ScHoolboy Q - The Observatory - December 16, 2014

By: Taylor Morgan
ScHoolboy Q
The Observatory

Class was definitely in session last night at the Observatory when West Coast gangster rap's crowned prince ScHoolboy Q took the stage for a packed crowd in Santa Ana. The LA rapper, whose album Oxymoron debuted at #1 on Billboard 200 album charts last March, strutted out from the back of a smoky stage just before 11 p.m. Appropriately, he started his set with the gun-clapping track "Gangsta," jumping up and down across the stage in his Toronto Maple Leafs Jersey with 'Kessel' monogramed across the back.

Blunts were consumed as the audience belted "crush a bit, little bit, roll it up, take a hit". Q held the mic in his right hand, leaning forward towards the audience and asked, "How many of you got Oxymoron in here?" Taken back by the response he noted, "I never thought I would be rapping. I never thought I would make an album and people would love it. I never thought my ugly, finger nail ass, would be up here." The crowd went wild and he shouted, "let's get to some Oxymoron!"

More »

Allah-Las - The Observatory - December 13, 2014

Thumbnail image for AllahLas.jpg
Taylor Morgan
The Observatory

A girl with a seahorse ear cuff and silk mushroom scarf around her neck held her tall boy cerveza in the air screaming as the Allah-Las assumed their positions onstage. "We locked eyes at an underground bar in Venice when I saw them play last! They're soo dreamy," a fan shared with her friend in the crowd of the band's Constellation Room show on Saturday. Longhaired surfer boys sporting their dad's hand-me-down t-shirts nodded in agreement. A fan who leaned up against the bar added, "the Allah-Las played at my wedding at the Natural History Museum!"

Spencer Dunham (bass), Matthew Correia (percussion), Pedrum Siadatian (lead guitar) and Miles Michaud (vocals + guitar) performed some of their best tunes over the weekend, including favorites like "No Werewolf", "Busman's Holiday", "Follow You Down", "Buffalo Nickel," "No Voodoo," and "Da Vita Voz." They sipped whiskey out of clear plastic cups between songs and the smell of cigarettes and marijuana covered the clothes of audience members. The band moved on to perform, "Calm Me Down" a Human Expression cover that had the crowd moshing for no apparent reason, "Tell Me (What's On Your Mind)" featuring tambourines and the melodica (as known as the pianica or blow-organ) and "Better Than Mine."

More »

Ms. Lauryn Hill - The Observatory - November 19th, 2014

Taylor Morgan
Ms. Lauryn Hill
The Observatory

A single file sea of people stood outside The Observatory waiting for Lauryn Hill last night. The line that wrapped from the front entrance, through the parking lot and down the side of Harbor Blvd. However, the fans didn't seem impatient as they shuffled toward the venue to see the 8-time Grammy winner, despite the fact some of them had waited hours and Hill wouldn't even take the stage until about 10 p.m.

The night started off with a major boost of island energy courtesy of opener Daniel Bambaata Marley, son of Ziggy Marley and grandson of Bob Marley.Talk about someone who genuinely is passionate about performing. Marley mixed reggae and rock with classical components throughout and his movement amongst the stage had hands swaying with the beat and new and old fans enthralled.

More »

Every Time I Die - The Glass House - November 15, 2014

Categories: live review

K.C. Libman
Every Time I Die, The Ghost Inside
Glass House

When bands as widely ranging as the ever-altruistic Hundreth, British mathcore frontrunners Architects, Buffalo, NY mainstay Every Time I Die and L.A.'s own The Ghost Inside come together, it makes for a lineup worth driving out for. Held at the Glass House in Pomona, the sold-out show seemed to be as energizing for the bands as it was for their fans, no matter how far they came for the show, or if they were only attending one of the tour's two-night residency at the venue.

Maybe it is best that Los Angeles proper doesn't have a metal venue suited to acts like Every Time I Die and The Ghost Inside -- rare is it that you can find great sound, solid staff, reasonable-if-not-free-parking, a well-organized layout (with an actual mezzanine) and an in-out policy all at the same location. With Hundreth playing the role of hungry young guns, which they did with aplomb, and Architects playing like the arpeggiated, finger-tapping tour de force that they are, the co-headliners showed their establishment in spades.

More »

Death From Above 1979- The Observatory- November 14th, 2014

Taylor Morgan
Death From Above 1979
The Observatory

Tonight a band that represents chaos in the best possible way takes the stage at The Observatory after a decade apart. They've toured with Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age with their hard hitting drums, noisy bass and epic screams creating dance-punk madness and tonight is no different. Singer/drummer Sebastian Grainger and bassist/synth player Jesse Keeler take the stage as some random dude in the audience screams "Bring them out! Bring them out!" A few fans throughout the crowd tighten up the bandanas on their heads and punk rock princesses with dark lipstick scream "I love you".

The Toronto-based duo begins and the sold out venue goes mental, drinks pour out of hands spewing in the air towards body guards and photographers near the stage. An empty Modelo can get's tossed towards the feet of Keller, in all black, who jolts his head-backwards ridding his face of his already sweaty bangs covering his eyes. They perform "Right On, Frankenstein!" off their two month old album The Physical World - the product of a rekindled friendship that had to undergo six years of separation for artistic differences. Next up is "Blood On Our Hands," "Cheap Talk" and an all-time cult-favorite "You're A Woman, I'm A Machine."

More »

Weezer - The Glass House - November 6, 2014

Andrew Youseff
Weezer plays at Fantasy Springs Special Event Center on August 29, 2011

The Glass House
November 6, 2014

Beyond dimly lit canyon roads and past a mysterious castle in Chino Hills you'll find The Glass House. Weezer, one of the most popular post-grunge bands of the '90s took the stage last night, performing at the fifth show of their eight-stop tour and they decided to start the night off with an intimate acoustic set.

The audience sang, "Goddamn you half-Japanese girls/Do it to me every time" from Weezer's song "El Scorcho," released in 1996. The crowd -- an eclectic mix of nerds in flannels and punks in denim vests -- all attentively watched and chimed in. Towards the back of the venue, a security guard pulled an underage girl aside as she was drinking by the bar and escorted her out as a older man showed his medical stash to his friends. Rivers Cuomo, lead vocalist, announced that up next they would be performing a song they'd yet to do on tour from the album Make Believe, released in 2005.

They began to perform "The Other Way" and fans laughed and devotedly sang along with the chorus. Cuomo yelled out to the sea of bodies standing before him, as well as those above peering over the balcony, "Here we are again at the Glass House." Fans whistled and screamed and the band seamlessly transitioned to "Back To The Shack" pointing the mic towards the audience. Next up was "Island In The Sun" and the band debuted a slowed-down rendition of the favorited track as iPhones were grabbed and videos for Snaphat and Instagram commenced.

More »

Danny Elfman - The Honda Center - 11/2/14

Courtesy of the Honda Center
Danny Elfman

"There are few who'd deny, at what I do I am the best, and my talents are renowned far and wide," begins Jack Skellington in "Jack's Lament" from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Fans of Danny Elfman got the chance to enjoy the composer's renowned far and wide talents at the Honda Center in Anaheim Sunday. The Hollywood Symphony Orchestra and Choir brought to life 15 of Elfman's iconic scores for director Tim Burton's equally iconic films. A giant screen placed behind the orchestra played clips of the accompanying films.

More »

Marilyn Manson - The Observatory - October 29, 2014

Chris Victorio
Marilyn Manson playing The Grove in Anaheim on August 25, 2009

By: Taylor Morgan
Marilyn Manson
The Observatory

An overpacked crowd in black filled The Observatory as fans stood on tip toes to see goth-metal singer, Marilyn Manson. The self-proclaimed Satanist had his management team spread the word, just before 7:00 p.m., that he was not interested in being photographed by press. After all, a photo of this theatrical man would never quite do his show justice.

Devil horns were thrown in the air as Manson yelled in his deep and somewhat haunting voice "Welcome to the revolution Santa Ana." A white tapestry fell and he sang, "The day that love opened our eyes/We watched the world end" from his epic song "mOBSCENE." Next up was "Disposable Teens" and couples kissed sloppily against barely available wall space. Manson pointed his mic towards the crowd, pushing his white electric guitar to the side and the fans screamed, "You say you want a revolution, man/and I say that you're full of shit/we're disposable teens".

More »

Wiz Khalifa - The Observatory - October 24, 2014

Categories: live review

Taylor Morgan

Wiz Khalifa
The Observatory

A line of cars wrapped around the corner of Harbor Blvd. and smoke creeped out of cracked windows. A man held a black t-shirt between his hands with a graffiti like font reading "Wiz Khalifa." Pink wristbands wrapped around the wrists of those in line as a security guard yelled, "Sold out show everyone!"

At least a thousand people waited in line, mostly dudes, talking about rolling joints and medical-grade Mary Jane. Girls in heels tripped on craters in the uneven cement ground giggling to one another outside of Santa Ana's Observatory. Past the security and ticket line, joints were lit as Kendrick Lamar's "m.A.A.d City" blasted throughout the speakers.

Just after midnight Japanese hip-hop artist Uzi took the stage, and the inebriated crowd stood awestruck. Two girls bounced their booties up and down as they ate bananas but the fascination didn't last for long. The Hollywood-based artist was soon booed off the stage, but before he exited, he said to the audience, "Everything just got so different, so fast."

More »

Beach Goth - The Observatory - October 25, 2014

Jen Fedrizzi/ OC Weekly
The weird and wonderful denizens of Beach Goth welcome you...

The long-awaited Beach Goth festival finally arrived last Saturday, where there was enough weirdness to satisfy veteran Beach Goth-goers and newbies alike. As Brooks Nielsen of The Growlers said in our Beach Goth cover story this week, "We always gotta up the ante so that we're satisfied. And our being satisfied means that everyone else will be."

Now in its third year, the band has certainly made good on that promise, making this third Beach Goth the biggest it's ever been. The lineup included an exciting mixture of big-artist names such as Chelsea Wolfe, GZA, Cherry Glazer, Alice Glass of Crystal Castles, Andrew Jackson Jihad and The Garden listed among newer acts like Cat Signs, Emily's Army, Broncho, and Walter TV.

More »