R.I.P. Diego's: Santa Ana Venue to Close After February

Categories: Venue News

Courtesy of Richard Espinachio
Diego's concert hall
Yep, it looks like Diego's is dead by the end of February.

Yesterday, we got news that the downtown Santa Ana restaurant/massive concert hall is calling it in after less than two years in business. Despite having plenty of potential (which we talked about in our locals only column last year), it apparently wasn't enough for the owners of the building to keep the place. Yesterday in a Facebook post (which was hastily taken down), Diego's owner Richard Espinachio made the sad announcement that the building will be sold off at the end of the month. Espinachio explains in detail after the jump.

See also: Will Diego's Be the Next Big Local Venue in Santa Ana?

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Observatory Announces New San Diego Venue [Update]

Categories: Venue News

Matt Oliver
Turbulence at the Observatory
[Update Jan. 6, 2:30 p.m.]: Today it was announced The Observatory bought the historic North Park Theater, which will be the site of the new San Diego location. More info on that after the jump.

The Observatory announced their expansion into San Diego with a brand new venue yesterday. There wasn't much info on the post from the venue's Instagram account, but it was certainly enough to get people's attention. Talk about a bold way to kick off 2015.

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Lido Theater Hosts It's A Dead Man's Party With Former Oingo Boingo Members

Categories: Venue News

Ed Melliza
Lido Theater
The neon lights surrounding the marquee of Newport Beach's Lido Theater will draw attention to more than movie titles in the upcoming months--they'll also illuminate the names of live music acts.

Countless films have ran in the historic theater over the last 75 years, but the shift to include live music comes from new operators, Lido Live, who took over the theater's lease from Regency last summer. In addition to running feature films, the theater will now showcase musicians whose styles range from R&B to show tunes. With Halloween just around the corner, Lido Theater is gearing up for Friday's Halloween concert, It's A Dead Man's Party, with special Oingo Boingo act, Boingo Dance Party.

Boingo Dance Party is special for the fact that it features several original members of the seminal '80s new wave band, including Sam "Sluggo" Phipps on saxophone and Johnny Vatos on drums. Boingo Dance Party is known for their upbeat live shows, making them a natural fit for the Halloween bash.

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Long Beach DIY Scene Builds Up the Wax Museum

Categories: Venue News

Courtesy of The Wax Museum
Hilary Chilton
It's 9:30 p.m. at the Village Shops, one of those recurring Southern California shopping centers that can make walking through Orange County or Long Beach feel like passing through video game barriers, constantly reset, doomed to browse the same street over and over again in some suburban matrix. And amidst all this, like a blip in the code, is the Wax Museum.

Don't look for a sign--there isn't one. No banners, no block neon lettering. The only marker is the swarm of kids on the curb, smoking, chatting.

The first band is about to go up--Cortaud and Bobtail. Few kids know the name, even fewer have heard the songs, and that's the point. The Wax Museum serves as a brick and mortar Brooklyn Vegan, a space for Orange County kids to discover new music. Shows are every night of the week, excluding Mondays when they host volunteer meetings/barbecues at noon.
To the 18-and-under crowd, this place is invaluable, ethereal and immediate.

See also: Unit B Struggles to Come Back After Shutdown

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The Wayfarer Books First Show, We Peek Inside

Categories: Venue News

Jeff Chon
We've all been anxiously awaiting news about The Wayfarer since owner Jeff Chon took over the skeleton of the shuttered Detroit Bar earlier this year. Last month, we noticed the new branding on the Costa Mesa club's old Facebook page its main website. Recently, you may have noticed the curb side marquee on 19th St. trumpeting the change over. And yesterday evening, the club finally announced its very first show with rap legends EPMD on July 17. The New York duo are just in time to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their 1989 album Unfinished Business. Next on the calendar is a performance from LA band Kitten on July 25. The club will start selling tickets on its website this Thursday.

While we certainly dig The Wayfarer's old-school approach to kicking off the building's new chapter, the decision to keep the performance side of the venue tagged as "The Detroit Bar Stage" has some folks curious about Chon's plans to proceed with his brand while still being tied to the old one. Considering all the changes he plans to make to the place, is it a smart move?

See also: Detroit Bar is Closing, Turning Into a Gastropub

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Will Diego's Be The Next Big Local Venue in Santa Ana?

Categories: Venue News

Courtesy of Richard Espinachio
It's kinda hard to believe that a music venue with an 850-person capacity, a full bar and a stage catering to local talent has the ability to fly under the radar in our little music scene. Especially considering the slump artists and fans are experiencing with the recent closure of Detroit Bar and the Crosby. But since it opened quietly late last year, Diego's--a new live music spot adjacent to the Yost Theater in downtown Santa Ana--has done just that. Of course, looks can be a bit deceiving when you first walk into the space located at 224 E. 3rd St. At first glance past the giant "D" logo painted on the outside wall, it looks the way any quiet, minimalist hipster bar in Santa Ana might look--they serve reasonably priced imported beers and craft spirits and tout a rotating menu of inventive, affordable dishes that shouldn't cost you more than $7. All well and good.

But the wow factor for local bands looking for a gig doesn't come until you make your way to the back of the bar through a black door to the main hall that instantly becomes a sprawl of space and potential. In fact, the venue-known as Festival Bar to the cadena-wearing public, has to be pretty intimidating for plenty of local acts who see it for the first time. For the last 35 years, the dance hall has housed countless weekend norteƱo, tejano, and banda concerts, booking acts like Oringinales, Karlos Quintero and Los Hermanos Arellano (no relation to our editor-in-chief...well, maybe). Now, chef and former gallery owner Richard Espinachio has opened Diego's as a bar that shares the venue with Festival Monday through Thursday, booking everything from free form art shows, to local theater to psychedelic rock lineups.

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HARD Summer 2014 Announces New Venue

Fabian Ortiz / OC Weekly
HARD Summer 2013 at the LA Historic Park
Today, HARD Summer, LA's largest electronic dance music festival, will announce its new venue for the seventh annual installment of their two-day event. Taking place Saturday through Sunday August 2nd and 3rd, this year's bacchanal promises to be "harder, groovier, hotter, wilder, bolder, and bigger" as it makes it's way to the Whittier Narrows Recreation Area in South El Monte.

HARD's usual home at the Los Angeles State Historic Park is being closed as part of an $18 million dollar effort to renovate the 32-acre facility which hosts several concerts and festivals throughout the summer. This year approximately 20 minutes and 13 miles East of the usual Chinatown location, will be flooded by thousands (70,000 were in attendance last year) of EDM lovers ready to dance the weekend away as HARD takes over with five stages and 75 performers. "It's such a great park with more room to do things that have not been possible for HARD in the past," says HARD CEO Gary Richards in a press release.

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Detroit Bar Closing, Turning Into a Gastropub: Update

Categories: Venue News

Keith May
ORIGINAL POST, JAN.13, 6 a.m.: Say goodbye to Detroit Bar.

We're sad to tell you that one of our longtime favorite Costa Mesa haunts has been sold. Over the weekend, news broke that Memphis Group--which opened the club in 2001-- is handing over the the strip mall nightclub to new ownership which will turn it into yet another hip gastropub. Under new owner/local restauranteur Jeff Chon, the bar is to be re-branded as The Wayfarer--A House of Social Provisions. The date for the changeover isn't set yet, though nothing is booked on Detroit's calendar after the Fu Manchu gig on Feb. 8.

Are we sad? You bet. Surprised? Not really.

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Unit B Struggles to Come Back After Shutdown

Categories: Venue News

Thumbnail image for watersss.png
Unit B organizer Mark Waters
After its sudden shut down and cancellation of all its pre-booked events, Unit B, Orange County's biggest DIY space, has left a hole in the punk community. With a new Indiegogo campaign and repeated promises from the organizer Mark Waters, the possibility of a new space is still questionable. Waters says the new venue should be up by Christmas or January at the latest, though he doesn't have a location picked out yet.

Piece by piece, he's selling each skateboard ramp that branded Unit B just a week after the announced closing, a haunting reminder that the chance of a new venue opening anytime soon was highly unlikely. However, Waters promised a new space even in the first closing announcement. "Everyone at city hall is pretty familiar with this project at this point," Waters said. Unlike the original Unit B, he wants to make this space completely legitimate, so that nothing can happen for it to be shut down.

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Our List of Opening DJ Codes, Laminated and Posted Back Stage at the Yost for All Newbs to See

Yost Flier.jpg
"Notice To All Opening DJ's" Posted Backstage at the Yost Theater

See Also:

*[Updated] Top Five Codes of Conduct For Opening DJs at EDM Shows

*Chuckie - Yost Theater - 7/7/12

*Morgan Page - Yost Theater - 7/3/12

Look what someone sent us from backstage at the Yost Theater in the the downtown Santa Ana Art District. A "Notice to All Opening DJs" laminated and taped on the speakers backstage. If you'll remember, we posted a very similar list (almost identical, actually) a couple weeks ago called "Top Five Codes of Conduct for Opening DJs at EDM Shows." We're hoping it was a decent conversation starter that prompted opening DJs to be creative with their sets and respect their headliners. Our list was spammed all over the internet a few days after we posted it, which tells us the topic of DJ etiquette is a real issue in the dance music scene in Orange County. But kuddos to the Yost Theater for at least doing something about it and continuing to bring respected DJs to OC week after week...and for paying attention to our blog.

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