Heyday Events heats up wine country with Oingo Boingo tribute Laser Show

The crowd gathered under a sunset backdrop while the band prepared to play songs of Oingo Boingo in tribute to the 1980s band. Ashley Ludwig photo
The crowd gathered under a sunset backdrop while the band prepared to play songs of Oingo Boingo in tribute to the 1980s band. Ashley Ludwig photo

The Heyday Events Summer Concert Series is in full swing in Temecula Valley Wine Country. On Friday, June 17, the main concert stage of Mount Palomar Winery lit up with a packed house and the tribute to Oingo Boingo, Dead Man’s Party.

“We love having them out here,” Heyday Events owner Robert Walker said. “They always bring amazing energy with their performance.”

On Friday evening, the crowd arrived to the stage area, with multiple tables sold out for the show and general admission seating for 800. A dance floor space fronted the stage, and laser light show was promised for the much anticipated Dead Man’s Party show.

Mount Palomar Winery offers a perfect space for such a concert, with a broad plateau of their event space providing ample room for a large crowd. Parking was no problem for this well run event, but all who purchased the “will call tickets” were reminded to arrive early and to bring their own chairs if they wanted to sit as close to the stage as possible.

“Following our Heyday Events Facebook page is key if you want last minute information and advance ticket sale discounts on upcoming shows,” Walker said. “We advised ticket holders to bring their own chairs because this show was general admission, first come first serve.”

The packed house was provided with food and adult beverages for purchase upon entry, with barbecue set up on the large grassy lawn. A sunset backdrop painted the scene on the hottest weekend of record in Temecula for 2016.

“It’s hot, but we’re ready for a great show,” Walker said.

Solo artist, Temecula local Tralain Roslyn, warmed up the crowd with an acoustic performance that began with the popular “X’s and O’s” tune, giving it her own groove. Playing guitar with a beach-music style, her sultry tone and engaging performance provided entertainment while all settled in and found their seats.

The stage was set for the brass, bass, keyboards, xylophone, and lead guitar with the crowd ready to get into the groove, including a large party of guests all gathered for a friend’s 50th birthday celebration.

“We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate a birthday than with a tribute concert reminding us of what it was like to be teenagers,” one of the celebrators said.

So what is the difference between a cover band and a tribute band?

A tribute band is a group of live performing artists that pay note-by-note homage to the bands they love. In this case, Dead Man’s Party is as close to a dead-wringer to Oingo Boingo as one can get.

“The members of Dead Man’s Party do not think they are, and are not trying to be or have any delusions of being Oingo Boingo,” they stated on their website. “Danny Elfman has said that he would not reunite Oingo Boingo, and that’s why DMP exists.”

Beginning the show with Danny Elfman-esque xylophone banging, it took two to fill the incredible shoes of the gifted Elfman, but for Dead Man’s Party lead man and bass guitarist, it’s all part of engaging the audience into the show.

This eight-piece band was fashioned after the multitalented Oingo Boingo band of the 1980s. Performing together for 15 years, a DMP press release states that they performed at actual Oingo Boingo shows in the past, and are Danny Elfman approved and have at times, been joined onstage by former Oingo Boingo band members.

“We are not just a band paying tribute to the music of Danny Elfman and the boys of Oingo Boingo,” DMP’s release stated. “We work hard to deliver as true as possible original sound with concerts that bring Boingo concert fans back to the good old days, and show the newbees what’s what.”

The sound quality was just right for a wine country show, allowing for conversation and enjoyment of the ambiance to the back of the seating area, but for those who wanted to get fully into the show, the closer the better. True Boingo fans gathered stage front, danced, and sang along as the frontman did his best to mirror the complicated tones and lyrics of Elfman.

Conquering fan favorites right away with the more popular songs, “We Close our Eyes,” “Only a Lad,” and “Weird Science” sounding out of the gate allowed DMP to tackle the less familiar mainstream songs that harken to Oingo Boingo’s past, the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo.

The second set included tunes such as the eerie “Insects” topped with a ceiling of laser light igniting the sky over Mount Palomar Winery.

Perfectly timed to the music, a blanket of fog machine mist captured the light in an explosion of sound and color.

It was the end of evening performance, “Goodbye Goodbye” that showed the true prowess of Dead Man’s Party. Note for note, the complicated and fun goodbye song engaged the crowd with an air of fun and the freedom of remembering the past.

All in all, another win for Heyday Events.

“I personally appreciated how well our crew made it all happen,” Walker said of the night. “For so big of a crowd, it went smoother than I expected. The band was amazing, but I’m also a big fan!”

Follow the next Heyday Events Summer Concert Series event at Mount Palomar Winery this Friday, June 27—when country recording artist, Elizabeth Huett, returns to the stage in a show surely to set her apart from Taylor Swift’s background vocalist status to that of a rising country star.

For more on Heyday Events Summer Concerts, follow them on Facebook, at www.Facebook.com/HeydayRecordsandEvents.

One Response to "Heyday Events heats up wine country with Oingo Boingo tribute Laser Show"

  1. linda borthwick   July 1, 2016 at 11:43 pm

    Danny Elfman definitely does *not* approve of Dead Man’s Party (I think Rick Elfman does, however), and although several years ago a few former members of Oingo Boingo did play with DMP, they no longer do so, and would not be happy to be even peripherally associated with this band. Don’t believe me? Ask Johnny “Vatos” Hernandez about it. Also, the instrument is not called a xylophone, it’s something designed for the band, based on an African balafon. Similar to a xylophone, but different. If you want to hear great Oingo Boingo music, go see Oingo Boingo Dance Party, featuring actual former members of Oingo Boingo…Johnny Vatos, Sam “Sluggo” Phipps, Carl Graves, Doug Lacy, and very frequently, Steve Bartek and John Avila. Mike Glendinning, Freddy Hernandez, Woody Aplanalp, Brian Swartz, and Wendell Kelly round out the rest of the ensemble. The lead vocals are spectacularly handled by Brendan McCreary…they truly are the best Oingo Boingo band around.


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