Photo Credit: David Buchan

Ocean Park Standoff – The Greek Theatre – Los Angeles, CA (20th July 2017)

Los Angeles based pop-rock group Ocean Park Standoff has caught some major buzz in 2017. The band is comprised of established DJ and musician Samantha Ronson, singer/songwriter Ethan Thompson, and drummer Pete Nappi. The trio had the ultimate privilege of opening up for two bands that need no introduction to Los Angeles, Silversun Pickups and Third Eye Blind. This show was a part of the Summer Gods tour, which took place at the renowned Greek Theatre on a gorgeous summer evening to a nearly sold out crowd. Silversun Pickups performed eleven songs including fan favorites, ‘Panic Switch,’ ‘Substitution,’ and an extended version of ‘Lazy Eye’. Third Eye Blind followed to unleash a wild 90-minute set. It started off with newer tunes before frontman Stephan Jenkins revealed that they were going to play their 1997 debut self-titled LP from front to back.

However, I want to point out that newcomers Ocean Park Standoff truly kicked off the night in confident, positive fashion. The young band amped up the crowd while offering something special to get the night rolling in the right direction. They took stage promptly at 6:45pm, but there was definitely a small yet devoted following for them early on. For a band with just one EP under their belt, it was an enormous showcase for them to be a part of. Regarding their self-titled debut, it was released back in March via Hollywood Records. It features the smash single, ‘Good News,’ which has over 12.5 million plays on Spotify. Overall, they performed seven tracks, including the wildly successful single. They even played an unreleased song called ‘Get Gone’ that was definitely promising. While their set was brief, the crowd seem to really enjoy this opening act.

It should be no surprise the audience was digging the band’s performance. After all, lead singer Ethan Thompson has an amicable disposition about him. He’s cool and composed on stage while not taking these moments too seriously. His vocals were soothing and easy to listen to. Ronson, who’s been well known internationally, has a unique flair to her which is evident in how she performs. She contributes backup vocals which adds true dynamic to her male counterpoint. Nappi handles drums as well as much of the production side of these songs in the studio. He has a subtle approach to drumming all while delivering infectious beats.

While the devoted fans sang along to ‘Good News,’ it was ‘Lost Boys’ that certainly stunned most of us. It has hooks for days and stood out as being one of the more impressive tracks off the band’s tight collection of material. ‘We Do’ exposed the band’s experimental sound, which is different than what the band usually subscribes to. There’s a hint of R&B within the structure of arrangements, verifying the band has the aptitude to remove themselves from their strictly poppy compositions.

Ocean Park Standoff is striking in their musicianship as well as their overall collectiveness on stage, Their music and presence evoke this notion of simply living your life to the fullest is. Sure, it’s modest stuff, easier said than done, but Ocean Park Standoff is convincing in this argument. They’re making music that will bring you joy, which you can sing along to with your friends while driving down Pacific Coast Highway, and feel silly, free, and spontaneous.

With everything that goes on in the world as well as within your own personal sphere for that matter, it’s comforting to listen to a band like Ocean Park Standoff. They won’t solve the problems, but for those moments you do listen, you’ll realize you can, indeed, take it easy once in awhile. The world doesn’t have to be so heavy all of the time. When you find that it is, remove yourself, and discover the pleasure and wonder in which the songs such as those from Ocean Park Standoff can supply for you.

Ocean Park Standoff EP is now available via Hollywood Records.