Where: The Chain Reaction; Anaheim, CA
When: Saturday, May 6, 2017
Last month in April, my friends and I relived 2002. Tube socks, sweatbands, and high top Chuck Taylor’s, we spent an evening with Simple Plan as they took us back in time. Wanting to be pressed up against the barricade while we watch our favorite band, we spent most of our morning waiting in line. We were there for the entire duration of the show, including the time both openers, Set it Off and Seaway, graced us with an enthusiasm and passion that can only be cultivated as a performer.
This was the beginning of a strong appreciation for the boys from Canada— Seaway.
Brimming with tunes that make me want to jump my hardest, fist pump with purpose, and scream the lyrics with a spirited howl, the Canadian natives took on the Anaheim House of Blues with a zealous command. Immediately, my friends and I were engrossed by their upbeat sound, quirky dance moves, and animated jumps. After a thirty minute set, the nice guys of Seaway said their thank you and bounced off the stage.
But we wanted more.
My friends and I got our wish at Seaway’s headlining show two weeks later at an Orange County venue Chain Reaction. Situated right off the 5-freeway, the intimate location seems to blend into its surroundings. But the bands that have stepped foot inside for the last 20 years make this Anaheim venue an iconic one.
And Seaway was minutes away from taking the stage.
Drummer Ken Taylor entered from side stage, along with guitarist and vocalist Patrick Carleton. Set lists taped to the floor, mics plugged in, and guitars tuned, lead vocalist Ryan Locke gave a thumbs up—it was time. Seaway wasted no time to ease in the crowd. The set began with “Best Mistake,” an upbeat track on their latest album Colour Blind. Within seconds of the first chord and hit of the kick drum, the entire crowd was bouncing on their feet.
The energy was insane to say the least. Seaway has, from what I’ve noticed, a specific approach to performing: no f*cks, given. They embrace the diverse crowd before them, vibing to the energy beaming from every corner, and using that same spirit to propel their performance from the first note to the last.
“Maybe I’m a freak!” The mass of Seaway fans roared in unison, and just like that, a connection from fan to fan; fan to band was established. The pit opened up, and any anger, stress, anxiety, and all pent up emotions from the work week was immediately released.
Feeing in a rut lately, the things that normally excite me didn’t anymore, and I needed an escape. I needed to scream ’til my soul shook the ground beneath me; I needed to plunge myself into a pool of positivity—and that’s exactly what I did.
“Hold my purse,” I yelled to my friend over the thunderous crowd. “I’m going to stage dive!”
I had never done it before, but always wanted to. I felt like this was the perfect moment. Seaway was about two minutes into their song “Shy Guys” and there were no barricades to keep me from climbing the stage. The fast paced anthem for bashful dudes attempting to reel in confident girls, electrified me. I was one of those confident girls— right? Maybe? Somewhat?
Normally, but being in a rut can change a person’s entire perspective. It was time to get some control back, and nothing says ‘control’ like trusting a group of strangers to catch you. I climbed the stage on bassist, Adam Shoji’s, side.
I made a b-line straight for the center, right between Locke, and guitarist Andrew Eichinger. My eyes darted to the horde of jumping people right in front of me and I held my breath.
I hurled myself into the crowd and released every bit of stress I had in me. Thankfully, I wasn’t dropped. I was gently put back down on the ground with my adrenaline pumping. There was a rush of every kind of ecstasy electrifying me as I shoved my way through the mosh pit and back to my friends. The show wasn’t over, yet and every minute from then on anchored me with euphoria.
Seaway is a band, like many others, who have an appreciation for the people who take the time to listen to their music, and make a special trek to see them play. I saw this while conversing with the boys post-show, and witnessed this at the end of their set.
“One more song! One more song!” The crowd cheered, pumping clenched fists in the air.
The Seaboys looked at one another, a grin etched on their face, and with a shrug of their shoulders, the first chord of “Slam” percolated from the speakers. The energy levels amplified, and before Seaway gave their final goodbye for the night, a familiar guitar riff drafted the crowd into a timeless sing-a-long.
“Stacy’s mom has got it going on…”
The show ended with an overwhelming high. Sweaty shirts, sore feet, and happy vibes, it was time to go home. My friends and I left Chain Reaction feeling elevated about life. It was this feeling; this crazy, ethereal, deep connection with music that helped us forget about the crazy world outside of the venue walls. And it was Seaway, the goofy, talented, hockey-loving band that gave us an escape. The reality of ‘adulting’ would hit us the following Monday, but that escape was exactly what we needed; what I needed. Because even if it was just for one night, “everything [was] cool man.”
Post and photo by Carla Jara
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