Banjos and pianos and squirrels, oh my!

Sherwood opened this Relient K show with some choice samples of its newest album, A Different Light . The group got the crowd warmed up with its bouncy, thoughtful tunes about love, love lost and the endless search for meaning in a mundane world.

Mae experienced some technical difficulties, making the nasally vocals and heavy hitting guitar riffs nearly impossible to fully appreciate. Unfortunately, its live performance leaves much to the imagination for what you can expect on an album. The band's got all the passion in the world with little talent to back it up.

Relient K took the stage and stole the show. The group was louder, stronger and a whole lot more entertaining than the opening acts. The lovely squirrel, trees and sunshine backdrops rang true to the band's amazing ability to sing about the serious and not-so-serious aspects of life with a lingering sense of humor.

The band opened with a hard-rocking rendition of “ Forgiven ” from its newest album, Five Score and Seven Years Ago . The venue was packed with some pretty excited teens and 20-somethings that jumped, sang and screamed to every one of their favorite hits (nearly every single song). They even cheered for the occasional mistake made by frontman Matt Theissen, a rocker with a heart of gold.

The show transitioned from flashy and upbeat to mellow, fun, campfire-style sing-a-long with “Faking My Own Suicide” and a cover of Weezer classic, “Surf Wax America.” As if that weren't enough, the members brought out a banjo, slide guitar and fake fire for an authentic ambiance that only Relient K can create.

The band pulled out a few classic originals like, “Chap Sticks, Chapped Lips & Things Like Chemistry.” No Relient K show would be complete without a performance of “In Love With the '80s (Pink Tux to the Prom),” an ode to Theissen's older brother who happened to be in the audience that night.

All in all, the show could have used a couple covers of TV's classic hits like “Charles in Charge” or “Family Matters,” but that might have been a little too reminiscent of last year's tour. Of course, the audience was completely won over by the typical SoCal shout out.

Is it naive to believe that SoCal is the best place to play? I think not.