The event took place at Seven Degrees, with doors opening at 7pm and closing at midnight, Tory, Josefine, Brad, Kyle, and I weren’t sure what to expect. But I have to say, we were very happily surprised with how the night progressed.
Walking in at 7:15 to a virtually empty room with a stage and bar, we wandered a little bit aimlessly, scoping out what the handful of other people were doing with themselves. Finally, we decided to get a drink to start off, and we were in a happy haze when we found out the drinks were free, all night, and so was the food. The deliciousness that is Kogi Food Truck was being served around the room by waiters dressed head-to-toe in black- Swank level at 100.
We made our way to the rooftop, which is beautifully decorated with twinkling lights, hammocks overlooking the stage below, and a dance floor with a DJ spinning some sick beats. Before we could muster-up the energy for dancing, we treated ourselves to more Tequila Sunrises, Whiskey Sours, and beer. As the five of us stood at the table, looking through the slowly growing crowd, listening to Solidisco spinning fresh tunes, breathing in the stardust and bathing in the moonlight, and of course with free Patron and Goose drinks in hand, there was a collective “I don’t know how we got here but I’m glad we did” moment.
We waited until just after 8:30 for the first band to start- The Drums. And they were absolutely worth the wait. Half the band hail from New York, while the rest call Los Angeles home.
The band started off with some serious energy. In less than a minute, they had the whole dance floor filled, and people singing along (to be honest, only Tory knew most of the words from our group). But that didn’t stop us from rocking right along. And it didn’t stop one of the band members from really getting into the music-and I mean really feeling it. Moving his arms and body in a way that made me believe that maybe he wasn’t quite present with the rest of us. And the tambourine player nearly stole the show with his enthusiastic tambourine playing (or dancing).
They played old favorites, and new, their tops hits, and some only their closest fans knew. They lent fresh light to their song “Best Friend” and naturally they closed with “Let’s Go Surfing,” although their performance of “I Need A Doctor” may have been the groovy highlight. I can’t recall the exact order of their set for the night, but it was totally rad, and here’s the list of their newest album “Encyclopedia”
1. Magic Mountain
2. I can’t Pretend
3. I hope Time doesn’t change him
4. Kiss me again
5. Let Me
6. Break My Heart
7. Face of God
8. U.S. National Park
9. Deep In My Heart
10. Bell Laboratories
11. There is Nothing Left
12. Wild Geese
After their set, the crowd made their way downstairs for, in my opinion, the star of the night, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. Now this is the energy that I flock to. The music and the whole look of the band was exactly what I expected and loved. With a mixture of rock, folk, and a vocal resemblance to some of the old time greats, the husky, throaty sound gets me every time. Each song brings something new, and each melody makes it hard to pick just one favorite song, so I choose the entire self-named album, Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, the first from the band formed back in 2013.
I will, however, tell you three songs that I have had on repeat since the show: Howling at Nothing, I’ve Been Failing, and Thank You.
While S.O.B is now my go-to party song (someone, get this man a drink!), these three others’ lyrics really resonate with me. The music of these songs are a little more mellow, but just make me feel so good. With lyrics like “We were howling at the moon/We were shaking our hips/Danced until we flat out falling into bed/Said I won’t let you go” and “Can’t hide your fears/I can’t hide mine/In spite of all this dear/I think we’re fine,” his songwriting is a natural occurrence, nothing seems forced about him.
1. I Need Never Get Old
2. Howling at Nothing
3. Trying So Hard Not To Know
4. I’ve Been Failing
6. Wasting Time
7. Thank You
8. Look It Here
10. I’d Be Waiting
11. Mellow Out
Overall, I’d say this was one of the best nights I have had living in Orange County. Good friends, good food + drink, and good music can really change the way you look at life. Leaving the show, I felt nothing but clearheaded and openhearted. I need never get old.
PS. Will Smith showed up but didn’t stay the whole night, wussy. Just kidding, I would have killed to meet him.