Common Kings hosted a sold-out show on July 18th at the City National Grove of Anaheim. It was a truly unique experience, giving us a glimpse into the rising trend in live music performances incorporating the new norm of social distancing — drive-in concerts.
The venue was set up to accommodate social distancing, music enthusiasts and fun-seeking fans. Attendees arrived in their own personal vehicles; each car had its own marked square space, where people parked and set up to enjoy the festivities. Lowriders took up the two front center spots and it felt like a car show hybridized with an amazing concert. Fans turned the concert into the ultimate tailgate party, setting up beer pong and other games, and even bringing outdoor sectionals to chill in and enjoy the show.
Peace, love and good vibrations radiated through the crowd while social distancing.
Staying in a dedicated space did not look or feel so bad. Fans were dancing on top of cars, lounging in comfortable chairs and even laying down in the back of trucks. It was a nice contrast from having to stand all day or being stuck in uncomfortable stadium seating. The venue even offered food and beverage services to your spot, which was a cool touch. Fans could get beer, pizza, tacos and even Common Kings merch! The social-distancing system beat standing in line forever and possibly missing some of the show to get a beer or trying to time when to take food breaks. The Common Kings team even walked around and threw out t-shirts to people, which got the fans wild!
At the end, however, it was the artists who made the night truly memorable. Analea Brown opened and brought the heat to warm the crowd up. Analea’s debut album Queendom came out this year and she really let the crowd bask in her powerful and soulful voice. Analea is a remarkable female artist to keep an eye on!
Then came what the crowd was waiting for — the GRAMMY–nominated Common Kings! They did not disappoint. Lead singer Sasualei “Jr. King” Maliga’s vocals were smooth as butter and his performance was fire. The way Jr. King interacted with the entire crowd was electric! He used the entire stage to run, dance and belt out the songs everybody came to hear. Jr. King’s range is incredible and is something everybody should experience live at some point. Guitarist Taumata “Mata” Grey was out of this world and the crowd could not get enough of him. Together, with bassist Ivan “Uncle Lui” Kirimaua and drummer Jerome “Big Rome” Taito, these guys are intoxicating to watch perform! The crowd ate it up.
Looking around, every fan was having a good time. “Live music is medicine and Common Kings healed the crowd tonight!” Exclaimed Jennifer Paterson, a longtime CK fan. This was a concert the fans in attendance are going to be talking about for a long time to come. It was also a big thumbs up for drive-in concerts. Fans were treated to more than just an amazing musical show; it was truly an experience where people get a great concert itself, a car show with gorgeous rides, a tailgate party (with beer pong all around), food and beverage services and the ability to do all of that while enjoying their favorite bands play… and let’s not forget, all while social distancing. Cheers!
Photography by Laith Atiyeh