Burgerama: OFF!, Ty Segall, White Fence and FIDLAR at The Observatory, March 24, 2012

OFF! Keith Morris At Burgerama By Meg Strouse
Meg Strouse/OC Weekly
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Burgerama: OFF!, Ty Segall, White Fence, FIDLAR

The Observatory
March 24, 2012

Saturday night the Fullerton-based label/store hybrid Burger Records put together an impressive bill at The Observatory. The mini-festival took note of the garage-punk sound that is being heard all over Southern California as of late. It was an evening of mosh pits and general bedlam--the young crowd was full of piss and vinegar. On the sold-out event's Facebook page, a girl offered to trade her sunglasses for a ticket. With two stages and almost no break between acts, the energy level remained at a crazed sprint until the doors shuttered. Here's a rundown of some of the night's best acts:

King Tuff: The alter ego of Kyle Thomas, King Tuff brought a giddy, almost irreverently flamboyant change of pace to the evening. Tuff's sound has a whacky bizzaro-vibe reminiscent of his friend and fellow Burger family member, Hunx. Just shy of parodic glam, it's music that doesn't get in the way of having a good time. And last night everyone did.

FIDLAR: I. Drink. Cheap. Beer. So. What. Fuck. You.
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White Fence: When I saw White Fence at KXSC Fest in February, the band failed to impart the essential weirdness of their recordings; they were more by-the-book indie rock than flower-power bizarreness. But last night, perhaps because of the very different bill, they went two-steps weirder and three-steps harder. Their sound was big--they seemed to immerse the crowd with dreamy, rollicking guitar riffs. Even the mosh lost its primal intensity in favor of a zoned churn of contented bodies.

Ty Segall: Segall was, far and away, the standout performer of the evening. He opened his set by acknowledging the consequence of the show: "That was part of the reason I moved to SF," he said, "there was just nothing like this here. But now there is. So keep going to shows." He then launched into "Goodbye Bread" and followed with a bevy of beloved tunes including "Girlfriend" and "My Sunshine". Immediately the frenzied mosh re-erupted. Segall played with a full band, giving the set a full sound, but he commanded the crowd's focus with an intense charisma. It may be an odd comparison to make, but the dude had an almost Springsteen-esque vibe to him--he handled guitar, vocal, and frontman duties with an ease that allowed him to connect completely with the audience.

OFF!: OFF!'s drummer Mario Rubalcaba is one of the nastiest percussionists you can see live. He thudded out the intense back-beats of OFF!'s short, terse hardcore punk tracks. (Their First Four EPs collection brags that it's "16 songs in just under 18 minutes".) Perhaps because of the brevity of each track, the crowd didn't have the chance to connect with the punk super-group the way they did with Segall, but their set was solid. No-frills and no-holds-barred music interspersed with the occasional socio-political rant from vocalist Keith Morris, of Black Flag and Circle Jerks legend.

Pangea: After being less than impressed by the first couple of songs by the last act on the main stage, Wavves, I wandered down to the second stage to see slop-pop rockers Pangea play. It seemed that some of the bands had a similar idea--Audacity, FIDLAR, and Ty Segall were all watching their set. The four-piece slammed through distorted (both musically and thematically) songs like "Too Drunk To Cum" while the jam-packed room smashed each other. At one point Segall himself stage-dove, causing the security guards to lose their shit. For their last song, Pangea called the entire crowd up on stage with them; I followed the sweaty crush forward as the band valiantly continued playing as long as the laws of physics would allow.

Critic's Bias: I've covered many of these bands extensively in the past and tend to like their music.
The Crowd: All ages punk show= teen skate-rats looking to get into shenanigans. A mix of Los Angeles and Orange Country music lovers wanting to have a rowdy time.
Random Notebook Dump: I watched part of OFF!'s set with Ryan Adams, who apparently digs on FIDLAR.

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Location Info


The Observatory

3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, CA

Category: Music

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Super article it was a good time except the security for sure


There was a stage invasion and some heated weirdness on the small stage by the time Pangea played. It chilled a bunch by the time Audacity played. Both those bands were so cool. What an inspiring show. 

Adler Bloom
Adler Bloom

The security situation, especially in the Constellation room was getting weird. There was only one guy monitoring things early on and everything was cool. Right before the Lovely Bad Things took the stage that room slowly filled up and by the time they played that room was incredibly crowded. Two things were in play here- one there was a significant down time on the big stage when they started so people piled in, second this band has a large following in the OC. The entire set was fucking crazy with non stop stage diving and crowd surfing. Mid way through the set, (and I know cuz I was shooting video) - three big ass security dude pushed their way through the crowd (and me) and made their way to the front of the stage to contain things. They were pretty much freaking out and getting too rough with the kids. I feel their presence made matter worse. It was fine and then they tried to contain the fun. Afterwards, they pulled Cam from the Lovely Bad Things and accused him of inciting the crowd against the security and being really unprofessional. I will not say what was said at this time but it was fucked up. After that show they were like on red alert to maintain things. I heard they were outsourced for the event.

Anyway- they were heavy handed at the Pangea show as well, and while the crowd was not as packed in as it was earlier- they still, in my opinion were roughing up people a bit including Ty Segall--  just didn't have to be like this.

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