Music Review: Aquabats have kid-friendly show at Great Park

Kids stayed up a little past their bedtimes this week as they watched the Aquabats perform fun ditties at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine.

The Huntington Beach ska group played for free Thursday as part of the park's Summer's End Weekend at the Flights & Sounds Summer Festival.

"Money's been holding us back," vocalist the MC Bat Commander said to the sea of fans. "I don't know what these rappers are talking about."

Dressed in superhero costumes — which also resembled scuba diving gear — the Aquabats performed for a crowd ranging from toddlers to adults. Many of the fans, dubbed the Aquacadets, wore teal and purple spandex costumes similar to the band's.

Staying true to the Aquabats' kid-friendly show, DJ Lance Rock of "Yo Gabba Gabba!" hyped up the audience before the concert. Goon Holler from "Yo Gabba Gabba!" danced through the crowd and joined a game of duck, duck, goose.

As soon as the Aquabats came on stage, it became apparent that the show wasn't just for the kids, even though the band has a TV show, "The Aquabats! Super Show!" aimed at younger viewers.

Throughout the set, the MC Bat Commander made references to adult material. For example, he sang a Suicidal Tendencies lyric, "All I wanted was a Pepsi," from the punk band's song "Institutionalized."

Still, most of the show was aimed toward the younger crowd, and to keep everyone safe, the Aquabats discouraged rowdy crowd surfers and moshers.

"Just remember there are a lot of little kids here who will grow up, hunt you down and make you cry," the MC Bat Commander said. "And, kids, if they're on top of you, you have a right to take something of theirs. Take their shoes or their pants!"

The Aquabats performed kid-friendly songs like "Hey Homies!" and fan favorites like "Martian Girl."

However, perhaps two of the most popular numbers were "Pizza Day" and "Pool Party." The latter was complemented with dancing kids onstage and blue-and-white beach balls thrown into the crowd.

The Aquabats also proved that they truly cared about their fans. During "Burger Rain," the MC Bat Commander brought up Joey, a younger fan with leg braces, who danced and sang along.

"Joey's a great kid, and you guys made him greater," the MC Bat Commander said to the crowd, who chanted "Joey" after the song.

Despite the somewhat childish vibe of the show, older fans still had fun as they formed a skank-dancing pit during songs like "Martian Girl." Parents boogied with their kids, proving that just about anyone, no matter the age, can have fun at an Aquabats show.

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