Returning for its fourth year running, the Ska Luau IV took over the House of Blues at Downtown Disney in Anaheim this past Monday night. This all-ages show combines two worlds, bringing the traditional family-friendly dances of a luau to a ska/punk rock show. In an effort to spread cultural awareness, prior to the start of any of the bands, all early arrivals could watch traditional Pacific Island dances, adding some culture to a night where ska kids and ska fashion bled out like a barbecue stain on a white shirt. Sadly for this show, the House of Blues did not allow anyone to take pictures with flash on, which reduced the overall quality of my photos. Nonetheless, I would like to say great job to everyone in Magnolia High School’s Polynesian Dance Troupe for putting on an excellent opening performance for the night.

With the island dancers done, the room shifted face, as most of the parents and children left, and all the ska kids filled the floor. Up first, CodeName: Rocky hit the stage to deliver their ska-punk set. It did not take long for the floor to erupt into a full-fledged pit, as the crowd simply forgot how to skank and resorted to a mindless circle pit. CodeName: Rocky played a solid uninterrupted 30-minute set, setting the stage for not only the bands to follow in the night, but for their upcoming show this Sunday night in Long Beach.

The greatest conundrum in music stepped forth next, as Save The Swim Team appeared for their final show together as a band. Why have I not seen these guys in the past? Representing a fusion of genres unlike no other, I can only appropriately call them a ska-reamo band. Who would think to play hopping ska music, then throw screams into it? Only Save The Swim Team has done so, and following this night, no one else does it. If you have not seen them live, search for their music on YouTube, and become a believer. Farewell Save The Swim Team – I barely knew you, yet you will have a lasting impression on my heart.

Disneyland visitors would get a kick out of the next band, which occasionally plays in Tomorrowland. Say hello to Suburban Legends, one of the most entertaining bands this side of Orange County. As one of today’s more influential ska bands, Suburban Legends has garnered quite a following across the nation with their style of performing. When these guys play, they do more than just play music – they put on a show. Suburban Legends incorporates music, dance, acrobatics, acting, and crowd participation to generate a show to remember for ages. With a set lasting 45 minutes, the crowd received 45 minutes of pure rallying and dancing, just enough to get our hearts pumping and amped for the final band. Make sure you catch these guys touring with Reel Big Fish starting TONIGHT and running across the nation.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our ska hosts for the evening: Starpool! If you have not heard of Starpool, you have not lingered around Orange County enough. Just as much as Narcoleptic Youth represents OC hardcore punk, Starpool represents OC ska. After all, without Starpool, we would not have the awesomeness known as the Ska Luau. Starpool kicked off their set with a bang as confetti launchers covered the air with the little strips of paper raining down on the crowd for the entirety of the first song. From there, Starpool delivered hit after hit with the occasional crowd interaction, which included handing out glow sticks, inviting some fans to dance on stage, throwing out chocolate phalluses, and trombone player Tbone Willy diving onto the crowd in a giant inflatable ball. Words cannot describe what transpired at this Ska Luau – you would have to attend for yourself to believe it all!

The Ska Luau takes place roughly the same time of year every year, and has always taken place at the House of Blues Anaheim. Stay tuned for the 5th Ska Luau next year, as they could possibly add a second night if the fans demand it enough!

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