DNL’s Blockstock IV: Rocking The Party Block in OCMD!
When Pirate Rob says it’s a party, I mobilize. Lucky for me, my beach week in OCMD coincided with DNL’s Blockstock IV at The Party Block. This club fills an entire city block with three separated bars, several party patios and an outdoor pool for a dip or lounging. On Sunday 7/29, over 25 bands descended on The Party Block to throw down and party up!
For just $10, patrons could roam all three stage areas and find the grooves that fit their mood. The Big Kahuna stage got it right for me. I caught 45 minute sets by Bumpin’ Uglies, Lovebettie, Sweet Leda, Bond and Bentley and Pasadena. Each band puts their own unique spin on rock and as a lineup they are formidable. You better have comfy, sturdy shoes and clothes you can move in when this crew gets together because you will be movin’ and groovin’!
Bumpin’ Uglies have a reggae/metal/hip-hop sound that reminds some of Sublime and some of Linkin Park. They come at you from many angles and know how to light a fire on the floor. Lots of songs about partying and having fun keep people upbeat while hitting the downbeat. Brandon Hardesty out front is engaging and stylish and boy, can he play guitar!
Lovebettie has gone global this summer with appearances at SXSW, Summerfest and Warped Tour. It seems their Swagger Rock sound suits both dance halls and stadiums. What is Swagger Rock? It’s all about finding that groove that everyone feels and rocking it to the next level. We are a team and we’re champions when we play together. Dan and Larry on bass and drums level the playing field and all opposition. C.T.’s guitar pyrotechnics light it up. Alexandra’s vocal majesty erects the stadium and dresses us all in the same colors. Remember Whitney Houston’s “Star-Spangled Banner?” Their sound is that powerful and that unifying.
Sweet Leda brings the soul-rock sound. Whether they want to save your soul, tempt it or doom it is up to your imagination. Don’s drumming is clever and deft. Omar on guitar is some kind of wizard. Jaime on bass thumps you up one side and down the other. Julie’s sultry, powerful vocals open your pores and touch every nerve. When Pasadena’s drummer joined them at the end, the place just went berserk with the beats.
Bond and Bentley just kidnaps your ass. Their hip-hop rock hits hard. Does anybody play an acoustic as hard as Ray? The lead players are incendiary, the drums and bass percussive. The keyboards create this carnival atmosphere around it all. People just surrender to it and go dervish. If National Lampoon remakes Animal House, count on Bond and Bentley being the house band.
Pasadena headlined the Big Kahuna stage for good reason. They unify this musical crew and their diverse styles. This night they were snake bit by a missing sound man and an absent bass player. Did it keep them from making it a party? Hell no! Jaime from Sweet Leda stepped up to play bass. All the bands shared PA and monitors. And everyone sticks around to cheer on everyone else in the Pasadena family. Nobody else was leaving either!
When you see DNL Entertainment or any of these bands on the bill, step up. You’ll be glad you did!