The B Foundation proves originality in Long Beach

Photo by LALIG TARBINIAN

Fighting, dancing, booze, and girls; this is what I experienced on Nov. 28 when I made the trek down to local Long Beach venue Di Piazzas to see native Ska band The B Foundation.

A couple of weeks ago when I was tasked with reviewing this show, I have to admit, I was not very excited. The local Ska scene historically isn’t something most people get excited about. The common pre-conception of any local Ska show, is that you’re in for an hour and a half of some beach clad guys screaming about how they love the LBC, Marijuana and trying real hard to look like they’re not trying to sound anything like Sublime and failing miserably. Needless to say I was expecting all the above, such has been my experience.

But alas, a shining gem in the thickest of mud. The B foundation has managed to find a refreshing and creative sound in a saturated genre often marked with inadvertent cover bands. Singer/Guitarist Patrick Stevenson has managed to avoid the pitfall that most Ska singers fall into; sounding like Bradley Nowell. A massive plus for any Ska band post 1990’s. His originality and vocal inventiveness breathes new life to a genre desperately pleading for it.

Adding proof to the fact is the rabid and intense fan base The B Foundation has garnered. The stage was crowded with intense and impatient locals well before the band was ready to take the stage. The return of original guitarist Gyl Bonus seemed to only add kerosene the already burning fire.

From the opening song the tiny and highly crowded dance floor was a nuclear explosion of passion, sweat and love. It was a steady stream of endless pits, booty shaking and at some points testosterone fueled fights that ended in more pits. Nothing seemed to be able to calm down the primal crowd. Gyl Bonus unleashed beautiful and destructive guitar riff after guitar riff and the crowd made every effort to give back the energy being given to them.

Bassist Jason Moorehead and Drummer Ian McGrath are perfectly syncopated and the stop- go rhythms these two enforce are most definitely the backbone of the show. McGrath slides between power and finesse with supreme ease, making The B Foundation’s stage presence a time bomb waiting to go off. The combination of Moorehead and McGrath make every song a crashing wave soothing your soul or a hurricane pulling you from your foundations (pun intended).

Plainly put The B Foundation is a band more than worthy of attention. Their live shows exude an intensity and power usually reserved for larger venues or even harder bands. The B Foundation will be making their next live appearance is a free show Jan. 15 at the Slidebar in Downtown Fullerton. If you like coming home bruised and exhilarated I suggest you make your way there.