Kevin & Bean's April Foolishness - Shrine Auditorium - April 5, 2014

Chris Victorio
Kevin & Bean's April Foolishness
Shrine Auditorium

On Saturday, Kevin and Bean's April Foolishness brought a cavalcade of badass comics to the Shrine Auditorium, including Jim Jefferies, Patton Oswalt, Tim Minchin and more.
When you have an all-star comedy line-up, a ton of alcohol consuming fans, and attach a couple of super causes to it, you're sure to have nothing short of spectacular. DJ/VJ Mike Relm was on wax and video duty and once again, he killed it. Mad skills Mike. Mad. Fucking. Skills. After a hysterical video intro from Jimmy Kimmel, Kevin and Bean hit the stage and the wild crowd became even louder cheering the boys on as they thanked everyone for coming out. They shouted out the comics that would be entertaining us all and let us know that proceeds from the night would be benefiting Fisher House (that provides homes for VA's) and Cedars-Sinai NICU. Laughing is great but when you pair laughing and a charitable cause together, you have even more to be grateful for. And let it be known, everyone sure did seem grateful for the night ahead.

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Burgerama III - The Observatory - March 22-23, 2014

Categories: live review

Matt Ulfelder
Burgerama III
The Observatory

There was more than just the smell of burgers in the air for this weekend's Burergerama III Music Festival at the Observatory in Santa Ana. This two-day, outdoor and indoor music extravaganza, thrown together by the local Burger Records (based in Fullerton) was host to well over several thousand music fans, and the area was swarmed with music fans of all ages, shapes, sizes and backgrounds, in what had to be one of the most diverse crowds ever to converge in Orange County.

Strangers traveled from all over the state, and many even flocked from out of state for the fest and bonded over BBQ, tall cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon, and a very eclectic mix of music throughout many stages, that included punk, psychedelic, emo, folk, funk, new wave, hip-hop and even stoner metal.

Saturday's show was headlined by fan favorites The Growlers, and Black Lips; both of which had fans going wild. Other notable performers included Tijuana Panthers, Hunx, Shannon and the Clams, DEATH, and The Dwarves and many others. Sunday's show featured headliners and fan favorites Fidlar, and also featured Together Pangea, Mac Demarco, The Garden, Kool Keith, Hindu Pirates, White Fang, The Tide, Sleep and tons of others. These were the highlights:

See also: Building a Better Burgerama

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Children of Bodom - The Observatory - March 2, 2014

Categories: live review

Adam the Bat
Alexi Laiho of Children of Bodom
Children of Bodom
The Observatory

A crowd of around 500 fans gathered at the Observatory in Santa Ana last night to revel in the heavy metal madness created by Finland's Children of Bodom, along with special guests Death Angel and Tyr.

The center of the pit reeked of beer, sweat, and cannabis, as bodies began to sway when the lights went out for the headlining band, whose melodic death metal neo-classical speed metal hybrid has won over masses of fans world wide, including many in the audience at the Observatory.

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13 Detroit Bar Shows Worth Remembering

Robert Fayette
When Detroit Bar closes its doors at the end of the week, OC music lovers will definitely witness the end of an era. Since 2001, Detroit's reputation was forged on being the causal, average venue with the ability to surprise us with greatness. Regulars remember it as a place to see a packed local residency night, the anticipated local gig of the season, or the random landing pad for some star musician that could've easily filled any prestigious venue in L.A.--but somehow wound up jamming at a beloved little club inside a Costa Mesa strip mall. We saw a countless number of shows there--we have the bar tab and the memories to prove it.

As we look back at the job that owners Dan Bradley, Diego Velasco,Scott Hamilton, Jason Husted, and former talent buyers Chris Fahey and Jon Reiser did to make this place special over the years, we also have to give ourselves a little credit (of course) for catching some of the highlights and relaying them to you fine folks on Heard Mentality. In honor of the 13-year legacy of our favorite Costa Mesa haunt, we dug into our live review vaults (as far back as search engines would allow) to bring you reviews of 13 (out of many) Detroit Bar shows worth remembering. Click artist/band name to see the full review.

See also: The 50 Best Things About the OC Music Scene

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Sage Francis - The Observatory - February 13, 2014

Categories: live review

Nick Nuk'em
Sage Francis
OC Observatory

The Observatory swelled almost to capacity last night as the crowd awaited a night of swiftly delivered cerebral lyrics from the Epitaph Records' lone rapper, Sage Francis. The bald headed of emcee appeared on stage looking more like a bodyguard than a revered lyricist. With a drawn-on comb over, likely the work of Sharpie, Sage seemed to be giving us his best recreation of Bill Murray hairdo in Kingpin.

With his back turned to the crowd, a sign rose above his usually bald head that would be disappointing to most attending your run-of-the-mill hip-hop show: "No DJ." The crowd cheered before the tacky sign was thrown into the crowd. Following that, a more obvious sign arose: "No Band." The next sign read:"No Hypeman." What kind of hip-hop show would this be then?! The final sign notified the us there'd be "No Problems" that night before the Rhode Island rapper faced the crowd to reveal a black shirt bearing red, cut-out paper hearts. Sage Francis was ready to rock!

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Band of Horses - Cathedral Sanctuary at Immanuel Presbyterian - February 12, 2014

Categories: live review

Kyle Cavaness
Band of Horses
Cathedral Sanctuary at Immanuel Presbyterian

Band of Horses, like Dylan in reverse, has never been afraid to go un-electric.

The group recently left lead singer Ben Bridwell's native South Carolina to support Acoustic at the Ryman, a 10-song live album released Tuesday. (The album is streaming for free on and is available for purchase in all the usual places.) The tour, which began in L.A. on Tuesday, continues with a Valentine's Day appearance on Ellen and a show in San Francisco, followed by dates in Seattle, Canada and the East Coast before a put-a-bow-on-it gig at the Ryman in Nashville on March 5th.

While all four of the group's full-length albums include multiple acoustic songs, the tracks re-arranged for Ryman and at the live show sand off some of the Horses' arena-rock edges, relying heavily on Bridwell's voice, Ramsey's guitar, Monroe's piano and the harmonies between all three. While Bridwell's vocal range lands on the same spectrum as the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne, the former maintains a steady and pure tone in all of the places the latter slips into trembling chaos, adding grace to the vulnerability that peppers Band of Horses' catalog.

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Mad Caddies - The Constellation Room - February 6, 2014

Categories: live review

Priscella Vega
By: Priscella Vega

The Mad Caddies
The Constellation Room

The Mad Caddies are easily one of the most underrated ska acts in California. Granted they don't necessarily play ridiculously upbeat tracks like Reel Big Fish or deep life lyrics like Streetlight Manifesto, but the Caddies create ska music that's much more than guitar upstrokes and an added horn section.

At first, the gig didn't seem too promising as only a few fans trickled into the venue. It almost felt like the Constellation Room was too big of a venue compared to the flock of fans who headed to the larger room to check out Pepper.

It wasn't until the opening act performed where a throng of bodies had drastically thickened and the lack of fresh air was apparent. While the opening act didn't present anything new or exciting, they did amp up the crowd for the headliners.

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Darkside - The Observatory - January 26, 2014

Categories: live review

Darkside 1
Ben Blau
The Observatory

As soon as I walked into The Observatory last night, the room was sweaty, a little stinky and extremely packed. The hype surrounding Nicholas Jaar and Dave Harrington's newest project brought the hippies, hipsters and EDM lovers together to witness the genre-defying music Darkside is known for. Once the duo took the stage, the sold out crowd roared as it squirmed in excitement. Opening with "Golden Arrow" off of the acclaimed debut album, Psychic, Jaar and Harrington demonstrated their ability to blend psychedelic guitar riffs and percussion over pounding beats and ground-shaking bass.

The eclectic pair were backed by a circular mirror that projected an ominous ring of light into the crowd. Periodically, the musicians disappeared in colorful clouds of smoke, making the performance even more of a spectacle. Harrington, whose back was turned to the audience many times through out the set, showcased his mastery on guitar and synthesizer, while Jaar welded samples together, played the keyboard and occasionally provided lyrics to songs.

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Snoop Dogg - The Observatory - January 10, 2014

Categories: live review

Nick Nuk'em
Snoop Dogg
The Observatory

Being able to see a Snoop Dogg show is damn near as epic as seeing Paul McCartney perform. They both have survived the most monumental events in recent music history and it wouldn't be a surprise if they brought along with them a few of those, lesser known but nevertheless, living legends to play alongside with them. On Friday, Snoop tore down the Observatory with the help of Tha Dogg Pound (Daz and Kurupt) while a few of the culture's other reputables looked on.

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Poison Idea - The Constellation Room - January 4, 2014

Categories: live review

Marina Martinez
Poison Idea

Poison Idea
The Constellation Room

The Observatory Room in Santa Ana again hosted a double-booked evening on Saturday night, with Santa Barbara based Reggae Rock band Rebelution playing in the main room, and Portland based old-school hardcore punks Poison Idea headlining the Constellation Room.

Poison Idea formed in the '80s, and is striving to keep the music alive, for both old and younger fans. Loyal fans in the front were moved by the energy and vibe of the band, which was intense an in your face. Featuring original singer Jerry A., newcomer Natalie Lucio on bass, Eric Olson and Jeff Walter on guitars and drummer Flesh Gordie, and Poison Idea's sound engulfed the circle pit and incited moshers, with its violent, raw, nihilistic hardcore punk played from the gut. Definitely for fans of bands such as The Germs, and Discharge.

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