The Growlers, The Drums, and more headline Beach Goth 3

“Teenie-boppers”, “hipsters”, and every other stereotypical trend of young adults were on hand for the third annual Beach Goth festival at The Observatory venue grounds in Santa Ana on Oct. 25.

“Beach Goth” is a term coined by fans of the notable OC “surf-psychedelic” band, The Growlers, as a way to describe the band’s sound and quite possibly their fan base.

After accepting the term, the band curated the first annual Beach Goth festival in 2012 with the help of their friends and label, Burger Records.

Beach Goth 3 had a ridiculously large amount of bands playing the festival causing horrible flaws throughout the day such as short set times, set time changes, and most importantly; a massive crowd of costumed teenagers bombarding all three stage areas.

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The festival began at 12 p.m., ended at around almost 2 a.m, and featured; a pirate ship carnival ride, face painting, activities tents, and was hosted by comedian-actor, Pauly Shore.

On the brightside, the lineup was ridiculously great, featuring notable bands such as The Drums, DIIV, Alice Glass of Crystal Castles, Foxygen, and the Growlers themselves.

All of the following big headlining acts played the main stage located in the parking lot of the venue.

The inside of the Observatory venue featured major local acts such as Tijuana Panthers and Cherry Glazerr, as well as popular acts such as Wu-Tang Clan member GZA and punk band, The Spits.

The small room inside the venue, The Constellation Room, featured a majority of local acts such as Corners, Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel, and Cosmonauts.

Although a majority of the bands that played inside the venue are superb acts, the main stage was the place to be in order to catch bands that are most of the time on tour, or not playing in Los Angeles.

The main stage was also the best place to get a true festival vibe throughout the duration of Beach Goth.

After popular local acts such as Mystic Braves and The Garden performed, Atlas Sound took the stage and performed a dreamy ambient solo set with only a keyboard/synthesizer.

French psychedelic band La Femme, followed next and performed fast-pace “psychedelia” and new-wave influenced tracks that had the crowd dancing and moshing throughout their set

The band truly displayed their unique sound as they wore hilarious costumes on stage and still captivated an energetic performance for about 40 minutes.

Foxygen also captivated an energetic performance, mainly in part of front man Sam France’s insane stage antics such as kicking his shoes into photographers, leaping and dancing on stage, and shaking his long hair and body in all directions.

France definitely made the band’s set come alive and help the crowd lose their minds, despite the band’s short set of about 25 minutes.

Punk band Joyce Manor easily went through a good amount of songs from all three of their studio albums since most of their songs are under two minutes.

New York City based bands, DIIV and The Drums, however were two of the most anticipated acts of the night on the main stage as they are hardly around the Los Angeles area.

Both bands have established themselves as current premier indie-rock acts and are very different from one another.

DIIV, fronted by ex-Beach Fossils guitarist Zachary Cole Smith, play slow and fast-pace “surf-rock” with “shoegaze” influence. The band had the crowd moshing during almost every song such as the popular tracks “Doused” and “Sometime” off their 2012 debut album, “Oshin”.

The Drums meanwhile, fronted by vocalist Jonny Pierce and guitarist Jacob Graham, play slow and fast indie-pop songs with some “surf-rock” influence. Most, if not all their songs are very emotional to listeners and are also fan favorites.

Their set featured these fan favorites off their first two albums such as “Let’s Go Surfing”, “Best Friend”, and “Money”. The band also played a few of their new songs off their recently released album, “Encyclopedia”.

A short twenty minute DJ set by Crystal Castles front-woman Alice Glass followed up, in which she played EDM infused tracks and had male go-go dancers on stage with her.

Glass was pretty pissed off at the fact that they shut her set down due to time limits and repeatedly yelled cuss words, flipped the crowd off, and stormed off stage. Yet, the crowd loved her wild stage antic and cheered for her return which never happened.

Festival curators The Growlers, concluded the main stage as they played a wide variety of tracks from all five of their albums and even certain EP’s.

The band recently released their fifth album “Chinese Fountain”, and performed a few songs off the record.

Their performance was nothing short of outstanding with vocalist Brooks Nielsen swaying back and forth as he sang through popular songs such as “Someday”, “Gay Thoughts”, and “Humdrum Blues”.

Dancing occurred everywhere throughout the crowd with both couples and friends enjoying the groovy “psychedelic-surfy” tunes from The Growlers.

Many people such as friends, photographers, and fellow musicians were on stage with the band to take part of the dance parade and lighten The Growlers performance just a tad bit more.

It’s safe to say that Beach Goth 3 was a success despite the few flaws that were present at the festival. Expanding the festival to a two day event would allow for better set times and less conflicts with which band to catch.

Location is not an issue, however if the festival keeps adding big names to their lineup, it would be wise to seek a bigger location.

Beach Goth 3 proved to be a great end of the year festival, especially for those who couldn’t afford to travel to the Life Is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas the same weekend.

Beach Goth 3 recap video via Youtube