One of the first things you’ll notice about The Little Ones is their warm sound, full of funky bass and keyboards and crisp guitar melody lines. They’re pure California. Their sounds sits somewhere between the music for a 1984 after-school special and American Analog Set or The Spinto Band. I guess the common denominator for all these comparisons is that the music, above all, is fun. Many indie acts forget this important component. Granted, each band or artist has their own creative thrust, but going from the mellow and intense performance by Sea Wolf to the happy-go-lucky Little Ones reminds you of how wonderful it is to just jump up and down and smile. And it’s not just the audience. Singer, Edward Reyes, and brother bassist/keyboardist, Brian Reyes, have grins from ear to ear for much of the performance.
For many of the songs off of their mini-album, Sing Song, the band stays true to the arrangements and sound like on “Face the Facts” and “Cha Cha Cha.” And on the unfamiliar song, “O-A (There’s a Sun),” Edward Reyes adorably dedicates the number to “all the short people in the crowd under 5’7”.” However, beyond the minute amount of banter by Reyes, the group plays straight through their set, exuberantly performing their pop songs. Lee LaDouceur, who’s at the keyboards for most the night, bops his head to the music. He literally looks like he time traveled from 1977 to the present day to be at this concert. In the back, Greg Meyer pounds at the drums and provides the key energy needed for that faster sound and to depress the total domination of the sweet melodies and harmonies. With his rolled up sleeves and resemblance to The Boss, Meyer makes sure the music stays rock rather than easy listening. While Ian Moreno, jams like any bona fide rock god and showman Edward Reyes struts around the stage like a rooster.
Overall, the performance is satisfying. With great songs, it’s hard for The Little Ones to really mess up on stage. I suppose they could have come out drunk and forgot the words, but that’s just not like them. These are the type of guys that love their mothers and wash their dishes and that shouldn’t be a bad thing in the rock world. One doesn’t always need to down a bottle of Jack and have tattooed tears running down his face to be a true “artist.” The Little Ones reminded me that good rock music should be about having fun and enjoying the music, not the spectacle.