It’s been nearly two years since the House of Blues Anaheim closed it’s doors at Downtown Disney. Sadly this left the OC without one of it’s major concert venues. While the absence was felt by many, it didn’t take long for the House of Blues of Anaheim to relocate just a few blocks away from its former location. Back again and ready to serve as the flagship concert venue for all future locations.
The entire event opened with Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi as the Blues Brothers riding in on a pair of Harley Davidsons. Aykroyd made sure to let the crowd know how important this opening is for the community. Not only will it provide job opportunities, but it is also the start of a major expansion as they plan to add venues in major cities like Nashville, Toronto, New York, Berlin, Paris, and even Havana, Cuba. After that, the two celebrities joined House of Blues Entertainment Rob Bension and chief operating officer Ben Weeden to christen the opening with a celebratory guitar smash.
For the opening act, Orange County punk rock band Social Distortion kicked off the concert venue’s opening ceremony. It seems fitting that the band christened the venue’s opening considering that they’ve they are a staple of Orange County and they are one of the first major punk rock bands.
The 44,000 square foot venue features a 2,200-capacity main concert hall where Social Distortion played to a sold out crowd. They included gems from “Don’t Drag Me Down” and “Bad Luck” to “So Far Away” and “Reach for the Sky”. Their performance was rocking as they rolled through their set list. The room itself felt intimate, yet improved with the new sound stage technology that makes the audience member that is furthest back in the room, where I was feel like they are right up there in front.
As for the restaurant itself, it’s pretty cozy. As promised there are pieces of art that decorate the wall and highlight the juke joint atmosphere. The three large garage doors have tiles of the faces of the great musicians that inspire today’s artists. With cool blue hues and the music playing, its hard not to feel a little bit inspired.
The VIP Foundation Room lives up to its exclusive reputation. Private and intimate booths make it feel like you are a part of an elite club. There is definitely an Eastern Indian vibe that resonates in the air as you breath in incense the moment you walk in the room and your eyes are hit with tapestry-patterned furniture and idols, all of which are drenched in a warm orange glow.
It was pretty exciting to be a part of such a ceremony and no doubt I will check out a concert or two when another one of my favorite bands is in town.