‘Suburban’ men prove ska-licious
Posted April 27, 2007
Lauren Pollard
Mike Hackey, bass player for the ska-rock band “Suburban Legends,” let loose during the group’s performance in Founders Auditorium on April 17. The band’s up-tempo theatrical
concert, involving a trumpet, trombone and several other instruments, had the crowd gathered at the stage jumping up and down, dancing and singing along loudly with the band. Suburban Legends will be performing at the Knitting Factory in Hollywood on May 31.

On April 19 bands Kill the Complex and Suburban Legends rocked out in Founders Hall.

By 10 p.m. almost 100 people had crowded into the first three or four rows to sing along, dance and participate in the CAB-sponsored “Ska-looza” concert.

The first band, Kill the Complex, played well and had catchy tunes. The band consisted of four guys, each perfectly punked out in arm bands, Vans and a stylish hair cut.

The lead singer sported a floppy blonde mohawk.

With two guitarists and a drummer, the lead singer devoted himself completely to cracking random jokes, getting the audience hyped up and being a fun, if not funny, entertainer.

Kill the Complex kept the audience involved and excited for their brand of radio-friendly punk-emo songs.

People sang along to the songs and laughed in between.

There was a great feeling going around in Founders.

Everyone was hanging out, making friends and listening to Kill the Complex’s upbeat rock while waiting for Suburban Legends to come out.

Suburban Legends consists of six members. Vince Walker sings lead vocals, Mike Hackey plays bass, Luis Beza plays trumpet, Brian Klemm plays guitar, Derek Smith plays drums and Brian Robertson plays trombone.

On occasion, Dallas Kruse will join the group to play the keyboard guitar, tambourine and cowbell.

Most of the band members grew up in Huntington Beach, but they also call other areas home.

“We are from the OC, but I would say Santa Ana is our headquarters,” Robertson said.

Klemm and Walker said that although the band has been together several years, they did not start making music with their current line up until just recently.

“As a band, it’s been seven years,” Walker said. “But as a group, I would say it’s been a year and a half. Since about the summer of 2005,” Klemm added.

Klemm and Walker also agree that the music is what made them become a band.

“It’s not just pick up an instrument and play that. We want to take it further,” Klemm said.

“It’s the desire to play music for a living,” said Walker.

At a little after 11 p.m., Suburban Legends came out on stage. The band members took their place and with a smile from Walker, the show started.

The band played loudly.

The music not only grabbed the crowd and pushed everyone to their feet, but it grabbed the musicians themselves. It was easy to see they were enjoying themselves.

The show was entertaining for everyone involved.

Beza and Robertson’s work on the trumpet and trombone was awesome.
They stretched their notes, added funky beats to the band’s already ska-licious sound and even managed to dance around.

Kruse’s work on the keyboard, tambourine and cowbell was great. He played his instruments and shook his head and behind to the music.

Klemm’s tall frame channeled KISS, Guns ‘N’ Roses and a few other classic rock acts through his guitar.

Hackey bobbed his mohawk to the music and the deep strummings of his bass, while Walker jumped about the stage, singing, dancing and acting as if he’d lived off of sugar the last few days.

After the first song the other band members were more at ease and danced around with Walker as well.

Robertson, Beza and Walker all danced in unison throughout the set, as if choreographed.

By the end of the second song, the whole band was dancing, side-stepping and jumping around onstage.

The show was energetic and funky.

Walker and his men overexagerrated their dance moves, were theatrical actors with the music, and all in all, behaved like real showmen.

At one point, every musician raised his right arm in a powerhouse circle and brought it around to strum his real, or pretend, guitar.

From their eurohawks down to their skinny jeans, the men of Suburban Legends knew how to party and wild out.

After Walker included audience participation with singing back and clapping, the crowd was in a frenzy of excitement.

Girls in tights and ballet flats and guys with long hair and tight jeans danced, spun, skipped and bobbed their bodies to the music.

The group is a fantastic mix of ska, rock, pop, disco and a variety of other things.

Each song is a dance anthem, causing the audience to writhe, wriggle and rock out. Each song hooks the listener into it, being a combination of poppy, funky crazy rhythms.

Audience member Allen Leos, a 21-year-old from San Diego, said he was visiting a friend in La Verne when they decided to go see the show.

“We went to the concert because we thought it’d be cool to see them,” he said. “I’ve heard of Suburban Legends before, but I’ve never listened to their music.”

Leos said that although he was surprised by some aspects of the show, he still enjoyed it.

“It was weird to see a trombone and trumpet, but they added another cool sound to the band,” he said.

“And I’ve never seen a rock band have choreographed dancing,” he added. “But it just really showed they took time to prepare for their performance.”

“It was really good. I even bought a CD.”

CAB Marketing and Public Relations Chairwoman Gabby De La Cruz was proud that the concert had turned out so well.

“It’s good to see so many people here,” she said. “We don’t usually get many non-ULV people at CAB sponsored events, but Suburban Legends drew a good crowd from the neighboring colleges.”

“This has been one of the biggest events we organized and we’d hoped to end the year strong. This has been a great turnout,” she added.

Klemm and Walker said that fans enjoy their shows because Suburban Legends is able to connect very well with audiences.

“We’re a high energy group. We love it when people come to our shows and get excited,” Walker said.

“We put on a good show,” Klemm added.

“We are a personal band. We like to connect with our audience for a fun, cool show.”

Suburban Legends turned Founders Auditorium into a rock inspired disco floor for an hour and a half.

Audience members danced, screamed, laughed and partied to the jams cranked out by such a wild, energetic band.

De La Cruz liked the show and looks forward to CAB events being just as entertaining in the future.

“Everyone had fun, both bands and the audience,” she said. “We hope to keep bringing great bands like these two to La Verne.”

Lilia Cabello can be reached at lcabello@ulv.edu.

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