Concert review by Jamie Nicole Rocha
A slew of fans huddled up as they stood in line in the rain outside the Yost Theater in Santa Ana. These kids didn’t seem to mind the inclement weather, because they knew once inside, they would be soaked in sweat and basting in body heat from being huddled in the crowd and mosh pits. These antics are very common to anyone who has been to a Streetlight show, afterall; what else would you expect of the punk darlings from New Jersey.
Walking into the Yost, you notice that it’s best described as a mini-me version of the El Rey in Los Angeles. Walls and curtains basked in blood red décor, lined by booths for the VIP elite. Streetlight’s fans look out of place in venue that usually houses DJ and club shows and looking at the security, it was pretty much evident that they had no clue of what they were in for.
First up to open the show was Washington DC’s Lionize, inhabitants of Pentimento Music Group, Streetlight Manifesto’s Tomas Kalnoky label. Lead singer and guitarist Nate Bergman opened by addressing the crowd with these kind words “Thank you for letting us invade your punk rock show,” they then launched into the contrasting music stylings of Lionize. The Streetlight fans didn’t seem to mind since since Lionize has graced the stage previously and opened for Streetlight in other tours. So the fans were familiar with their offerings. The crowd swayed and bobbed their heads to the bands bluesy rock concoction, being served with a dash of reggae and other genres. Fans nodded to each other, recognizing the smooth and terrific musicianship the band was serving up, and made their time very spent well.
Up next was Connecticut’s Hostage Calm. By the sound of their name, one may think a thrash punk band was about to attack the stage, but instead was a pleasant surprise as the sound was a mix of pop, punk, and everything in between. The band added to the contrasting musical tours that Streetlight always seems to go for, as Kalnoky has stated before… he wanted to reflect how shows were in New Jersey. At first, the fans were still figuring out what was happening in front of them since they were still recovering from Lionize, but it wasn’t long until Hostage Calm’s energy got to their senses, and it didn’t hurt for the ladies as the band wasn’t bad-looking. Hostage Calm offered a diverse set of punk rock, pumping up the crowd for what was about to happen next.
The crowd started getting ready for the headliner, and the kids made their best efforts to get as close as they could for the band they came to see; trying to shoulder their way in front of fans who were doing the absolute same thing. Lights dimmed and the chants of “Streetlight” were soon underway. The crowd went insane as the adored members of the band finally graced the stage, about to punch the crowd with their distinct sound of their assorted mix of genres, ranging from punk rock to ska to world music. The crowd punched right back, as the security scrambled to prevent the barriers from falling down, resulting in guards holding up the rails with their arms and feet with as much strength as they could while crowd surfers were coming in to be caught at a rapid pace. Despite facing the possibility of death, the crowd went full force as the band delivered their usual songs like We Will Fall Together, Somewhere in the Between, Point/Counterpoint, Keasbey Nights, Watch it Crash, Forty Nights, A Moment of Silence, A Moment of Violence, along with a couple of brand new songs from the band’s upcoming fifth studio album, The Hands That Thieve. The fans ate it up, confirming the fact the Streetlight Manifesto is one of the most cherished bands with a dynamic and loyal fan base. From Saxophonist Mike Brown’s amusing stage presence to Chris Thacter’s usual shirtless presence on the drum kit, Streetlight Manifesto gave a performance that left fans smiling soaked with 100 other people’s sweat on them and memories of a night done right, as they walked back dancing to their cars in the down-pouring Orange County rain. It has become a thing of pride to be able to withstand the absolutely craziness that occurs at a Streelight show, and this night at the Yost did not disappoint.
Streetlight Manifesto is currently on tour, for their schedule go to www.streetlightmanifesto.com. You can also keep up with the band by way of their social media pages which are found at Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Their music is in stores now and available through a variety of online servicers such as iTunes.