Hootenanny – Oak Canyon Ranch – 7/7/12

The hot sun was no match for greasers and cowboys who drove out to God's country to partake in some classic rockabilly and punk music at the 18th annual Hootenanny at Oak Canyon Ranch in Silverado Canyon on Saturday. Though there was no question what type of scene this was (read: cherry sundresses and Pomade), the overall crowd vibe created a fun, energetic time warp that's become an indelible part of summer in Orange County. Any lingering angst was surely taken out in one of the dozen circle pits the three stages had to offer. We now regale you with the best (and greasiest) highlights this year's Hootenanny had to offer.

Funniest Lyrics: Roger Alan Wade
Early in the day, people found spots under an oak tree or the cleverly placed misters to listen to Roger Alan Wade spout off some hilarious lyrics. I feel if this act would have appeared at the end of the day, people would have fumbled over the words, but would've laughed a lot harder. The lyrics seemed to compensate for Wade's quaint acoustic set up on Main Stage A and left everyone in the crowd, including myself, in stitches. You really can't beat lyrics like “I want a butt ugly slut with a bad drinkin' problem and a jealous old man in jail” or “I'd love to run your toothbrush on a sick monkey's butt.” It's the kind of humor that's capable of causing even the angriest Rancid fan to crack a smile.

Best Guitar Shredding: Vincent Bury of the Red Devil Squadron

Vincent Bury, lead guitarist from OC-based band the Red Devil Squadron, took no mercy on his fret board as his fingers ran like a marathon runner up and down the neck of the guitar during the group's 2 p.m. set. I turned my head once and looked back at the Side Stage to see Bury channeling his inner Hendrix and placed the guitar on behind his back, resting it on his bushy mane as his blitzed through some impressively fast riffage. I was lucky there were benches close by as my knees began to buckle from the note-heavy awesomeness rained upon me.
Craziest Circle Pit: 3 Bad Jacks
3 Bad Jacks lit a fire under everyone's already over-heated ass when lead singer Elvis Suissa literally set his drummer's cymbals ablaze and screamed “I wanna see blood in that pit!” He requested “all the pretty girls step aside and let the ugly-ass mother fuckers beat crap out of one another. Their supreme cover of “Ace of Spades” pounded through the speakers, as the crowd swirling commenced. Shirts, hats, bottles, bags of popcorn, beads, even a neon green pair of pants went airborne while beefy sweaty guys kicked up dust in a testosterone tornado. Suffice it to say, shit got real.

**Honorable mention: Rancid maintained a constant two-to-four pits through the entirety of their hour-long set. Who needs a fancy workout routine when you have these bands?
Biggest Technical Difficulty: The Supersuckers
Although The Supersuckers put on an energetic show, at some point a fuse blew after one of their songs. But it wasn't a total bummer–the silence that followed left the crowd stagnant long enough for me to sneak away and narrow down my favorite cherry print pin up dress amongst the circuit of retail tents. Though  it was a frustrating blunder, the loyal crowd waited for everything to hastily fall back into order and the The Supersuckers went on to produce as set that certainly did not, uh, suck.

Most Crowd Love: The Bouncing Souls
The New Jersey-based band the Bouncing Souls' lead singer Greg Attonito somehow levitated over the gauntlet of photogs to literally get in fan's faces and rock out in stunning fashion. You could feel the love radiate from fans smiles as Attonito practically crowd surfed to give away high fives and hugs. Thoroughly grateful fans rocked out harder which goes to show that when you're on stage, the right amount of sweaty acknowledgement towards the crowd does indeed pay dividends.
Most Wasted: The Growlers
While the Bouncing Souls spread mad crowd love, The Growlers could be seen chugging Tecate while setting up on the neighboring stage. The very plain-faced Orange County-based band mellowed out the pumped up crowd with their psychedelic tunes while lead singer Brooks Nielson nonchalantly proclaimed one of his few comprehensible phrases “I'm drunk.” A few giggles later, he tried in vain to throw out some inebriated, hippie vibes amongst the grease folk. “Come on, you rockabilly guys know you take LSD, too.”
Most Anticipated:Rancid
Though pretty much the entire day showcased awesome rockabilly music and fare, the impeding set of Bay area punk legends Rancid kept the crowd giddy with anticipation all day long. The second these Lars Frederickson, Tim Armstrong, Matt Freeman and Branden Steineckert  stepped on the stage, barricades swelled and creaked and crowd surfers seemed to emerged from nowhere. For the next hour, we got extremely good at dodging flying feet and fists as the band rocked the shit out of the crowd with their classic and not-so-old singles “Time Bomb” and “Olympia Wa.” to name a few, happily tacking their crowd as the indisputable punk kings of the Hoot.
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