By Arrissia Owen
Sadly, Poppy DaSilva will never meet her dad. The baby girl, who was born Feb. 7, lost her father before her big debut. Her father, longtime Chain Reaction soundman, Christian DaSilva, was killed in a motorcycle collision July 16, 2012.
Christian’s passing left devastation in its wake, not only for Poppy’s mother, Emma, who was just two months pregnant at the time, but for the rest of his family and friends, as well. Many of those pals were members of the Orange County music scene who had grown to love Christian for his forthright personality, caustic wit and passion for life.
On Saturday, February 23, some of them will gather at The Glass House in Pomona to put on a show to benefit Poppy. The concert, which includes musicians who played extensively at Chain Reaction during their formative years, is donating 100 percent of the proceeds to the little sprout.
In her corner, Poppy has members of power pop band Hellogoodbye, hardcore unit Taken, emo’s version of arena rock Takota, an acoustic set by alt-country stalwarts Limbeck and vocalist Roy English. The bands, two of which are reuniting for the fundraiser, want to give back to Christian.
Anaheim band Takota, which broke up in 2010 despite, or maybe because of, signing to Def Jam/Island Records, spent its early years inside the Chain Reaction walls. Christian worked the boards for original band members Grant Arnow, Brett Anderson, Justin Ferreira and Andy Lara, sometimes up to three times a week during their heyday at the venue.
“He was the perfect combination of this hard sort of road tested gun-slinging pirate, but he was also really sensitive . . . ,” Arnow says. “He would always come and find me after shows and give me very direct feedback but in a loving way after that was always helpful . . . He was so loved by so many people.”
Takota fans, Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson who liked to play them on his BBC6 radio show is counted among them, will be glad to hear some of their favorites from the band’s albums The Ivory Tower and Just Before Morning. Arnow’s classically trained, Freddy Mercury-style pipes shared stages with Fall Out Boy, Atreyu, Plain White T’s, Bullets and Octane and more during the band’s salad days. He’s now in the LA band Beta Wolf.
On the other end of the hard rock spectrum, Taken’s ardent fans are thrilled their favorite screamers reuniting for one more night. After their tearful goodbye in front of 600 at Chain Reaction in 2004, the band members missed its victory lap as their debut EP Between Two Unseens became a cult favorite upon release two months later. The upside was that new bands emerged, including Mikoto, Name Taken and Circa Survive.
“I was genuinely moved when he passed,” Harkins says about Christian, who did the sound for all of Taken’s shows at Chain Reaction. “It’s one of those things that hits you hard.” Christian hated hardcore music, Harkins adds. “But once Taken started to play at Chain Reaction, we developed a rapport. Whether or not he legitimately liked the band, we became friends.”
Ironically, the show’s organizer, Jon Halperin, met Christian when the latter was working in production at The Glass House, the site of the fundraiser, which is where Halperin works now. Halperin started booking Chain Reaction in 2000 and brought DaSilva on board to work sound. The two worked together until Halperin moved to the Glass House.
“He easily mixed 10,000 bands. He was both admired and loathed by all of those bands, depending if Christian liked them or not,” Halperin says laughing. “But everyone loved that he was a staple at the venue.”
The lineup, while disparate, has a common theme. “All of these bands are proud of their OC roots,” says Arnow. “I would go to shows and there was this sense of community . . . We are and always will be very proud of the fact that we were from Orange County. Christian was a part of that fabric, and a part of Chain Reaction, which was a part of the epicenter of the Orange County music scene.”
“(Christian) will be sore missed by so many, for so long,” Halperin says.
Hellogoodbye, Taken, Takota, Limbeck and Roy English at The Glass House 200 W. 2nd St., Pomona, (909) 865-3802; www.theglasshouse.us. Sat, Feb. 23, 7pm. $15. All ages.