The Aquabats, America’s favorite rock and roll super hero sensation, returned to the House of Blues San Diego during Comic Con weekend for their 4 straight year this past Thursday. The show itself was part of their ongoing tour this year to celebrate 20 years of being a band. Of those 20 years I have been a dedicated aquacadet for half of them, so to see the band still be around an entire decade after my first time is seeing them is truly heartwarming. The band has had a rather tumultuous career to say the least but they still manage to plow on and fight crime with rock and roll! Their perseverance and dedication has not gone unnoticed as we, “the kids”, come out show after show to stand strong with them; this night was no different as The Bats played to a packed room filled with fans both young and old.
However, before the Bats were to go on we had the delightful pleasure of enjoying the musical stylings of Koo Koo Kanga Roo. This dynamic duo of party rockers can only be described as bonkers, of course I mean this in the best way possible. Singing songs about dinosaurs and fanny packs the act had the crowd practically eating out of their hands. I mean how can you say no to those sexy gold fannypacks? You can’t! If it wasn’t the songs that got you laughing then it was the banter as these two were well oiled joke machines.
As Koo Koo Kanga Roo wrapped up their set, finally winning over the shoulder crowd, we waited one rather quick set change before The Aquabats began their set. The usual theatrics accompanied the band as they made their grand entrance; an impressive video teaser to build up the crowd before stepping into action. Though I must say that the video they have on their current tour could easily be one of their best intro sequences yet. It’s a similar style to their last into video from the Holiday Spectacular but with a plethora of new footage.
As they took the stage The Bats played what was easily one of the tightest sets I’ve seen them out of my 50+ times seeing the band since 2004. The set list itself was rather well rounded playing hits from each of their records even playing a song I’ve yet to hear live, “Magic Chicken”. Perhaps the real surprise of the night, for me at least, was the band playing “My Skateboard”. A song I haven’t heard in about 4 or 5 years and is one I honestly never thought I would hear again. With the influx of younger fans coming to shows these days I figured this one would be kind of be lost to the wayside as it’s just not a song I can picture the 10 and under crowd getting into. However, in this situation I am more than ok with being proven wrong. Another surprise that evening came when the band also played Captain Hampton at the behest of the audience; the song was not on the set list for the evening. My only complaint was that the album “vs. the floating eye of death” was rather underrepresented in the set list but even then it’s not anything that took away from the band’s energy that evening. The band was at the top of their game and nothing could stop them.
As the show wrapped up I couldn’t help but have a burst of nostalgia overtake me. A band that has been part of about half of my life still has the ability to bring a smile to a room full of people via their zany antics and they haven’t lost any passion for their craft in their 20 years as a band. That itself is an accomplishment. Seeing them that night only left me with a desire to see it all again as soon as possible. Thankfully the band plays the glasshouse in September, which is where I first saw the band, so perhaps I may need to do something special for that one. Either way, if you missed this one then you NEED to be at the glasshouse. Don’t ask why, just buy buy buy!
All pictures are property of Chris Graue/The Scene Report