Backed by crowd-rousing Rage Against the Machine, MC Lars makes his entrance wearing a Who Framed Roger Rabbit-themed denim jacket and sporting a golden Legend of Zelda NES cartridge hung on a chunky gold chain around his neck. The nerd-core rapping punk rocker opens to a packed room, immediately taking the energy of the crowd to new heights as they jump and sing along enthusiastically. In the middle of the set, the mood take a more serious turn as Lars begins to explain the background behind his song “23”, a tribute to his friend Patrick who took his own life. Lars makes sure to mention that they are accepting donations in the name of suicide prevention, as well as giving a shout-out to Patrick’s parents, who were in attendance at the show.
The show then returns to an uplifting and quirky series of songs that drive the crowd wild, including “Hot Topic Is Not Punk Rock”, which starts a circle pit at Lars’ request. The remainder of his set featured a cover of Atom And His Package about the superiority of the metric system. This was followed by a song off of his children’s album about various writers and books from the past including references to Edgar Allen Poe, which were made while waving a raven puppet around the stage. Lars and his original band members were ecstatic to be playing for Big D and the Kids Table again, just as they had years ago during the Vans Warped Tour.
Appearing at first without their main vocalist, Big D and the Kids Table hit the stage and begin playing the intro to “Doped Up Dollies on a One Way Ticket to Blood“, featuring surprise guests, Sirae Richardson, and Erin MacKenzie. The pair are from the band The Doped Up Dollies, which was formed from the backing vocal members of Big D‘s 2009 lineup. Additionally, that was the same year as the release of their album, Fluent in Stroll, which is the subject of tonight’s celebration. Despite this album’s decade-old underwhelming initial release amongst their fans, it still drives them wild tonight as David, the lead vocalist, finally makes his appearance to join the rest of his crew. Wrapping up the first song on the record, we then move into “Describing the Sky“, followed by my personal favorite, “Not F*cking Around” – a song I’m sure many fans have been eagerly waiting to hear live.
Along with the album anniversary celebration, there is another special occasion being acknowledged tonight: David’s 10 years of friendship with The Doped Up Dollies. He tells the audience a short story about the recording of Fluent in Stroll, how it lead to the creation of The Doped Up Dollies, and how amazing it is to be back on the same stage together. There is undoubtedly an air of nostalgic chemistry between David and the Dollies as they glide right through the rest of the album, grooving and swinging their arms to the beat all the while. Towards the end of the set, David takes time to mention that “life is a lot harder than we give ourselves credit for“, before playing their final song, “We Can Live Anywhere“. As the song begins, I can see strangers and friends coming together to sing, dance, hug and shout, leaving me with a peaceful feeling of content happiness. Big D and the Kids Table absolutely brought the house down with their performance and their upbeat attitudes and messages, making for an amazing night and a show that will be impossible to forget.