English Beat Rocks Out at OC Fair’s The Hangar

Photos by Janice Eck.

Photos by Janice Eck.

By Janice Eck

(Victor Valley)– The OC Fair in Costa Mesa has several musical guests lined up at The Hangar, Pacific Amphitheatre and the Baja Blues Bar & Restaurant. From tribute bands to original bands, the OC Fair will ring the ears of fans across all genres.

As the sun set on Sunday, July 13, English Beat with Dave Wakeling took the stage at the Hangar. Originally The Beat, the band played their first show in 1979 in Birmingham, England. More than 40 years later, English Beat plays popular hits of The Beat and General Republic and continues beating out new music.

Photos by Janice Eck.

Photos by Janice Eck.

Sunday’s concert opened with the ska-ful sounds of The Deboinaires, who proudly informed the audience they were from the Inland Empire’s very own Riverside.

Dave Wakeling’s familiar soothing voice swooned the audience with hits like their very first single, remake of “Tears of a Clown,” along with classics “Save it for Later,” “Tenderness,” and “I’ll Take you There.” Fans were also surprised with songs off English Beat’s upcoming album, “For Crying out Loud.”

Photos by Janice Eck.

Photos by Janice Eck.

There were no special gimmicks, no extraordinary laser shows or psychedelic backgrounds during the concert. English Beat was there to show their fans a good time, to make the audience dance. So many bands sound completely different from what we hear on the radio, but Wakeling sounded as good live as he does on the radio and the chemistry within the six-man ensemble displayed each member’s talents. With keyboards, horns, guitars, drums, and bass, the band’s energy reflected into the audience and fans danced and jumped out of their seats. The perfect blend of ska, punk, soul and reggae reminded fans why they were an overnight success.

Throughout the concert, Wakeling spoke with the audience on a friend-to-friend level, pointing out fans he noticed in front of the stage and even answered questions that were within hearing distance. He appreciated the fans and kept the dance party going. You really knew he and English Beat were down to earth when the concert was over and they stayed on stage shaking hands and high-fiving fans who stuck around hoping for “their moment.”

Photos by Janice Eck.

Photos by Janice Eck.

Don’t miss a chance to see English Beat. Dave Wakeling is one of the coolest band leaders out there. Check out future dates at http://englishbeat.net .

For concerts at the OC Fair, visit http://ocfair.com/2014/index.asp .

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