Wild Orchid Children @ Chain Reaction: dirty licks and primal Americana

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I blogged about this radically…different band in January with a full album review (rating score of awesome) and checked them out live Wednesday night at Chain Reaction in Anaheim, CA.

Featuring current members of Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground and former members of Gatsby’s American Dream and Forgive Durden, this Seattle-based band is comprised of core members Kirk Huffman (vocals and percussion), Thomas Hunter (guitar), Kyle O’Quin (keys), Andy Lum (drums), Aaron Benson (percussion and effects), and Ryan Van Wierengen (baritone guitar and percussion). Wild Orchid Children have collaborated not only for the music they make but also for the lifestyle they lead. – WOC Facebook

Perhaps it was the rain or maybe it was a school night at an all-ages venue in Orange County as opposed to Los Angeles, but Chain was shockingly empty for a group with such indie street cred.

When Wild Orchid Children came on around 10:30 pm, there was no more than 30 people in the audience at the small club.

No complaining here, as I got a front row seat. And lucky for the 30 of us, the Seattle-based seven-piece played like the place was sold out.

Porter and Benson were dressed ready to rock with bandages for their conga-drumming hands and bandanas to boot. They rounded out a three-part percussion section with Lum on the kit — a rare luxury for a band this size.

Lone guitarist Thomas Hunter stole the show, effortlessly laying down psychedelic licks matched to his own demented facial expressions.

There was no bassist to be found, but with O’Quin working two keyboards and Huffman’s bombastic vocal effects, it was hard to notice.

The wild childs have cancelled a few upcoming tour dates, but are heading back to Seattle for a handful of shows. Expect them opening for an act like the Omar Rodriguez Lopez Group anytime soon.

In the meantime, check out some raw footage from “Birth Of A Cabin” live at Chain Reaction March 23, 2011:

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