Posts Tagged ‘Constellation Room’

Many music fans have some sort of “music checklist” – an intangible list of music acts that they would like to see live. Last week, I finally had the opportunity to cross off one of the top lines of my list: seeing United Nations perform live. They started their west coast tour in Los Angeles, then went on to perform in Orange County before heading north up the coast. I opted to attend their Orange County show at The Observatory’s Constellation Room, which got overshadowed by a larger band performing in the main room, causing massive parking overflows and other crowd problems. Undaunted, I charged on in to bask in the glory of the United Nations.

Sick Feeling opened up the night with their post-hardcore set. Based out of New York, Sick Feeling best reminded me of two bands meshed into one. Their instrumentals reminded me of the strange, trance-like chords of At The Drive-In, or even The Mars Volta. The vocals straight up reminded me of the raw power of traditional Converge. Put together, you have what the band describes as simply Chaos.

Up next, we have Silver Snakes. Hailing from Los Angeles, Silver Snakes took the crowd on a journey away from the night’s post-hardcore theme. They certainly do not have the intense screams that the other bands do. The powerful yet emotional vocals give way to a greater melodic sound, allowing the audience to enjoy more of the instrumental performance and soak in the true musical prowess of Silver Snakes. I find it difficult to compare Silver Snakes to any one band – while they understand how to perform gracefully with true transitions, I cannot see them stand toe-to-toe with well-known bands of their genre. Placed on a bill with lesser known bands, Silver Snakes can kill it as a headliner. But when Silver Snakes performs with a “buzz” worthy band such as United Nations, they unfortunately fit the spot of the band right before the headliner.

At last, the moment I had craved for over a decade had finally arrived. With United Nations about to take the stage, high school memories of seeing vocalist Geoff Rickly perform with Thursday flooded my mind, fueling my passion to lose myself to the music once it started. Though a pit never truly started, I would have gone nuts if it did. United Nations hit the stage with engines blazing, going from silence to blasting the decibels through the roof in a matter of seconds. Although they bear little resemblance to Thursday, I still cherished this like a Thursday show, just with a greater emphasis on the hardcore aspect of the music. Who needs transitions when your songs leave people breathless? They used some of their transitions to briefly mention politics, but then reminded us that Election Day had already passed, so they had little left to say. United Nations followed their set list to a tee and stuck around after the show for a meet & greet instead of playing an encore.

I finally can say that I have successfully seen the lead singer of my favorite band perform once again. Now that I have marked that off my music checklist, the only lines remaining above that require two bands to reunite: Thursday and Minor Threat. I would like to thank Geoff Rickly for mingling with the audience for most of the night and for his modesty. Now that I have met my musical hero, I can safely say that I have accomplished a great feat of my life.

Miss out on the United Nations on the west coast? Their tour still has a few days left, and they will play their final west coast show of this tour this Saturday in San Diego. Make sure you do not miss this!

Anti-Nowhere League – On Tour
8:00 pm – 1:30 am, May 20
Characters Sports Bar, Pomona

Anti-Nowhere League leaves California this week on their tour, so do not miss out! Tickets to this show in Pomona this Tuesday night cost $16. No one under 21 may attend. Guests can find plenty of free street parking in the area, and can avoid paying to park in any of the lots.

Barrel-Aged Mrs. Stoutfire Event
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 21
Beachwood BBQ, Seal Beach

Beachwood Brewing and The Bruery collaborated last year to create Mrs. Stoutfire, and the barrel-aged version of it has ripened to perfection. Taste it and other rare Bruery beers, including Grey Monday, this Wednesday night at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach. Beachwood BBQ will also have some food specials that they will only serve on this night.

Angelic Upstarts – On Tour
8:00 pm – 1:30 am, May 21, Characters Sports Bar, Pomona
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 22, The Observatory’s Constellation Room, Santa Ana
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 26, 333 Live, Los Angeles

Old school punk band Angelic Upstarts will tour through California this week, head up to Las Vegas for Punk Rock Bowling, then return after the weekend for more shows. The listed shows only barely cover what they will do in the next week, so check them out on Facebook for information regarding their upcoming shows.

56th Annual Garden Grove Strawberry Festival
1:00 pm – 10:00 pm, May 23
10:00 am – 10:00 pm, May 24-25
10:00 am – 9:00 pm, May 26
Village Green, Garden Grove

This free annual all-ages city fair features rides, games, vendors, food, contests, live entertainment, a parade, and more. Despite its name, the festival does not liberally give out strawberries or sell it – it just uses strawberries as its theme. Guests may go on rides with all-day wristbands, which cost $30 each, or just $25 on Friday. New this year, a 5k will take place Saturday morning in the area. Registration has already closed, so just plan to avoid driving around this area in the morning.

O.C. Crust Stock Vol. 2
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 23
5:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 24
Mirror Image Studios, Anaheim

Check out some local crust punk bands this weekend at Mirror Image Studios in Anaheim. Tickets to this all-ages concert cost $13 for one day or $22 for both days.

The Adicts – On Tour
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 23-24
The Observatory, Santa Ana

Legendary punk band The Adicts go on tour this week, starting with a two-night concert in Orange County. Tickets to this weekend’s all-ages shows at The Observatory in Orange County cost $25.

6th Annual Children Today 5k/10k Run/Walk
6:30 am – 11:00 am, May 24
Marina Green Park, Long Beach

Run a 5k or 10k for charity this Saturday morning in Long Beach, as the path takes runners along the bike path on the beach. All runners receive a t-shirt and goodie bad with their admission, which costs $35 presale or $40 at the event. All nearby parking lots charge for parking, but you can park in the neighborhood east of Alamitos Ave for free.

Long Beach Fine Art Festival
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, May 24-25
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, May 26
Marina Green Park, Long Beach

This FREE and all-ages event takes place at the Marina Green near Shoreline Village in Long Beach. This event features art from local designers, plus gourmet food trucks ready to serve delicious eats all weekend. Visitors may purchase any of the works from participating designers. Visitors will find paid parking at the park’s parking lot. Visitors may also park for free in the neighborhood east of Alamitos Avenue.

Bottle Share #13
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, May 24
38 Degrees Ale House, Alhambra

Brew your own beer? Got an interesting craft beer to share? Bring it to 38 Degrees’ monthly bottle share event, taking place this Saturday afternoon, and discover other great beers too. Free to attend, guests should bring approximately 40-50 ounce’s worth of beer. The restaurant has its own free parking lot.

3rd Annual Latin Jazz & Blues Festival
2:00 pm – 8:00 pm, May 24
Houghton Park, Long Beach

Bring out the family to this free and all-ages music festival this Saturday in Long Beach, and enjoy live music, food, arts & crafts, vendors, and more.

2014 Vista Village Strawberry Festival
7:00 am – 7:00 pm, May 25
Historic Downtown Vista

At this free festival, guests of all-ages can experience a plethora of activities all day in Vista, formerly the Strawberry Capital of the World. The day starts with a 5K run, and when the run ends, the main festival begins. The multitude of activities include a beer garden, pie-eating contests, cooking contest, golf/putting contest, homebrew contest, video contest, strawberry costume contest, demos, live entertainment, car show, rides, games, food, and so much more. Visit the website for a full schedule and list of activities, plus directions on where to park.

Spring 2014 Patchwork Indie Arts & Crafts Festival – Long Beach
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, May 25
Marine Stadium, Long Beach

This semi-annual arts & crafts fair consists of a series of Sunday fests at multiple locations. As with any typical arts & crafts fair, Patchwork will feature many traditional forms of art and merchandise, but also mixes in alternative art – thinking outside the box, or Rebel Art. Featuring clothing, accessories, home goods, jewelry, pet items, and more, this FREE fest caters to a wide & diverse crowd. Food trucks will serve guests during the fest. Always remember to carry cash, since most vendors only accept cash. The surrounding neighborhoods contain plenty of free street parking.

Propagandhi @ The Observatory
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 25
The Observatory, Santa Ana

Propagandhi will tour through Australia next week, but before they do that, they will play an all-ages show in Orange County. Tickets to their show this Sunday night cost $20.

The Slackers @ The Constellation Room
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, May 25
The Observatory’s Constellation Room, Santa Ana

The Slackers make an Orange County appearance at this small show this Sunday night. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $22.

City of Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half Marathon, 10K, 5K and Kids Run
5:30 am – 11:30 am, May 26
Laguna Hills Mall, Laguna Hills

Celebrate this Memorial Day with a run down in sunny Orange County. Register for any of various distances, and head to the starting line by 7am for the race start. Registration fees vary based on the distance, with the half marathon costing $75.

Run or Dye – Los Angeles
9:00 am – 12:00 pm, May 26
Irwindale Speedway, Irwindale

Color runs have surged in popularity recently. This all-ages run takes place this Saturday morning at the Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale. As with any color run, runners should wear all white to absorb the most color by the end of the run. Registration costs $52 per person in a team, or $57 for an individual, and the race starts at 9am. Take warning: thousands of runners all start at one time. Do not get caught in traffic & parking nightmare – arrive at least an hour early.

Last Thursday night, the Mad Caddies headlined a small intimate show at the Constellation Room in The Observatory in Santa Ana. Just three months after they sold out a show at this exact same location, Mad Caddies once again fill this venue up, generating a crowd that even attracted those who attended the show in the bigger room. The Observatory features two stages – the main room, and the Constellation Room, a smaller, more intimate room. The audience Mad Caddies never relented, despite a sold-out Pepper show in the main room.

The only other band in this show, illScarlett, opened the show 75 minutes after the doors had opened. Despite their soaring popularity back home, very few of the audience had heard of this band that I can best describe as a pop-ska band. Much of their fan base resides in Canada, their home country, so I can understand of the majority did not recognize them. They played a full 45-minute set that included a wide mixture of songs, from fast punk rock-style songs to smooth reggae songs, and even some songs that involve vocalist Alex rapping. The audience thoroughly enjoyed this opener/co-headliner, and exhibited it with a strong circle pit starting at the second song.

After a 30-minute setup, the Mad Caddies finally entered the room to screaming fans. Those who attended some of their previous shows, such as the show three months ago linked above, may recognize the set list as nearly identical. This time, the Mad Caddies have added in some unreleased songs, as they have just finished recording a new album set to release later this year. The room remained relatively calm the entire time aside from the pit, as much of the audience behaved and stayed put, rather than bounce around frantically. They did a great job of transitioning between songs, not leaving too much downtime between groups of songs. This 90-minute set included lots of fan favorites, like Leavin’, Tired Bones, State of Mind, Monkeys, Silence, Road Rash, Drinkin’ For 11, and more. Although they could not play all of the fan favorites like Souls For Sale, they still generated limitless energy from the crowd, and attracted a handful of people from the show in the main room.

The Mad Caddies currently tour across North America, so check out their Facebook page for a list of upcoming tour dates, and remember to give their page a Like so that you can stay up-to-date with all things Caddies.

On a week filled with many great music performances in Southern California, Mad Caddies headlined a small show in the Constellation Room of The Observatory. Mad Caddies have played on bigger stages before, but they could not get the main stage at The Observatory on this night due to an Alkaline Trio show. Mad Caddies could not select a better date since they had to fly to Canada the following morning. Thankfully, they still decided to play this show, despite the time crunch on their end, and they invited two local reggae bands to play the show with them.

Opening the night, from Los Angeles comes Arise Roots, a roots reggae band. They played a mellow reggae set that lasted about 40 minutes, enough time to get everyone settled in and to feel the vibe of the night’s music selection. No real surprises occurred during their set – they played well, and held onto everyone’s attention the entire time.

Up next, True Press, another band from Los Angeles, played their reggae set. Just like Arise Roots, they played a set that lasted approximately 40 minutes with no real surprises. Compared to Arise Roots, True Press had a few faster songs to start pumping up the crowd for Mad Caddies. The sets played out fine, building up the intensity in the room and the energy in the crowd.

Understand the lack of size of the Constellation Room, and you quickly realize the intimacy of this room. That leaves Mad Caddies with a smaller stage than usual with a crowd directly at their feet. In fact, trombone player Eduardo Hernandez could easily reach the audience with his trombone, and occasionally hit a few audience members in the head throughout the set with his trombone. Their 75-minute set consisted of many of Mad Caddies’ well-known songs, such as Leavin’, Without You, State Of Mind, Silence, Drinking For 11, and more. Their set ran so late that the Alkaline Trio show had already ended, and audience members from that show tried to get into the Mad Caddies show, which looked relatively more exciting with the room-wide circle pit. Alas, the Mad Caddies show, which cost $12, never sold, whereas the Alkaline Trio show cost $30 and sold out a while ago. Too bad Alkaline Trio fans – you will have to see Mad Caddies elsewhere another time.

Miss out on this show? Mad Caddies do not plan to play any shows in the next few months, as they have returned to the studio to work on their next album, which they plan to release in February. Remember to like them on Facebook (linked above) and follow them on Twitter to stay up-to-date on Mad Caddies and what they have coming up!

Last Friday night at The Observatory in Santa Ana, D.O.A. headlined their final show, backed up by D.I., Amerikan Made, and two local bands. As one of the forefathers of punk rock, founder Joey Shithead has remained true to his roots by refusing to allow D.O.A. to go down while he breathes. This man truly lives, eats, and sleeps punk rock, and he further proved it by acting as his own roadie in this show. With four other bands opening for D.O.A., only the truest punk rock fans could survive the entire night and appreciate the musical talent the stage has to offer.

Local Riverside punk band Slow Children opened the night to a largely empty room. For a band of a bunch of kids, they played a great high-energy show. Unfortunately they did not get a chance to play to a large crowd, as by the end they played their last song, the room still had less than half of the space filled with people. They definitely deserve more credit than their spot in the night would otherwise indicate.

Another local band played following Slow Children. This time, they did not mention their band name, though I can only guess The Skulls since a band later in the night mentioned that, albeit they probably have nothing to do with the original Skulls from 1976. With a harder sound than Slow Children, they managed to instigate a small pit. I could hardly focus on the band, as this pit contained some interesting characters, such as some kids shuffling, and a clown. Yes, a moshing clown, complete with white powder makeup, a red ball nose, and a rainbow wig.

After the local bands, we now move on to the sub-headliners, starting with Amerikan Made. With no bells or whistles, Amerikan Made represents standard punk rock. If you ask anybody who does not regularly listen to punk rock, what they would envision would sound like Amerikan Made. They played with nonstop energy, as the pit never stopped the entire time. Although there exists an unwritten rule that thou shalt not wear the band’s shirt to their show, I spotted a few people with Amerikan Made shirts, one of which read “Quit Being A Pussy” for one of their songs, which Amerikan Made played close to the end of their set.

A film crew set up for the next band, D.I. Another original punk band, former Adolescents and Social Distortion drummer Casey Royer founded D.I. back in 1982 and has remained with the band ever since. Never one to shy away from the spotlight, fans recognize Casey for his banter between songs, as D.I. rarely plays back-to-back songs without Casey saying something between songs. He never talks about the same thing twice – he manages to find something new to talk about between songs. Besides the random chatter, D.I. leads their set off with some fast music, starting the pit with the wheels already spinning. If you have not attended a D.I. show, you have to see one soon to understand the chaos of their set.

Prior to D.O.A.‘s final performance, the audience spotted Joey Shithead setting up his own stage. Always one to act as his own roadie, Joey stuck true to his roots and played in the same style he has always played with. He may not have moved as much as the previous bands, but his grungy voice coupled with their hardcore sound certainly moved the room. In fact, D.O.A. moved the room so much with their set that by about halfway through the set, the pit had significantly calmed down. I wager that most of the pit had expended their energy for the prior bands. This did not prevent the crowd from enjoying D.O.A., as they still swayed and jumped, just in place instead of into the next person.

Sad to see D.O.A. go? Bands throw in the towel quite often, but legendary bands like D.O.A. will make headlines when they call it quits. Make sure to read my blog weekly to stay up-to-date with upcoming music shows!