Wednesday, June 18, 2008

RUHtf: Concert review: Calling Tustin...This is Supernova

No…Dave Navarro wasn’t present as master of ceremonies. There were no TV cameras, the only cameras being used were either ones run by family members or soldiers in the Supernova Army. And no…neither Jason Newsted nor Tommy Lee were scheduled to play along tonight.

That is because gracing the District stage Saturday night was not the corporate “Rock Star: Supernova”, but was a local Orange County punk band who have been together since around 1989 and have recorded four albums. This is the “little band that could”…which is go up against the corporate greed mongers and win out. Even though they “only” had four albums and were on hiatus from touring and performing..they still had established themselves in the public’s collective consciousness as the entity known as “Supernova”. It would be as if Mark Burnett, in his idea for the next chapter in his “Rock Star:” behemoth got together, say, Howard Jones, Vince Clarke, and M, to put together a supergroup looking for a lead singer and called it “Rock Star: A-ha”. The Norweigians would be in an uproar. (side note: that’s probably not the best example, as a simple wikipedia search shows the band is one of the greatest selling bands of all time…with over 80 million copies sold. Who’da thunk? But you get the idea).

Well, Saturday night was the latest in entrepreneur Tazy Phillipz series of concerts under the stars and in the mall. What this means is you have a great concert with people walking by with their Borders, Johnny Rockets, and DSW bags, holding their hands to their ears as they pass.

The band promised a “family friendly show”, and family friendly they did deliver. The District, of course, requires a clean show...but the band was also keeping it clean because, well…their families were there including their young kids. It was telling when, in the middle of their set, I overheard the conversation of the young girl behind me talking to her friend on her cell phone saying “I’m at my dad’s concert.” Absent from this show, thankfully, was any signs of a mosh pit that often accompanies this type of music at shows like House Of Blues and the Galaxy (RIP). In its place were admiring parents, happy wives, friendly neighbors..and dancing kids. I especially got a kick out of watching one kid do that dance…you know what I’m talking about. The one where they lose all control of their body and let the beats of the music guide them…throwing out any semblence of embarrassment and hopping around like the cement is hot.

The band was tight and had some great, hooky songs. They could have easily fit in to that hole that was in the music scene that is now occupied by that “other” Orange County punk trio. Hopefully the band will continue playing and recording some new music. This music is timeless and sounds as good now as it did then. And maybe they could catch on well enough to be known as more than “The band that brought Mark Burnett down”.

These District Legacy concerts are great, on Friday and Saturday nights. The sound is stellar. The video screen above the stage is kind of annoying. Although at one point there was an anonymous boy band dancing on the screen, and it was almost in sync with the band. At a time when gas prices are through the roof, this is a way to get some good quality entertainment close to home (if you live in Tustin or Irvine, that is).

What follows are some songs culled from the Bro Show interview of Supernova (which can be heard in its entirety here):


Backyard Boat

Calling Hong Kong


Cool Job

Electric Man

Choke The Fuzz

Medly of I'm The Man (Joe Jackson) and Supernova's What We Do

Unknown song 1

Unknown song 2

Supernova Radio ID

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