LA “Fire” Catches in OC, And It’s Hot!

The clouds parted and the rain stopped for last Friday night’s Party on the Plaza at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, featuring Jungle Fire and Orgone. Hundreds of music lovers filled the Segerstrom’s Arts Plaza for a night of food, funk, soul and Latin jazz.

LA natives Jungle Fire opened up the two-and-a-half hour gig with an explosion of Latin percussion and Afro-beats that brought the audience to their feet. Their song “Firewalker” made even the most stone-faced audience members sway and move to the rhythm of the beat.

Each member of the band was nothing short of a master at his instrument. The ensemble featured the standard array of Latin Jazz equipment — congas, timbales, bass and a trumpet to name a few. The unification of these sounds is exactly what one would expect to hear when touring the LA music scene.

Feeding off the flames ignited by Jungle Fire, Orgone took the stage next. Consisting of a few members of Jungle Fire, and a few new musicians, Orgone was like the funky, soulful big sister of Jungle Fire.

Led by frontwoman Adryon De Leon, Orgone is a raging wildfire of raw talent and musicianship that’s next to impossible to find these days. Each musician was a master in his or her own right, but together the group transcended the boundaries of individualism and transformed into a perfect blend of musical excellence.

The band has one message, and according to guitarist Sergio Rios, that message is “love.” No one could doubt the love that each one of the band members put into the music they played — in particular their song “Don’t Stop.” Even the audience joined De Leon as she crooned “Love is the answer.”

De Leon’s charm with the audience and Mariah Carey-esque vocals proved hypnotic on the concertgoers, who formed a dance circle at the base of the stage. The group maintained a perfect level of balance between each instrument, particularly on the softer vocal piece “New You.” Each instrument worked in harmony instead of fighting each other to be heard.

As the set neared its end, each musician took a solo, and it was outstanding, to say the least. One would expect that some members would outshine others, but that was not the case. Each soloist was just as exceptional and energetic as the last. Their complete command of the audience and their own instrument proved just how exceptional these LA musicians truly are.

Their final song, “Cali Fever,” ended just as strong as the first. Not once did Orgone lose an ounce of energy through their whole hour-and-a-half segment. As they concluded, a deafening scream of approval radiated from the audience.

After the show, De Leon took time to personally talk to fans. Her uncommon kindness and appreciation for her admirers added to the love everyone at the Segerstrom had for this fantastic band.

Party on the Plaza was a massive success for Segerstrom Center for the Arts. With such great acts like  Jungle Fire and Orgone, it’ll be interesting to see what they have planned next for the arts connoisseurs of Orange County.