“i love too much about southern cali!” (via Polar Bear Club’s twitter). It seems that everyone who passes through this place that I call home loves the atmosphere. Of course, having spent a good chunk of time in the rain of Seattle and northern California it’s easy to see why an escape to the SoCal sun was exactly what the guys of Polar Bear Club were looking for.

I made it to the venue just in time to watch Living With Lions jump on stage. Although the venue wasn’t packed to the walls, these guys poured out a great performance. A close-knit group of fans took command of the area right in front of the stage and set the mood for the night with tons of movement and top-of-the-lungs singing. The bond between band and audience was so good that LWL even let a fan step up to the mic and sing a song. The crowd showed them some love and the band was definitely appreciative.

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After Living With Lions ended their set, I went to the front of the stage to set myself up for Polar Bear Club’s performance. They’re fresh off of recording their follow-up album to Sometimes Things Just Disappear and they’ve been itching to get out and tour. This was no subtle itch either. Polar Bear Club’s performance tonight was exactly what I was expecting: awesome. As the lights went out in Chain Reaction, I was suddenly surrounded by a large group of fans awaiting the exact same thing.

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The venue was in constant motion as soon as the guitars started up… Jimmy’s vocals sealed the deal. The amplified words were met with those from the crowd as the stage was engulfed by fans singing along with fists held straight up to the ceiling. It was an amazing thing to be a part of (even though my camera was blocking most of my face).

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The last time I saw these guys was an in-store performance in Pomona. Although there was a stage this time, the dynamic between the band and the fans didn’t change at all. Jimmy sat down on his knees to get face-to-face with people wanting to sing along. The guys had more space to move around so it definitely made for a more visual performance. Kids were airborne (of course this time it seemed more natural) and fists were raised high. All of this brought big smiles to the members of the band.

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The great thing about this venue is that it’s so intimate. Every word from the crowd could be heard by the band which makes for some fun conversation. It also allows for the crowd to show their appreciation for hearing a much asked for song. This was the case for “Convinced I’m Wrong”. I heard a lot of surprised and excited voices since we didn’t get to hear this the last time around. I think fans reacted the most to this song with loud singing and hands in the air (There’s a lot of retuning for this song so that’s why they don’t get to play it a lot.)

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PBC threw in one of their brand new songs. If this is any indication to how the rest of the album sounds, I’m definitely excited to pick it up. If you’re looking to mark your calendars, it should be dropping sometime in September.

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With a new record deal, European tours, a new album recorded, and numerous national shows under their belts, I’m glad that the members of Polar Bear Club have managed to remain the same nice guys I met the last time they stomped through SoCal. They’re all really friendly dudes so make sure you watch them if they’re in your area. Don’t forget to buy some merch and say hi to Tracker (and donate to his beer fund).

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Shout out to the guys of Polar Bear Club! I hope you guys have a great tour here and overseas. Stay safe fellas!