Suburban Legends Perform Upbeat Ska and Choreographed Dance Moves At Seattle’s El Corazon, By Holly Homan

Suburban Legends

Suburban Legends

It’s a steaming hot Tuesday night July 9th, 2013, but inside Seattle’s El Corazon it’s even hotter. SO Cal ska masters Suburban Legends turn up the temperature as they hit the stage like a raging inferno and never let up. Front man Vincent Walker leaped about the stage, thrust himself into the crowd, working them into a non-stop dancing frenzy. Meanwhile, trombone players Aaron Bertram and Brian Roberston frequently performed synchronized dancing, complete with kicks, that rivaled any ballet, with Walker often joining in the choreographed moves.

Half way into the show the band invited two volunteers from the audience to compete in a dance contest and then a drinking contest involving two huge glasses of . . . milk (probably a good thing neither was lactose intolerant). The band finished their song with the two volunteers joining them in the dancing.

Another highlight was when Walker switched places with guitarist Brian Klemm. They both fell into these reversed roles magnificently. Klemm totally emoted for two songs, the second one being a ska cover of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline, which he sang from the dance floor surrounded by fans. Not to be upstaged, Walker unloaded two huge garbage bags full of balloons that continually got smacked back onto the stage or popped by the enthusiastic crowd. Meanwhile, the choreographed moves continued, often becoming robotic. Suburban Legend’s stage antics exuded manic fun and had no boundaries. They got zanier and zanier.

This was my first time seeing Suburban Legends, but I guarantee it won’t be my last. This was a wild and very fun show.

When I arrived Seattle ska legends Natalie Wouldn’t had just come on stage. I hadn’t known they were opening the show. You know that feeling you get when a good friend you haven’t seen in about a year drops by for an unexpected visit and you spend and hour having a good time together? Well, that’s how I felt about seeing Natalie Wouldn’t play again. Apparently everyone there felt the same because the floor was covered with dancers non-stop. The band, with their upbeat brand of ska mixed with rock and some rhythm and blues, kept the energy alive with their on stage leaps and running about.

Natalie Wouldn’t is also a band with some ska pedigree including Diablotones and Easy Big Fella. Bassist Kevin Crosby was with The Squirrels for many years.

When the band introduced a Lou Reed cover (Satellite of Love) as Lou Reed done ska, trombonist Mike Ayer pipes up, “Lou Reed done better.” Their rendition of Lou Reed was exquisite.

They finished their set with their now traditional ska version of the old Lynyrd Skynyrd classic, Free Bird. Other highlights were a couple songs about cats including Pussy Go Ska, complete with frequent meows. This night Natalie Wouldn’t consisted of, Rick Dybvad/vox/guitar, Shawn Brockman/Tenor Sax, Sean Jensen/Bari Sax, Kevin Crosby/Bass(had sky diving injuries and was sitting down on the job! he’s also a skydive instructor)…. Mike Fanning/Drums and the aforementioned Mike Ayer on trombone.

It was a pleasure seeing Natalie Wouldn’t once again.

– Holly Homan

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