphere. Not being a stranger to the Galaxy, OPM performed their hits ranging from their skater anthem “Heaven Is a Half Pipe,” to the more reggae flavored tracks from their latest album. OPM lit up the stage, literally, with a little help from a guy in the audience. When security came to fix this “problem,” the band backed him up saying, “It’s my fault, don’t act like you can’t hear me” – come on Galaxy, I know that you’ve hosted other Mary Jane induced concerts. Despite this minor bureaucratic run-in, OPM rocked the stage, banging the crowd with their well received performance.

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The final act ended the show with the crowd moving in unison. The group Common Sense, not to be confused with the rapper, played a soul-shaking tribute set to Bob Marley. The crowd really got hyped when the band brought out an autistic friend to help sing a part of their set. They ended with the crowd screaming “encore,” and refusing to leave without a shot of something strong and hard. Common Sense returned with the emotional ending of Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.” We put our lighters up, waved our arms, and did it all in the name of Rasta music.

Photo by Doug Oneshot's via flickr.com