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Concert Review: Burger Records serves a side of confusion

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Karla Rendon
Editor in Chief

Anxiety and anticipation filled the Observatory’s packed room March 13 as show-goers were eagerly waiting for Crystal Castles to grace the stage with their presence.

After vocalist Alice Glass announced her departure from the duo in October 2014, many fans speculated that was the end of the Toronto-based experimental-electronic band.

The announcement of Crystal Castles performing came as a surprise that was almost too good to be true. But, as soon as Glass and producer Ethan Kath dominated the stage, the crowd went wild and danced the entire performance.

The duo’s set was a part of Burger Records’ celebration of five years of successful concert hosting last week with its five-day music festival Burger x Observatory, in Santa Ana.

The lineup included Burger Records’ native bands such as the Aquadolls, the Garden and Summer Twins, and also included non-Burger related heavyweights such as Angry Samoans, Tijuana Panthers and Too $hort.

The impressive lineup had many fans express their excitement on social media since there were numerous bands and musicians that catered to a wide range of genres for every music lover to enjoy.

Although diversity was what reeled in fans, the sloppy organization of the event left show-goers dumbfounded and questioning the quality of the five-day music festival.

Many fans took to Burger’s Instagram to declare their disappointment at the set time shoegaze band Slowdive was given.

The English group was announced as a headliner for Sunday’s show, but was set to perform at 4 p.m.

Burger Records responded to individual comments clarifying that Slowdive had a show to play in Mexico later that same evening.

In addition to the dishearteningly early set time for one of the most anticipated headliners, the original lineup announcement included legendary horror punk band Misfits, who did not end up playing whatsoever.

No explanation was offered for removing the group from the lineup, and fans once again took to Instagram to question their absence.

Despite these disappointing revelations, attendants were still quick to dance along to the bands who did perform at the show as well as sing along to lyrics.

The leveled area that the Observatory offers made for easier access to the pit for fans who wanted to crowd surf, and made an ideal area for mosh pits to form.

Los Angeles-based band Mystic Braves rocked the audience with their psychedelic tunes. Attendants happily swayed from side to side as couples grooved to the funky organs that echoed through the Observatory’s full house.

Their new songs from their newly released album, “Days of Yesteryear” were happily cheered on as oldtime favorite were greeted with a warm welcome.

Brooklyn-based band Beach Fossils’ usually mellow tunes had a more spirited intensity as the band’s animated energy brought more vitality to each song.

Their sleepy 2013 single, “Sleep Apnea” had a more intense ambience when played live, and even had several attendants excitedly crowd surf.

The Chicago-based band the Orwells had the audience scream along to each piercing note frontman Mario Cuomo sang.

Cuomo’s eccentric performance included interactive moments with the audience as he would directly sing to fans and throw toilet paper rolls into the audience.

Although memorable, the sloppy arrangements of set times and bands dropping the festival made it difficult to fully commit to the merriment that took place at the event.

The merchandise area was destitute by Sunday night with only a small handful of vendors offering goods to fans.

Crystal Castles was the only musical group who had any personal merchandise offered for sale with no other bands selling their gear.

Another thing that left fans puzzled was whether or not Burger x Observatory was in lieu of Burger Records’ annual Burgerama event. The announcement of the music festival failed to clarify if another Burgerama event will take place later this year considering it is usually hosted in March or April.

The lack of appropriate organization that Burger x Observatory is inexcusable, but the impressive lineup and even better performances almost make it easy to forgive. Almost.

Karla Rendon can be reached at karla.rendon@laverne.edu.

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