Concert review by Candace Coy
It was a very chilly December night in Orange County, CA. Traffic was ridiculous, and the parking lots were full of excited young children, tourists and last minute Christmas shoppers. Needless to say, getting to the House of Blues, Anaheim was nothing less than a mission in itself. As I zig-zagged my way through the Mickey-Mouse goers and teenagers, I was pleasantly surprised to see the crowd of people waiting patiently in line to see The Devious Means and Midnight Hour.
Once inside, I grabbed a drink, a seat with a view, and watched while the crowd mingled and listened to the opening acts of Breach the Summit, Heavy Petal and York. In between the sets, The Meanie Carol Choir sang their sassy renditions of old Christmas classics to put people in the Holiday spirit. It was fairly mellow until Brad Lodge from the Midnight Hour burst onto the stage wearing skinny jeans and boots. His energy was electrifying, and so was the reaction of their fans. Most knew every word to every song, and even finished up their lyrics as he stretched his microphone gripping hand into the crowd. Tim Johnson was epic on guitar, and drummer Dan Ardis kept a very steady beat. Like any good band, they decided to save the best for last. Unfortunately, the time lords at “the house the mouse built” cut their time short, leaving the crowd chanting “One more song, one more sooooong.”
The momentum continued when The Devious Means took the stage, or the Meanies as they are affectionately known by their fans. In speaking with Rachel Anderson before the show, she was very nervous that she would forget the words to their opening tune, the 1949 Frank Loesser classic, Baby It’s Cold Outside. You would have never known that she was nervous. Her smooth Patsy Cline-esque voice is very easy on the ears, while the infectious energy of front-man Christopher Faris is a feast for the eyes. What I also took notice is how sincere the band was in delivering their music and messages to their fans. A good example was expressed halfway through the show, drummer Jason Mize got the crowd going when he busted out Christmas songs and asked the crowd to sing along; they caringly obliged. Faris was openly excited to play a new tune for the near capacity crowd; the guitar riff to Holiday was nothing short of shredding. It had that riff that would have made Dave Grohl and Rob Zombie smile. It was more nefarious than devious in nature, in a very-very good way! The song agreed with the crowd, their response was enthusiastic to say the least.
In true holiday fashion, the Meanies closed the show with the U2 classic Christmas, Baby Please Come Home. Joining the Meanies to the screaming fans were MH front-man Brad Lodge and Robert Jon Burrison of Robert Jon and the Wreck. All in all, it was a very good show. The fans clearly enjoyed themselves as well as the bands. The Meanies definitely put their heart and soul into their performance, and you don’t have wait until December each year to check out one of their shows. If you want to experience good music, from very good people… I highly recommend you go to www.thedeviousmeans.com to see when they’ll be playing in your neck of the woods. I’m fairly certain, you too will be very happy you checked them out.