Posts Tagged ‘OC’

Less Than Jake performing All My Best Friends Are Metalheads at House of Blues at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, CA. Filmed on October 9, 2012.

Mad Caddies performing Drinking For 11 at House of Blues at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, CA. Filmed on October 9, 2012.

Mad Caddies performing Tired Bones at House of Blues at Downtown Disney in Anaheim, CA. Filmed on October 9, 2012.

Last night at House of Blues Anaheim, Less Than Jake headlined a show with Mad Caddies, Flatfoot 56, and more. This largely ska punk show mixed it up with the addition of Flatfoot 56, throwing in Celtic Punk in with the rest of the ska punk bands. Not to be outdone, Flatfoot 56 also had some ska tricks up their sleeves, existent or not. Having just discovered the show the day prior, I knew that I had to at least go to see Mad Caddies, a band I had desired to see live for over a year. Once I saw the show info that Less Than Jake would headline the show, I figured I will get my money’s worth with Mad Caddies and Flatfoot 56 – Less Than Jake would end up a bonus to me. House of Blues advertised that the show starts at 8pm; however I arrived a little before then to a band already on stage. I had never heard of the band, meaning that band belonged to the “and more” list.

Flatfoot 56 took the stage first up at 8pm, playing a 40-minute set. As the oddball of the night, playing Celtic punk did not exactly match that of a ska punk show. However, they brought the heat with their fast-paced music, stirring up increasingly fast mosh pits. The guys also decided to throw in a ska-influenced song, as an ode to Mad Caddies and Less Than Jake.

Next up, Mad Caddies began their set. Now I had wanted to see them live for a long time, but never got a chance to. This time, I knew I had to come watch this show. As expected, Mad Caddies never once allowed the room’s energy to fade, even during their slower songs such as Drinking For 11. For me, I paid the ticket price solely to see Mad Caddies. Flatfoot 56 and Less Than Jake felt like bonuses at the time, but later ended up as part of the entire package.

Finally, Less Than Jake made a grand patriotic entrance with their Evolution Kid backdrops and the playing of an instrumentally modified national anthem. Personally, I wanted them to play more of their older songs, but they played an equal mix of old and new. Speaking from experience, whenever the headliner or other major band begin their set, anyone in the pit will not remain in their spot for very long. I tend to start on one side and end up on the other side by the end of the set. This particular show did not have any exceptions – eventually I drifted to the other side, but after jumping into the mosh pit, I returned back to my original side.

The first ever OC Fest of Ales & Beer Run 5K took place this past Saturday in Downtown Anaheim. A two-in-one event, the day starts with a 5K run/walk, immediately followed by a beer fest. Guests could attend an event individually, but attending both as a combo saved some money. The actual beer fest did not contain anything extraordinary, just the standard booths with volunteers pouring beers, food trucks selling food, and local bands playing music. The organizers fenced off only the beer area – random people on the street could still walk up to the food trucks or the music stage. In the case of the food trucks, beer fest guests received tickets to vote for which truck made the best food with beer in it, and only the paid guests could order that particular item from any given truck.

Within the beer fest, a VIP area contained more beer and free food. Although I had only purchased the sampler pass, I used my connections to acquire a VIP pass so I could enter and snap these pictures.

After seeing all this, what can one say about the OC Fest of Ales? For the first try, the organizers have a long way to go. They did not make any many mistakes as Manhattan Beach did with their beer fest, but I still found a handful of problems.

  • Area of the venue – although on a street, remaining in that fenced area felt restricted, compared to the openness of OC Beer Fest or OC Brew Ha Ha.
  • Variation of beer – the website claimed to have over 100 beers, but I barely counted 50.
  • Lack of information on the website – I had to ask other attendees and vendors for crucial information, such as where to park, what time to arrive, etc
  • Popularity contest – the guests could vote on their favorite beer and favorite food truck. Guess what? Guests will only vote for popular choices. That explains why Shock Top won for favorite beer, and why Lime Truck, who not only arrived late, but did not even prepare a beer food and had to make something up on the spot, won the food truck challenge.
  • Not unlimited Unlimited VIP – VIPs had two options: limited and unlimited VIP. Even the Unlimited VIPs could not have anything they wanted in the VIP section, as vendors stood by the one sample per person rule.
  • Weak security – the fence that surrounded the beer fest did not qualify as a real fence, just some plastic borders. As a result, minors could easily enter the beer fest, as I witnessed that day.
  • Lack of restrooms – five porta potties cannot possibly serve a few thousand drinkers.
  • No rest area (chairs, benches, tables, etc) – while the VIP section had plenty of chairs, benches, and tables, the beer fest area did not have many opportunities for guests to rest.

I could go on all day given the time about anything and everything that went wrong, and how to remedy those problems for the OC Fest of Ales. I feel certain that this will return next year, so I hope by then the organizers fix the problems before reinstating the 2nd Annual OC Fest of Ales.

Taste of Arcadia
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm, September 17
Los Angeles County Arboretum, Arcadia

The annual Taste of Arcadia returns TONIGHT, so for those planning to go, buy the $50 presale tickets now, or pay $60 at the door. More than 40 food vendors will serve samples, while over 30 other vendors will keep guests occupied between eats.

21st Annual Taste of Old Pasadena
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm, September 18
Old Town Pasadena

The Taste of Old Pasadena returns tomorrow to Old Town Pasadena. Over 30 diverse restaurants will sample their food & drinks for just $30 per person. Maps and signs will guide all attendees to find the food.

International Talk Like A Pirate Day
September 19

As the name suggests, feel free to talk like a pirate this Wednesday all day. Just do not get in trouble for it. Yarr~

As a bonus, anyone who dons a full pirate outfit to any participating Krispy Kreme will receive a FREE dozen original glazed doughnuts!

Mitsuwa Hokkaido Fair
9:00 am – 8:00 pm, September 20-23
Mitsuwa Marketplace, all locations

Much like the Mitsuwa Summer Fest, this FREE festival at all Mitsuwa Marketplaces now celebrates North Japan culture. Experience food, drinks, desserts, dance, music, games, and more from Northern Japanese culture.

Cerritos Taste of the Region
4:30 pm – 7:30 pm, September 20
Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, Cerritos

This “Taste of Cerritos” makes its annual return this Thursday to the same location, the Cerritos Performing Arts Center. Unlike other food fests in LA & OC, this event does not cost as much – attendees pay a low flat fee, then receive unlimited tastes once they enter. Over 30 restaurants will serve food samples, meaning attendees will certainly get a bang for their buck. Also, guests do not have to pay for parking here.

Last year’s participating restaurants:

LA Beer Week
September 20-30
Greater Los Angeles Area

This 11-day beer celebration covers Los Angeles through Orange County, culminating in a beer fest on the last day in Downtown Los Angeles. During this period, virtually every restaurant, bar, gastropub, and any other craft beer establishment will host some sort of beer event. Literally hundreds of beer events will take place over 11 days in the Greater Los Angeles Area, so for an abridged list, visit the website linked above. Even the website cannot contain every single event! Check with your local favorite brewpub to find out how they will participate.

Big Orange Book Festival
1:00 pm – 9:00 pm, September 21
9:00 am – 9:00 pm, September 22
Chapman University, Orange

Free to attend for all ages, this two-day book festival takes place at Chapman University in Orange this weekend. Come see hundreds of books, writers, live entertainment, food, speakers, and more.

Redondo Beach Lobster Fest
5:00 pm – 11:00 pm, September 21
12:00 am – 11:00 pm, September 22
12:00 am – 8:00 pm, September 23
Seaside Lagoon, Redondo Beach

Three weekend lobster fests in a row! Following Long Beach and Los Angeles, Redondo Beach now has a Lobster Fest going on this weekend, which will have lots of fresh lobster for guests to eat. In addition, guests can enjoy dancing, games, rides, music, arts & crafts, and more. The $10 admission includes parking and entry into the fest, while all food comes separate, so anyone wanting to eat will have to bring extra cash. Purchase presale tickets online to save $2, or search their website for additional meal packages, such as surf & turf and more.

Dead Kennedys, JFA, Whitecaps, Anarchy Taco, Unit F @ The Observatory
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, September 21
The Observatory, Santa Ana

The Dead Kennedys, JFA, Whitecaps, Anarchy Taco, and Unit F play a show this Friday at The Observatory in Santa Ana. This all-ages show costs $25. To Dead Kennedys fans, Jello has other priorities, and will not play with the band.

The Chocolate & Art Show (Experience)
7:00 pm – 2:00 am, September 21-23
KGB Studios, Los Angeles

This three-night event filled with live music, art, NUDE BODY painting, and of course, chocolate will take over the KGB Studios in Los Angeles across from LA State Historic Park. For just a $10 cover, attendees will get to see over 150 artists, photographers, designers, body painters, and more. Live DJ’s will keep the venue loud and pumping, while you snack away at chocolate. Because of its location by the park, attendees can park for free on the street.

13th Annual Cruisin’ For A Cure Car Show
7:00 am – 3:00 pm, September 22
OC Fair & Events Center, Costa Mesa

This charity car show returns to the OC Fair this Saturday morning. Admission costs $15, and includes free prostate testing. [sic]

OC Fest of Ales & Beer Run 5K
9:00 am – 3:30 pm, September 22
Center Street Promenade, Downtown Anaheim

This two-in-one fest combines a 5K run/walk with a beer fest immediately following. The 5K begins at 9am, while the main beer fest begins at 11:30am. Situated on the streets of Downtown Anaheim, the beer fest will feature over 100 different beers, a food truck food challenge, food & beer pairings, live music & entertainment, and more. As with any beer fest, no one under 21 can enter. Plenty of street parking surround Downtown Anaheim; otherwise, you can pay to park in one of the nearby structures.

Drink Good Beer Mash-Up & Homebrew Competition
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, September 22
The Factory Gastropub, Long Beach

The Factory Gastropub will host a beer fest and homebrewers competition in their parking lot this Saturday afternoon. Originally scheduled for September 2, presale tickets still sell for $25, while tickets will sell for $30 at the door. Over 30 local breweries will serve their beers to attendees, while homebrewers will sample their beers as well. Registration to enter you homebrews ended already, so if you want to enter your brew(s), you will have to wait until the next competition.

2012 Better Weather Fest
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, September 22
Golden Road Brewing, Los Angeles

Golden Road Brewery will host their own beer fest this Saturday (just like everyone else). Presale tickets purchased before September 20 cost $30, then tickets cost $40 afterwards. Admission comes with five 6oz pours – additional pours cost $3 each. Attendees get treated to numerous breweries & beers, brewery tours, food trucks, live music, gifts & goodie bags, and more. Attendees can park on the streets surrounding the brewery.

2:00 pm – 6:00 pm, September 22
Santa Monica Pier

America’s answer to Oktoberfest, this American spin on Oktoberfest will feature over 150 craft beers, food trucks, live bands, and more. Where Oktoberfest celebrates German culture, Septemberfest celebrates America and everything great about it. Presale tickets cost $40, while tickets at the door cost $50, if any remain.

10th Annual Tarfest Music & Art Festival
2:00 pm – 9:00 pm, September 22
La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles

This music & art festival returns this Saturday to the La Brea Tar Pits in West LA. Free to attend and open to all ages, guests will experience live music, live painting, beer & wine garden, food trucks, and more.

Autumn Lights
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 22
Pershing Square, Los Angeles

Anyone who has gone to the Downtown LA Artwalk will see similarities in Autumn Lights. This light show makes its annual return to Pershing Square this Saturday night. Free to attend for all ages, lights turn on at 6pm, revealing “some very large scale sculptural light installations, interactive light and performances, life black light paintings, photo booth, and other visually interesting work.” If you like going to the Downtown LA Artwalk, you do not want to miss this.

2012 Zam Fest
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, September 23
University High School, West Los Angeles

Moving from Long Beach to Los Angeles this year, this arts & music festivals caters to children. Zam Fest features a plethora of activities for kids, such as art, baking, acting, sports, dance, music, crafting, and more. Some activities cost nothing, while others cost tickets, of which the website lists the prices.

2012 Harvest Moon Festival
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, September 23
Arcadia County Park, Arcadia

Considered an Asian Thanksgiving, this all-ages Asian cultural festival will take place this Sunday afternoon at Arcadia County Park. Completely FREE to attend, guests will find food, drinks, desserts, live entertainment, games, rides, a kid’s area, and more. Guests can park for free at the Santa Anita Racetrack by entering Gate 5 and taking the shuttle once inside.

The International Chocolate Salon
11:00 am – 5:00 pm, September 23
Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica

Chocolate lovers will want to attend the International Chocolate Salon this Sunday afternoon in Santa Monica. $20-25 gets you all-you-can-eat chocolate.

When one claims the best of anything, people quickly speculate that claim as hogwash. For example, if a product claims to work ten times better than the leading brand, then why does that product not lead the market? Do the testimonials prove anything else, or do the testimonials get bought? The 3rd Annual Orange County Brew Ha Ha arrived at its new location at Oak Canyon Park this past Saturday, living up to its proclamation as “Southern California’s BEST Beer Festival!” Featuring over 40 breweries, 5 food trucks, plenty other food vendors, FREE sodas, live music, games, and more, I assure you that no other beer fest in the past few years in Orange County lives up to the proportions of OC Brew Ha Ha.

The massive venue area contributes the most to the success of OC Brew Ha Ha. Despite the incredulously long VIP line, guests began entering five minutes prior to the fest’s start time. Fortunately, all volunteers and brewery staff knew not to pour until the time began. Upon entering, one can quickly feel overwhelmed trying to figure out where to find what. Oak Canyon Park has much to explore, and OC Brew Ha Ha did not even use the entire park area! (earlier this year, Punk Rock Picnic used the entire park space)

Food trucks at the entrance

Initial view upon entering

One of the many food vendors

The row behind the pond, to the right when entering

Cismontane, one of the local breweries along the back row

The second half of the park

The path to the second half, to the left when entering

At about 2pm, firefighters put on a Scottish music performance, complete with bagpipes and kilts:

With a vast venue, plenty of vendors, a variety of beer & food, entertainment, and more, time flies by for any guest at OC Brew Ha Ha. The average consumer cannot possibly experience everything within the alotted four hours. Just like Disneyland, guests would require a few days to experience it all. In that case, I cannot wait until OC Brew Ha Ha returns next year. You really ought to attend too, so block out the first two Saturdays of September next year, since I do not know which Saturday it will happen on again. No other beer fest in Orange County can top OC Brew Ha Ha, because it triumphs over all.

The Orange County Brew Ha Ha returns for its third iteration this Saturday at its new location, Oak Canyon Park. Benefiting the Local 3631 Firefighters Union, this craft beer festival will feature over 60 different breweries, over 150 different beers, many food trucks, seminars from beer experts, live entertainment, and more. General admission costs $40 and begins at 1pm, while VIP admission costs $55 and begins at 12pm. All beers will cease pouring at 4pm, leaving the final hour to sober up and find food. This year, the organizers have extended the event to include a special Friday night VIP dinner and weekend campsite package – essentially an all-access pass, since this eliminates any risk of getting a DUI.

  • REMEMBER to bring PHOTO ID! Amazingly, many guests think they can enter without showing it to the front security.
  • Look up directions before arriving – cell phones receive no signal as you approach the park.
  • Basic toll-free directions: Get to the 55 freeway, exit Chapman Avenue, then drive east until you reach the lake, where a sign should point out when to turn left into the park.
  • Bring cash for parking. Because of the park’s location, I do not recommend riding a bike or walking, although you may get dropped off.
  • Food come at a separate cost, so anyone wanting to eat should arrive with extra cash. Click here for a list of attending restaurants and food trucks.
  • If you see that it has no signal, just turn off your cell phone during the fest. Smartphones can enter Airplane Mode instead.
  • Though the park contains many trees, consider applying sunscreen, and have extra sunscreen available. Security will not confiscate sunscreen from you.
  • For prolonged drinking, start with lighter beers and work your way to stronger beers. Click here for a list of attending breweries.
  • Try to hold on to your beer glass – guests receive no replacement for lost or broken glasses.
  • All beers stop pouring at 4pm. An extra grace hour will allow guests time to sober up and find food before leaving.
  • Oak Canyon Park only has two exits: one back towards Orange, the other through the mountains leading of Rancho Santa Margarita. Police WILL patrol both roads leaving the park!

Check out these pictures from last year’s OC Brew Ha Ha:

The 16th Annual Original Long Beach Lobster Festival
Different times, September 7-9
Rainbow Lagoon Park, Long Beach

Dubbed as the FIRST Lobster Festival, the organizers from the Long Beach Crawfish Fest and OC BBQ Bonanza will bring tons of lobsters to Rainbow Lagoon Park this weekend. In addition to all the lobster, the fest’s additional variety will include local music bands, dancers, artists, and more. Prices vary, but pre-purchasing tickets online will save you $2 each. Active U.S. military personnel can enter for free! As with any event in this area, attendees will have to pay for parking. You can find free parking in the neighborhoods east of Alamitos Avenue.

2012 Los Angeles Greek Festival
Different times, September 7-9
Saint Sophia Cathedral, West Los Angeles

Just a week after the Long Beach Greek Fest, the LA Greek Fest will basically have the same things: food, drinks, desserts, music, dancers, games, rides, and more. Admission costs $3 per person, but printing the coupon from their website will allow you to save $1 each.

First Fridays
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, September 7
Various locations
Long Beach:

This monthly artwalk occurs on the first Friday of every month. Each location offers different activities, but most will contain food & drink specials, art exhibits & displays, street performers, and more. Venice and Long Beach have the two largest gatherings of all First Fridays. Other locations include Westchester, Fullerton, and City of Industry. Most First Fridays locations cost nothing to attend, while the local businesses uphold their standard rules (e.g. bars are 21+ only).

The Adicts, Brothers of Brazil, and Dirty Filthy Mugs @ House of Blues Anaheim
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, September 7
House of Blues, Anaheim will celebrate their 6th Anniversary by throwing a punk rock party at House of Blues Anaheim this Friday night with The Adicts, Brothers of Brazil, and Dirty Filthy Mugs. Presale tickets cost $23.50, while tickets at the door will cost $26. Parking comes separate, as Downtown Disney charges their own rate for parking.

The 21st Annual Festival of Philippine Arts & Culture
10:00 am, September 8-9
Point Fermin Park, San Pedro

This Filipino festival will have food, drinks, arts & crafts, music, dance, merchandise, and more. Daily admission costs $9, while a weekend pass costs $15. Attendees can park for free in select parking lots.

The 3rd Annual Orange County Brew Ha Ha Craft Beer Festival
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, September 8
Oak Canyon Park, Irvine

The OC Brew Ha Ha returns for its third iteration this Saturday at its new location, Oak Canyon Park. Benefiting the Local 3631 Firefighters Union, this craft beer festival will feature over 60 different breweries, over 150 different beers, many food trucks, seminars from beer experts, live entertainment, and more. General admission costs $40 and begins at 1pm, while VIP admission costs $55 and begins at 12pm. All beers will cease pouring at 4pm, leaving the final hour to sober up and find food. This year, the organizers have extended the event to include a special Friday night VIP dinner and weekend campsite package – essentially an all-access pass, since this eliminates any risk of getting a DUI.

Speaking of transportation, ensure that you look up the location prior. Cell phone signals do not reach Oak Canyon Park, so once you arrive, expect to turn off your phone to conserve battery. Oak Canyon Park only has two ways to exit, both of which always have police stationed to catch drunk drivers. The toll-free method to arriving involves taking the 55 freeway, exiting Chapman Avenue, and driving east until you reach the park.

Remember: if you have any questions, send me a tweet @OnePunkArmy – I have attended the Brew Ha Ha before, and driven to Oak Canyon Park numerous times.

Taste of Koreatown
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm, September 8
Wilshire & Hobart, West Los Angeles

Sample food from various Korean restaurants in Koreatown in West LA for only $2 admission. Attendees over 21 can enjoy the beer & soju garden as well.

The 4th Annual Latin American Parade & Festival
3:00 pm – 9:00 pm, September 8
4th Street Promenade, Downtown Long Beach (URL changes daily, see main site for link)

This parade and festival happens this Saturday evening in the streets of Downtown Long Beach. The parade begins at 3pm, while the FREE festival goes on until 9pm, which will have arts & crafts, merchandise, food, drinks, entertainment, music, dancers, dance lessons, and more. As with any Downtown Long Beach event, you can park for free for up to two hours in one of the nearby parking structures.

The 23rd Annual Belmont Shore Car Show
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, September 9
2nd Street, Belmont Shore, Long Beach

This car show will completely take over 2nd Street and its side streets this Sunday. Come see over 700 cars on display while walking the streets of glorious Belmont Shore. Completely free to attend, your best bet at parking will reside somewhere in Belmont Heights i.e. north of 2nd Street.

The Aquabats played a free* all-ages show yesterday at OC Great Park in Irvine. The catch? The park charges $10 for parking, but some people circumvented that by walking, biking, skating, or getting dropped off. As opposed to the last time I saw them live when they played one set, this show consisted of two 45-minute sets, allowing for more songs… and more fillers a.k.a. stalling time.

The Aquabats not only play their music, but tell a story using their songs. They also care deeply about kids and emphasize empowering the new generation to get into ska, and usually end of involving kids in their show somehow. In every show they perform in, they always bring something new to the set. For this show, I filmed that particular “something new,” which I will work on editing soon.

As mentioned above, The Aquabats care about the new generation and want them to love ska, not see it as brutal like the punk rock scene. Typically, this involves getting some kids onto the stage for a song or stunt. At one point, they brought up a boy named Joey to partake in their song Burger Rain. During Pool Party, they invited kids from the side to come on stage and dance during the song.

Some time during the first set, an “evil shrimp” appeared on stage and began distracting the audience. The Aquabats retaliated by comically beating it up before tossing it off-stage.

During the second set, the keyboard began to malfunction at the beginning of Martian Girl. After about 5 minutes of distractions from the band while the roadies tried to fix the keyboard, they finally settled with playing the song with the sax, old-school style.

A few songs later, the aforementioned evil shrimp returned, this time seemingly to seek mercy. The Aquabats wanted none of it, so instead of confronting the shrimp themselves, the kids from before rushed the stage and proceeded to stomp the shrimp.

Too much goes on during an Aquabats show that one can capture in photos. Listening to their recorded material has nothing on a live set. You must go to an Aquabats show for real to feel the intensity of the band and crowd. At one point, they jokingly wondered out loud if they should play more free shows so more fans would show up. Due to the overwhelming crowd response, we all could possibly see more shows for free in the near future.