December 9th, 2011
House of Blues Anaheim
Downtown Disney is always a mess and Friday was no exception. But on this night, it was extra messy. With parking closed off for a private party, attendants were as frantic as the proverbial chickens with their heads cut off. Get your shit together, Disney.
That being said, the Wailers performance at the House of Blues in Downtown Disney brought out all walks of life. This all-ages show packed the audience with the old to the way too young and most had a, uh, “peaceful” mentality. Even though we were thoroughly checked by the security, there was still an ever-present scent of ganja wafting through the air … none of it coming from the white guy with the beanie with fake dreadlocks attached. (True story. It takes a man with balls to rock one of those at a reggae show.)
Mental states eased, the crowd was ready to sway as the opening band (and OC natives) Headshine hit the stage. This four-guy band had a laidback vibe and definitely did a great job of warming up the room for the Wailers with songs like, “Better Things” and “One Spark.” Headshine said they were humbled to be opening for the Wailers because they grew up listening to them in high school. Sweet.
After a brief intermission that included fantastic people-watching, complete with a girl crying while drinking a beer, the Wailers' huge band hit the stage. Once again the smell of marijuana rose in the air as sweet songs of the islands filled the room. “How ya feelin?” they asked. “We are the Wailers and we're forever Rastafari,” they yelled out as the crowd went crazy. Performing songs like, “Zion Train,” “Coming in From the Cold,” and the massive crowd pleaser, “Could You Be Loved,” the audience loved every note. Teasing the crowd, they acted like the show was over but of course, there were so many more songs to play, you just knew they were coming back out.
Their encore once again hyped up the crowd as the band played another flawless set. Starting with “Redemption Song,” the crowd caught the groove and displayed some winning dance moves — especially this human dancing machine shaking it in the roped-off area. I don't blame him though. It was pretty cool to hear “Three Little Birds” and “Jammin'” live. The Wailers wound down the show with “Exodus Party,” and as they thanked the Anaheim crowd and left the stage, the crowd chanted for more. It was to no avail. Besides, the munchies were setting in.
Personal Bias: I was ready for a contact high.
The Crowd: I realized this was an all-ages show when there was an 8-year-old boy in the woman's bathroom. Needless to say, the crowd was interesting visually. They were very responsive and seemed to love every moment of this very long show.
Overheard in the Crowd:
“My son is tired. He's 8 and out waaaay past his bedtime!”
“You can buy cigarettes in Downtown Disney? What's next? A Disney strip club?”
“There are a lot of tight shirts here tonight!”
“Where's the chronic at?”
Random notebook dump: Played a game of “which Disney princess would you like to see on the pole” with a random “irie” couple. He opted for Snow White.
Coming in From the Cold
We and Dem
Could You Be Loved
Forever Loving Jah
I Shot the Sherriff
Bend Down Low- Kaya
Stir it Up
3 Little Birds/One Love
Ali Lerman knows much about comedy, basketball, and celebrating Wu-Tang Wednesday. She’s been writing for fifteen years and still calls her mom with grammatical questions.