Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Weezer, Ty Segall, and more headline fourth annual Burgerama

Wild “hip”, oddly dressed, and chain smoking young adults were on hand for the fourth annual Burgerama festival at The Observatory venue grounds in Santa Ana from March 28 – 29.

It was exactly four years ago when Orange County independent record label/store Burger Records (founded and owned by friends Sean Bohrman and Lee Rickard) decided to throw the inaugural Burgerama in Santa Ana.

Now in its fourth year, Burgerama has achieved critical acclaim among other notable music festivals, making it one of the most popular music festivals in Southern California.

This year’s festival boasted a lineup of veteran “class A” acts such as alternative rockers Weezer, legendary hip-hop group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, and vocalist/guitarist of the 1960’s psychedelic band The 13th Floor Elevators, Roky Erikson.

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Also on the bill were Burger favorites such as Ty Segall, The Black Lips, Cherry Glazerr, and The Garden.

Day 1 of the festival kicked off early in the morning at 11:30 a.m. and featured garage-rock punkers No Parents opening up on the Rama stage, and Lolipop Records favorites Corners opening up the Observatory stage.

The Constellation Stage (the smallest of the three stages) featured sets by mostly small local bands in the garage-rock scene with the exception of French singer Soko (who peformed topless with the fellow female audience on stage), and Lolipop Records co-founder Wyatt Blair of Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel fame.

The acts on the main Rama stage included a number of “festival oriented” bands such as the popular Midwest garage-rock trio Bass Drum of Death (who jolted through a variety of tracks ranging from their first album to their latest record), and New York surf-pop quartet Beach Fossils (who played a fantastic mellow, yet fast enough sunset set to have the kids mosh pitting in the crowd).

Although the Rama stage was full of rage and angst during the fast pace energetic set by L.A. surf-rockers FIDLAR, and of course the critically acclaimed Weezer (who surprisingly played a set that featured mostly old material and classic early 2000’s hits, along with a special emotional moment when lead singer/guitarist Rivers Cuomo brought out his father Frank to play drums on stage for the first time ever), the spotlight was on the Observatory stage.

Underground hip-hop mogul Madlib took the Observatory stage at 6:00 p.m. and played a fantastic DJ set that included notable tracks by rappers such as MF Doom, Mobb Deep, and Madlib’s alias Quasimoto.

The Black Angels followed right after with an intense psychedelic garage-rock performance while “trippy” visuals played in the background, channeling inner LSD vibes and the pioneer of psychedelic rock Roky Erikson continued those vibes with a 60’s-esque set.

The fun would continue throughout the night on the Observatory Stage with twin female rockers Summer Twins, L.A. via Portland party boys White Fang, and Australian garage-rockers Wax Witches (fronted by Alex Wall of Bleeding Knees Club fame).

Day 2 continued the fun energy of the previous day, although many festival-goers seemed exhausted and drained due to the hot 80 degree weather.

Nonetheless the crowd continued to chain smoke Camel Cigarettes and drink Pabst tall cans as it was a widely present scene throughout the day; both indoors, outdoors, and backstage.

The Garden kicked off the festival on the Rama stage at 12:15 p.m., starting the madness that would erupt throughout the day on the stage that featured numerous of energetic rockers.

Although rapper Travi$ Scott was a no show following the Garden twins, King Khan and the BBQ show played a lengthy set that featured crowd-surfing, mosh pits, and lead vocalist/guitarist Khan talking about staying away from cocaine.

San Francisco garage-rockers Thee Oh Sees and stoner-metal quartet Witch had the crowd mosh pitting non-stop, before Ariel Pink switched up the vibes and had the crowd dancing to his psychedelic-pop set.

Although the Observatory stage featured an all-star lineup of notable acts such as Craft Spells, Twin Peaks, Tennis, and Nick Waterhouse; the Rama stage continued to showcase top-notch performances including a sensational throwback to the early 1990’s set by rap group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony (who performed everything from “Thuggish Ruggish Bone” to “Crossroads”).

Atlanta garage-rockers The Black Lips followed with a set that had the crowd erupting into chaos during hit songs such as “O Katrina”, “Bad Kids”, and “Modern Art”, only to have the king of surf Ty Segall take the crowd’s energy even further times a thousand as he performed old and new material; and a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid”.

The Constellation Room also had its share of energetic sets with artists such as Curtis Harding, Froth, and The Lovely Bad Things who played a sweaty, wild set in a super squished environment.

Burgerama most definitely provided a stellar festival and lived up to the hype it had built up when the lineup was first announced in mid-January.

Although the music was fantastic throughout, the boys at Burger still have room for improvement in regards to typical festival issues such as parking, location, and better access for media.

Only time will tell what Burger has in store for next year’s installment of the festival.

Weezer’s full set from Burgerama Four via YouTube.

All photos by Ryan Guerrero/El Paisano

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