The Aquabats, So-Cal’s superhero ska band brought their unique brand of concert craziness to the House of Blues in San Diego on July 29th. The intimate downtown venue was packed to the rafters for this show with fans of all ages, some even dawning their favorite cosplay or dressing up in masks and helmets just like the band. The Aquabats fans or “Cadets” both young and old are super passionate, with the line for band merch in the Delta Room reaching hour long wait times throughout the evening.
The Aquabats have been playing together as a band since 1994, forming in the then blooming Orange County ska and punk rock scenes. 29 years later with six albums, dozens of videos and tours, a tv show, plenty of side projects, and a myriad of lineup changes, the band has continued to evolve its sound and image. If the band’s early shows were once underground skank dance parties, the atmosphere these days is much more of a family affair, with band leader and vocalist MC Bat Commander (Christian Jacobs) at several points during the evening stopping the crowd to make sure all the kids in attendance were alright. At one point in the evening a young fan even surfed the capacity crowd on top a giant slice of inflatable pizza. The band also fought plenty of costumed monsters onstage and tossed enough water into the audience to douse most of the front row. It’s honestly really cool to see several generations of fans and their kids all enjoying this high energy positive music together in a rocking but still family friendly environment.
The Aquabats! are singer MC Bat Commander (Christian Jacobs), bassist Crash McLarson (Chad Larson) and since 2006, keyboardist Jimmy the Robot (Randall Briggs), drummer Ricky Fitness (Richard Falomir) and guitarist Eaglebones Falconhawk (Ian Fowles). In addition to this core group there were also several additional members at this show, with the band featuring a horn section and an additional guitar player and guest keyboardist. All of the members wore their signature brightly colored blue super hero outfits with black masks and the band danced, jumped, and rocked out all over the House of Blues stage. This group really creates a magical and special atmosphere for its fans, and its super rad to experience it live.