Posts Tagged ‘Post Hardcore’

Glassjaw (FB) performing Two Tabs of Mescaline at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA. Filmed on November 2, 2013.

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Glassjaw (FB) performing Tip Your Bartender at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA. Filmed on November 2, 2013.

For most music fans, if their favorite band or artist rolls into town for a show or performance, they will make an effort to go see that show. Some music acts occur quite often, while others rarely occur in a given area. For example, Social Distortion used to play so many shows in Southern California that local fans started to attend those shows less often. On the other hand, artists not from the west coast would rarely perform in California, so whenever they came into town, fans immediately flocked to see them. In extreme cases, some bands break up or some artists take an indefinite hiatus. So when a band reunites for some more shows, you can bet that fans will want to catch this act one last time until they disappear for good. This sparked the reason for me attending Coachella in 2012 when both At The Drive-In and Refused reunited around the same time. This also sparked the reason for me to jump at the opportunity to see my favorite band back in action after many years of missing them, Thursday.

Legendary post-hardcore band Thursday announced late in 2011 that the band had disbanded, approximately a day after Thrice announced their hiatus on Twitter. Prior to this announcement, I had not seen Thursday live since 2006, so of course my heart sank upon hearing the news. Many years later at the start of 2017, the Thursday Twitter account started to bustle with activity, followed with the announcement of a reunion tour. I acquired my ticket to see them again in Los Angeles, and that show wrapped up last Tuesday night at The Wiltern in Koreatown. This tour will continue onward across the nation, culminating with the end of their tour in New York at the end of this month. What Thursday will do following this tour remains ambiguous, but personally I hope they have a few more tours or shows left until they retire the band for good.

As the banner above indicates, a couple of bands open for Thursday during the tour. From now until the end of the tour, Cities Aviv will open the show. For the show in Los Angeles, we had indie rock band Wax Idols opening, as they opened for shows during the first half of the Thursday tour. UK rock band Basement played second in the show, followed by LA’s own post-hardcore band Touché Amoré, both popular in their own right. While every band had its fair share of fans in the crowd, obviously everyone present awaited the arrival of Thursday to the stage. For that hour and a half, the entire room went ballistic as the nostalgia hit from a band prevalent during much of the teenage and young adult years of all the fans present. Despite an all-ages show, since Thursday had their primetime in the mid-2000’s, most of the audience consisted of fans from the mid-20’s to mid-40’s. Everyone got their hit of nostalgia and got to relive their youthful years during this show. Hopefully this paves the way for other legendary bands to reunite soon and play some shows.

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!

Many great music shows have gone on in the past few weeks in Southern California, covering all sorts of genres, age ranges, and price ranges. Last Friday night, a free all-ages show took place at Inkonsiderate Board Shop in Riverside. Originally planned for Back To The Grind, this show got moved to a new location, and with it, one band dropped out for another local band. This show still saw a huge turnout, considering no age limits or cover charge to attend. This location also attracted quite a number of skaters, as ramps and pipes decorated the area around the music area.

An hour and fifteen minutes after the first band should have started, Pubic Zirconians finally got under way. This local punk band from Riverside plays, as their name suggests, dirty filthy songs about sex and money. They performed a solid, energetic set, enough to get the crowd in motion.

Up next, we get a different change of pace in the form of Stay Wild. This band from Apple Valley sounds a lot like a post-hardcore band than a hardcore punk band, based on their instrumental style and lyrics with a message. A huge difference exists between what punk bands say and what post-hardcore bands say. Punk bands will generally say lots of curse words, and talk about sex, money, drugs, and/or alcohol. Post-hardcore bands will say meaningful things with morals and calls to action. As I have not gone to a post-hardcore show in quite a while, seeing Stay Wild felt refreshing to re-embrace a genre that I occasionally listen to.

Touring all the way from Seattle, Waywards came on next. Along their way down here from Seattle, they played at shows regularly, from Portland to Fresno, all while enjoying the sights and taking in this slight vacation. Despite this pseudo vacation, they still know how to rock, albeit with a different style of punk than Southern Californians might recognize. Their gritty tone sets them apart, an instrumental vibe not heard often in Southern California.

At last, Slow Children riled up the crowd for their headlining performance. Everyone squeezed in for this last reprieve, leaving little room to do much else. This set consisted mainly of songs from their current album, Prevalent Emotional Distress, starting with Mind Of My Own and Velvet Gloves before moving on to some of their newer songs. As always, these guys rock hard and represent the genre like no other band of their generation. These guys will go far, and their tours, such as an upcoming west coast tour this Fall, will only help to spread their legacy.

Slow Children has another show coming up in Southern California! Make sure you head on over to check out this show with an epic lineup consisting of Narcoleptic Youth, Destruction Made Simple, and more!

In the past few years, we have seen many revivals and reunions of bands, musicians, or other music acts at a live show. Back in 2012, at least three acts reunite for the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival: Snoop Dogg & Dr. Dre, Refused, and At The Drive-In. This year’s Coachella will have Outkast reuniting. Apart from reunions, other bands or musicians have returned from varying hiatuses, such as Glassjaw and Destruction Made Simple. On the opposite end of the spectrum, some bands have either called it quits, like Just Like Before or Save The Swim Team, or some have split to pursue something else. Lastly, some acts just never perform in certain cities, states, regions, or countries, such as the Toy Dolls, who will break boundaries by performing at Coachella this year. Regardless of why some local citizens have never seen a particular act in person, many music acts never embellish the true concert experience because they either do not play in some areas, or their shows pose too much difficulty getting into, whether by selling out tickets or for other miscellaneous reasons. Over the past few years, I have made it a priority to attend shows of bands that I either have never seen or rarely see, which drives most of my decisions on what weekly shows to attend. For this year, I truly must see these five bands or musicians to satiate my music thirst. If I must travel or shell out ridiculous amounts of money, I may have to do so.

5. The Toasters

As one of the first bands of third-wave ska, The Toasters ring a bell around the world. This international ska phenomenon defined today’s ska culture, from the musical styles to the fashion that everyone now recognizes when attending a ska show/concert. More often than not, when you view a ska video, the video will have The Toasters playing the background. Their iconic music lays out the foundation for ska today, and anyone even remotely into ska must go to see The Toasters sooner than later.

4. Polar Bear Club

The post-hardcore industry used to revolve around the vocalist’s ability to scream as defined by the old screamo genre. Although deriving from hardcore punk, post-hardcore took on an identity of its own not too long after hardcore punk’s peaking popularity in the early 80’s. Since then, the genre has evolved to encompass the musical style rather than the vocals, so a handful of today’s post-hardcore bands fit into the genre yet do not emphasize the screaming parts, such as Polar Bear Club. As a mixture of punk rock and post-hardcore, Polar Bear Club follows a melodic hardcore model, striving on instrumental prowess to portray emotions rather than a vocalist bleeding their lungs out. Their popularity outnumbers the small venues that they play at often, leading to sold-out shows whenever they announce something. The next time Polar Bear Club swings by your area, do not dawdle – get on the bus and go buy a ticket fast.

3. Billy Talent

Whereas Polar Bear Club’s attraction lies in their instrumental capabilities, Billy Talent delivers the full package. This melodic punk rock band from Canada has transformed their music greatly since inception in the early 1990’s. What started as an independent indie rock band has slowly progressed into a punk rock band, and eventually into the melodic post-hardcore band that fans recognize them as today. Once Billy Talent hit mainstream success in the early 2000’s, the history books tells the rest of the tale. Billy Talent tour across the world extensively, hitting up as many countries as possible to delight fans everywhere. I have yet to see a show that does not sell out within a few days of the initial announcement. When Billy Talent books a show in your area, everyone buys tickets, even if they have no intention of going. Should Billy Talent play in your area this year, I suggest you do the same and buy tickets instantly.

2. Geoff Rickly (Thursday/United Nations)

In a shocking turn of events, my favorite band falls to the number two spot on this list! At least…. what remains of my favorite band has fallen to number two. Having broken up in November 2011, Thursday has greatly influenced the post-hardcore scene during their run as a band, and generally receives credit as the band that forever changed the face of post-hardcore. Since discovering Thursday, I have seen them exactly three times all prior to attending college, before I truly understood the emotion and passion behind the music. Once I understood the lyrics and messages, Thursday had already broken up. Now frontman Geoff Rickly has moved on to perform with supergroup United Nations along with Daryl Palumbo of Glassjaw and Head Automatica. Regardless of which act he performs with, I would never pass up an opportunity to see Rickly perform live again. If Thursday reunites this year… I can kiss my savings goodbye.

1. Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat/Fugazi)

We all saw this coming in this list, and every punk rock fan will tell you: It will never happen. Despite all the fake posters and flyers from last year, Minor Threat will NEVER reunite. Minor Threat’s frontman Ian MacKaye (the man, the myth, the legend) sees no point in reuniting Minor Threat, and by now, he has moved on to other things in his personal life. Sure he went on to form Fugazi, another amazing band in its own right, but ask punk rock fans around the world for the one show they truly want to see, and you will hear Minor Threat over all other bands by a landslide. Some fans that I have spoken to at shows in my area have pledged that they would spend thousands of dollars to see a Minor Threat show one more time. If it has to come down to it, believe me – I will spend that much money too to see Minor Threat live.

After what surely felt like at least a decade away, Glassjaw returned to Orange County this past Saturday night to headline what appeared as a sold-out show. As one of post-hardcore music’s most influential bands since inception 20 years ago, Glassjaw has garnered a tremendous fan base than spans the globe thanks to their intense performances. Something about vocalist Daryl Palumbo’s presence causes everyone nearby to turn their attentions to him, a quality some could refer to as a je ne sais quoi. The pounding music combined with heartfelt lyrics makes Glassjaw a true force to reckon with in today’s post-hardcore music scene.

Seahaven opened the night with their 30-minute set. They appear to have a huge fan base, if measuring by online numbers, that surpasses that of the next band in the night. This local band plays music difficult to categorize. Their music does not carry the intensity of many songs by Glassjaw, but follows a hard yet slower rhythm, similar to some Deftones songs. I did not hear anything about this band prior to their performance, so I just stood by and enjoyed what they played.

The night’s sub-headliner, Into Another, played a 50-minute set next. Having formed as a band three years prior to Glassjaw, Into Another definitely has had more time to see more in the music industry, albeit they lived through a 12-year hiatus. Despite this, the band members still exhibit excellent musical prowess, with some instrumental sections that could make any aspiring musician jealous that such skill exists. Towards the end of their set, some of the fans started getting restless, disappointed that a band besides the headliner took over 45 minutes to play.

Wasting no time to set up, Glassjaw took to the stage following a quick stage setup. The roar of the crowd greeted the band as they strolled onto the stage with the lights still off. Once the lights came on, Glassjaw jumped immediately into their set, which followed the set from a show earlier this year, sans one song. They minimized their downtime between songs, opting to make quick transitions from song to song, resulting in a set that lasted approximately 70 minutes with no encore. The songs they played:

  • Mu Empire
  • Pink Roses
  • Jesus Glue
  • You Think You’re (John Fucking Lennon)
  • Pretty Lush
  • Star Above My Bed
  • Tip Your Bartender
  • Natural Born Farmer
  • Ape Dos Mil
  • Gillette Cavalcade of Sports
  • Convectuoso
  • Black Nurse
  • Gold
  • Miracle In Inches
  • Two Tabs Of Mescaline
  • Siberian Kiss
  • Babe

Looking for the next Glassjaw show? They have not announced anything currently, but like their Facebook page in the meantime to stay up to date on the happenings of Glassjaw.

In the recent years, we have seen a handful of reunions of great bands that broke up in the early 2000’s or earlier. Last year, punk fans around the world creamed their pants with the announcement of the reunions of At The Drive-In AND Refused at Coachella. More recently, we have seen the reunion of Rocket From The Crypt at the 2013 Ink-N-Iron Fest, and the return of Mike Virus to Cheap Sex. Reunions work as a great marketing tool for getting the fans to come back out to see a favored band perform once more, but reunions also show us aftermath of life in the music industry. Some bands claim to reunite, but they may only carry some of the original lineup, such as Dead Kennedys without Jello or Black Flag with just Ron Reyes and Greg Ginn from the original lineup. Regardless, fans just want to attend a great show, and enjoy their favorite music with the other individuals at that show. Fans need not worry with the case of Glassjaw, as they have finally placed their ducks in a row to embark on a small tour throughout the southwestern United States.

As one of the most influential bands in post-hardcore history, Glassjaw has set quite a foundation for today’s post-hardcore scene. For having released only two full-length studio albums to date, fans around the world recognize Glassjaw as one of the originals in the genre, in a similar vein to how the Sex Pistols only ever released one full-length studio album. Vocalist Daryl Palumbo temporarily left Glassjaw in 2004 to pursue other projects, such as Head Automatica and the United Nations. Upon returning four years later, the band stumbled around a bit attempting to record a new album, releasing snippets of new music via their MySpace page. Glassjaw appears to walk in a straight line this year, as they count down the days to the release of their third full-length studio album. With the album confirmed, they set out on a small tour that just concluded last Friday night at the Glass House.

Alexander Spit opened the night with his rap and DJ set. In a manner similar to Alex’s Bar where all the non-headlining acts do not play the same genre as the headliner, Alexander Spit rapped the entire time, which last for about an hour. As I do not actively listen to this type of music, I cannot accurately comment, for I traveled to this venue for a post-hardcore show. He still managed to get some of the crowd pumped up, but after 45 minutes, some started getting restless waiting for Glassjaw.

Starting off a set quite early for a headliner, Glassjaw appeared to the stage at 9:30pm. As a very animated performer, Daryl Palumbo showed us all his expertise in the music industry with the way he moved. He utilized all of the space on the stage, occasionally interacting with the front row of fans. As for the set list, they played a good variety of songs from all of their albums, from as early as their first album in 2000 up to their latest EP from 2011. Glassjaw wasted no time with their set, as they played back to back with little downtime between songs; in fact, some of their transitions made many of their pairs of consecutive songs sound as one. Strangely, they ended their set abruptly, with absolutely no sign or a good bye – they just walked off the stage when they finished their last song. This left everyone waiting around for more, as we all expected an encore. However, the encore never came, as the house crew immediately started disbanding the stage set and equipment.

If you cannot see the set list photo below, check it out here:

  • Mu Empire
  • Pink Roses
  • Jesus Glue
  • You Think You’re (John Fucking Lennon)
  • Pretty Lush
  • Star Above My Bed
  • Tip Your Bartender
  • Natural Born Farmer
  • Ape Dos Mil
  • Gillette Cavalcade of Sports
  • Vermont Connection
  • Black Nurse
  • Gold
  • Miracle In Inches
  • Two Tabs Of Mescaline
  • Siberian Kiss
  • Babe

Missed out on Glassjaw? You have one more chance to see them again later this year at Riot Fest in Chicago. As one of the original bands of their field that still contains the original members, you would not want to miss this chance to catch them again before they finally throw in the towel.

2013 International Surf Festival
9:00 am – 12:00 pm, July 31
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 1
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 2
6:45 am – 10:00 pm, August 3
7:30 am – 3:00 pm, August 4
Various beaches, Hermosa/Manhattan/Redondo Beach
http://www.surffestival.org/

Celebrate beach life with the 2013 International Surf Festival that spans five days starting Wednesday morning. The festival comes chock-full of events and activities – see the website for a complete schedule. Actual surfing competitions start Saturday morning, while visitors can catch other activities on all the other times, such as beach volleyball, lifeguard demos, beach runs, and more.

Hopscotch Inaugural Pairing Dinner
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 31
Hopscotch Tavern, Fullerton
http://www.facebook.com/events/187137448117796/

Indulge in a five-course dinner complete with drink pairings this Wednesday night at Hopscotch Tavern in Downtown Fullerton. Interested guests must RSVP by phone, and provided payment information for the $85 ticket fee, plus a 20% non-refundable deposit. Guests can find plenty of free parking options nearby, so avoid parking at street meters. No one under 21 may attend this dinner.

The Dirty Little Secrets – Girls On Film
9:00 pm – 10:30 pm, July 31
One-Eyed Gypsy, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/189536131208458/

Catch a sexy burlesque show this Wednesday night in Downtown Los Angeles, dedicated to women on film. Have cash available for parking and a potential cover charge. No one under 21 may attend.

X Games 2013 – Los Angeles
11:00 am – 10:30 pm, August 1
12:00 pm – 1:30 am, August 2
11:00 am – 10:30 pm, August 3
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, August 4
Los Angeles Convention Center, Downtown Los Angeles
http://xgames.espn.go.com/events/2013/los-angeles/schedule/

This year’s X Games marks the last Los Angeles games indefinitely, as X Games has gone global. Admission to X Games varies depending on the event, but all of the LA Convention Center, Staples Center, and LA Live will turn into a massive festival and expo for all things extreme sports. After the competitions end each day, stick around for live music from bands such as AWOLNATION and Pepper.

2013 International Quilt Festival – Long Beach
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 1
10:00 am – 6:00 pm, August 2-3
10:00 am – 3:00 pm, August 4
Long Beach Convention Center, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.quilts.com/home/shows/viewer.php?page=SummerFestival

See all things quilts this weekend in Long Beach at the International Quilt Festival. This expo showcases anything connected to the quilting industry, and showcases everything for the quilting hobbyist. A full weekend pass costs $25, while a one-day admission costs $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and students. Children 10 and under get in free with paid adult or senior admission. Parking at the convention center ranges from $5 to $10, so have cash available for parking. Otherwise, attendees can park in the neighborhood east of Alamitos Avenue.

Rx Bandits @ The Glass House
7:30 pm – 11:30 pm, August 1
The Glass House, Pomona
http://www.theglasshouse.us/event/269865-rx-bandits-pomona/

Ska band Rx Bandits ends their tour by returning to Southern California this week, stopping by the Glass House this Thursday night. This all-ages show has already sold out, but you may still find some after-market tickets available.

60th Annual Kids Fishing Rodeo
8:00 am – 12:00 pm, August 2
Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, Long Beach
http://www.alfredosbeachclub.com/seafest-fishing.html

This FREE kids’ fishing contest will provide a safe environment for kids to learn how to fish, about fishing equipment, and about the environment. All participants must supply their own rod and reel – the event will provide bait and tackle.

Wilmore 9 Summer Festival
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, August 2
11:00 am – 10:00 pm, August 3-4
Pine Avenue b/t 6th & 8th, Long Beach
http://www.wilmore9.com/

The Wilmore 9 Festival debuts in Long Beach this weekend. This festival of music, film, and art will celebrate the best of the arts, from the local community all the way to international headliners. In addition to the arts, Wilmore 9 will throw everything imaginable to attendees, such as skateboarding, comedy, food trucks, a beer & wine garden, hands-on activities, dodge ball, kick ball, and more. Tickets to this all-ages festival range from $10 all the way to $70, depending on the method of attendance.

SGMHS Summer Family Festival
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 2
San Gabriel Mission High School, San Gabriel
http://www.facebook.com/events/609186219099417/

Catch a family-fun street fair this Friday night in the San Gabriel Valley. Costing just $5 for adults and free for kids 12 and under, this street fair will bring vendors, arts, crafts, kids’ activities, food trucks, live entertainment, a beer garden, and more.

First Fridays
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 2
Various locations
Long Beach: http://firstfridayslongbeach.com/
Venice: http://www.abbotkinney1stfridays.com/

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 21+ only).

65th Annual La Habra Corn Festival
5:30 pm – 11:00 pm, August 2
11:00 am – 11:00 pm, August 3
12:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 4
El Centro Park, La Habra
http://lahabracornfestival.com/

This city fair celebrates corn with food, rides, games, drinks, vendors, merchandise, raffles, entertainment, and more. This fair will have a parade on Saturday afternoon too. Free to attend for all ages, visitors can also participate in a corn-eating contest, cutest baby contest, dog costume contest, apple pie contest, and more.

Agent Orange in Baldwin Park
6:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 2
American Legion Post 241, Baldwin Park
http://www.poortownshows.com/event/141661

Legendary punk band Agent Orange will headline a night of punk rock in Baldwin Park this Friday night along with eight other bands, including Whitekaps. Entry to this all-ages show costs $10. Guests can park for free in the venue’s parking lot.

The Secret Affair – 60’s Night
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 2
Alex’s Bar, Long Beach
http://www.alexsbar.com/event/141364

Occurring on every month’s first Friday, this 60’s night at Alex’s Bar will play all vinyl music of motown, northern soul, boogaloo, 60’s pop, and more. Feel free to dress up too, as the bar staff will hold costume contests and dance contests.

Dirty Little Secrets Rock Burlesque @ The Pike Bar
10:30 pm – 12:00 am, August 2
The Pike Bar & Grill, Long Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/474048376023085/

The sexy ladies from the Dirty Little Secrets have a free treat for you this Friday night, and it involves a lot of debauchery and sensual music. Enjoy two free burlesque shows this Friday night at The Pike Bar in Long Beach. Guests can park for free in the surrounding neighborhoods. No one under 21 may enter.

Splash Dash 5K – Los Angeles
7:00 am – 12:00 pm, August 3
Fairplex, Pomona
http://splashdash5k.com/locations/ca-losangeles/

Most runners run outdoors on clear days. Few runners dare to run in the rain. Challenge yourself to run in invariably wet conditions this Saturday morning with the Splash Dash 5K, taking place at the Fairplex in Pomona. Unlike most other 5K runs of this nature, the Splash Dash does not fit into the category of a fun run, as this race actually grants awards to top finishers. Prepare to run a 5k course while getting pelted with water balloons, water guns, water slides, waterfalls, and more water-filled contraptions. Registration for the 5k costs $45 presale and $55 on the day of the race. Registration for the 1k costs $25 presale and $30 on the day of the race. All participants receive a t-shirt and access to the after-party, filled with music and treats. No one under the age of 5 may run in this race. As this race only features one start time, I suggest arriving at least an hour early to find parking and to prepare for the race. Bring cash for parking, which will range from $5 to $10. Wear whatever you feel comfortable running in, or wear a costume – you choose how to represent yourself. Bring a spare set of clothes and plenty of towels for the drive home.

24th Annual Clairemont Family Day
8:00 am – 4:00 pm, August 3
South Clairemont Park, San Diego
http://www.clairemontfamilyday.com/

Bring the entire family over to the park this Saturday for a FREE fair at the park. This fair will feature a pancake breakfast, arts & crafts, live entertainment, food, drinks, games, rides, a car show, and more. Visitors can swim for FREE in the park’s pool from 12pm until 3pm.

2013 Lucas Oil Long Beach Sprint Nationals
8:00 am – 5:00 pm, August 3-4
Marine Stadium, Long Beach
http://www.scscracing.com/

Powerboat racers from across the country will congregate in Long Beach this weekend for this annual competition. Admission costs $15 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.

20th Annual Long Beach Crawfish Festival
12:00 pm – 11:00 pm, August 3
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 4
Rainbow Lagoon Park, Long Beach
http://www.longbeachcrawfishfestival.com/

Indulge in crawfish, beignets, drinks, and other New Orleans eats this weekend in Long Beach. In addition to all the food, attendees will find a TV lounge, dance contests, live music, souvenir photos, and more. Entry to this all-ages festival cost $13 presale and $15 at the gate for adults, while kids 12 and under get in free with a paid adult admission. Adding a two-pound crawfish feast will cost $28 presale and $38 at the gate. Adding a three-pound crawfish feast will cost $35 presale and $48 at the gate. The parking lots across the street charge for use – park for free in the neighborhood east of Alamitos Avenue.

HARD Summer Music Festival
12:00 pm – 12:00 am, August 3-4
LA State Historic Park, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.hardsummer.com/

Electronic Dance Music (EDM) has always remained a popular genre in our recent history. Since the early 1990’s, people have jammed and danced to EDM through various forms, such as rave, techno, trance, dubstep, and more. Due to this genre’s lack of lyrics, EDM sounds the same to everyone around the world. This international appeal reaches every corner in the world, especially at Electric Daisy Carnival. This weekend, Los Angeles will see its own EDM concert with Hard Summer, a two-day outdoor concert taking place at LA State Historic Park in Downtown Los Angeles. Complete with some of the more recognizable EDM artists, such as Flux Pavilion, Justice, and Bassnectar, Hard Summer will also feature some rappers, like 2 Chainz. Hard Summer runs from 12pm to 12am on August 3rd and 4th. Tickets start at $85 for one-day general admission, and go up as high as $270 for a two-day VIP pass. No one under 18 may attend.

Downtown Riverside Summer Street Jam
2:00 pm – 9:00 pm, August 3
University Avenue b/t Orange & Lemon, Riverside
http://www.riversidedowntown.org/2013/07/23/summer-street-jam/

Check out this FREE all-ages outdoor music festival on the streets of Downtown Riverside this Saturday afternoon. The actual event does not serve food, but visitors can stop at any of the local businesses to dine at. The music lineup contains some punk, ska, and reggae bands, including The Aggrolites.

The All Stars Tour 2013 with Every Time I Die
2:00 pm – 10:00 pm, August 2-3
August 2: House of Blues, West Hollywood http://www.houseofblues.com/tickets/eventdetail.php?eventid=81169
August 3: The Observatory, Santa Ana http://www.observatoryoc.com/events/all-stars-tour

Rip your hair out to intense post-hardcore music this weekend with Every Time I Die and more. Tickets to these all-ages shows cost $22.50; tickets to the House of Blues show cost $25 if purchased on the day of the show.

BrewFest Encinitas 2013
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm, August 3
MiraCosta College, Encinitas
http://www.brewfestencinitas.com/

San Diego loves their beer, and they keep rolling out beer fests to celebrate their love for beer! BrewFest Encinitas 2013 will feature 15 breweries, a few food trucks, free parking, live entertainment, and more. General admission costs $40 and comes with a souvenir glass and 10 beer tasters. VIP admission costs $75 and allows access to a VIP area, complete with exclusive beer and food. Always remember – when going to a beer fest, bring your ID! No one under 21 may attend.

626 Night Market
4:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 3
4:00 pm – 11:00 pm, August 4
Santa Anita Park, Arcadia
http://www.626nightmarket.com/

The largest Asian night market in America moves to Santa Anita Park this weekend. This flea market of sorts will host tons of vendors selling Asian wares, merchandise, apparel, appliances, food, drinks, and more. Admission costs $2 before 6pm, and $3 afterwards. Guests may now park here for free during the event.

The Gears @ The Vex LA
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, August 3
The Vex, Los Angeles
http://www.voiceplaces.com/los-angeles/the-stains-the-gears-symbol-six-hollywood-hate-the-screws-why-things-burn-2117337-e

Catch punk bands The Gears, The Stains, Hollywood Hate, Symbol Six, The Screws, and Why Things Burn this Saturday night at The Vex in Los Angeles, just a few miles east of Downtown. Entry to this all-ages show costs $10. Guests can find parking behind the building, but avoid parking too deep, as you may get blocked in by other cars.

Naked Aggression @ The Social Bar Lounge
8:00 pm – 2:00 am, August 3
The Social Bar Lounge, Hacienda Heights
http://www.facebook.com/events/1390125667866083/

Catch punk bands Naked Aggression, The Voids, Urban Decay, Corrupted Youth, and Baldwin Park Disasters this Saturday in Hacienda Heights. Entry to this show costs $10. No one under 21 may attend this show.

OC Fair Fun Run 5K
8:00 am – 12:00 pm, August 4
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://www.ocfair5k.com/

The OC Fair hosts a 5K at the fairgrounds this Sunday morning. Registration costs $40 presale and $45 on the day of the race, if any spots remain. Children ages 6-12 register for $25 presale and $30 on the day of the race, if any spots remain. Online registration closes this Thursday. All participants receive a goodie bag, which includes a T-shirt, a medal for participating, and one admission into the OC Fair.

Summer Cement Craft Block
10:00 am – 5:00 pm, August 4
Birch Theater, North Park, San Diego
http://www.sandiegonorthparkcraftmafia.com/SCS/SCS-summer.html

This free all-ages event will host over 50 local arts & crafts vendors for visitors to peruse through.

LA Restaurant Week
Now through July 26
Greater Los Angeles Area
http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/dinela-los-angeles-restaurant-week

Hundreds of restaurants in the Greater Los Angeles Area will participate in this 12-day feast. All participating restaurants will offer either discounts on select items, or prix-fixe menus.

US Open of Surfing
Now through July 28
Huntington Beach, south of the pier
http://www.usopenofsurfing.com/

This week-long competition takes place on the shore south of Huntington Beach Pier. Come see professional and amateur surfers compete to take a spot for the ASP World Tour. Visitors will also find skateboarding demos and live music all week. Completely free to attend, this weekend will see thousands of spectators on the beach for the US Open. Expect heavy traffic all week. Try to find parking in the neighborhoods, but prepare to walk a long distance if choosing to park in neighborhoods, since the neighborhoods closer to the beach will remain full all week.

Downtown Anaheim Art & Pub Crawl
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm, July 25
Center Street Promenade, Downtown Anaheim
http://www.downtownanaheim.com/artandpubcrawl

At this FREE and all-ages event, the weekly farmer’s market will remain open for an extra hour for special art exhibits, live music, food, a beer & wine garden, and more. Visitors may park for free in the parking structure located at S Clementine Street and W Oak Street. Note that the website says the event starts at 5pm, while the flyer says 4pm.

11th Annual Taste of the Pacific Islands
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm, July 25
Bali Hai Restaurant, San Diego
http://www.pifasandiego.com/taste_of_Pifa.htm

Get a taste of Islander cuisine this Thursday night near Liberty Station. Admission to this all-ages tasting costs $25 presale and $30 at the door, and includes all food, non-alcoholic drinks, access to a silent auction, arts & crafts vendors, live entertainment, and more.

Glassjaw Live
7:30 pm – 1:30 am, July 25 @ The Echoplex, Los Angeles http://www.theecho.com/event/296271-glassjaw-los-angeles/
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 26 @ The Glass House, Pomona http://www.theglasshouse.us/event/293703-glassjaw-pomona/

Glassjaw has returned from their long hiatus for a small yet highly anticipated tour that stops by Southern California this weekend. Tickets to these all-ages shows have sold out long ago, but you may find after-market tickets available.

Drenched 5k – Los Angeles
7:30 am – 12:30 pm, July 27
Exposition Park, Los Angeles
http://rundrenched.com/events/los-angeles/

Experience the wettest 5k ever this Saturday morning! This all-ages fun run’s course comes equipped with mist tunnels, sprinklers, hoses, foam, water slides, and other wet contraptions. At random points throughout the course, expect “hot zones” that attempt to partially dry you off as you venture into the next wet area. Following the fun run, stick around for the Drenched after party that will last a few hours following the run. Registration costs $55 online and $65 on the day of the run, while individuals on a team of four or more pay $50 each. Registration comes with sunglasses, a t-shirt, and 25 water balloons (that you must fill yourself). Spectators may attend for free, but do not receive any goodies that the participants will. Wear comfortable clothing that you can move freely in that you do not mind getting wet, and bring spare clothes and towels for when the run ends. Bring cash for parking, as well as for food should anyone want to buy something to eat.

Long Beach Dragonboat Fest
9:00 am – 6:00 pm, July 27-28
Marine Stadium, Long Beach
http://www.lbdragonboat.com/

Come watch numerous teams race Dragonboats in Marine Stadium, with the finals on Sunday. Expect to see Chinese traditional art demonstrations, Chinese Acrobats, traditional dance, hip hop, music and martial arts performances. Spectators may attend and watch for free – for a recap, please see my post from last year’s races.

5th Annual Venice Beach Summer Fest
10:00 am – 7:00 pm, July 27-28
Venice Beach
http://www.fx3events.com/

See arts, crafts, music, food, drinks, and more at Venice Beach this weekend, free admission. Keep in mind the heavy traffic near this area this weekend. Expect to park somewhere near Abbot Kinney and walk to the beach from there.

Bottle Share #6
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, July 27
38 Degrees Ale House, Alhambra
http://www.facebook.com/events/603425439692314/

Brew your own beer? Got an interested 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.

Neon Splash Dash 5k – Pomona
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 27
Fairplex, Pomona
http://www.neonsplashdash.com/locations/pomona-ca-2013/

Run, jog, or walk your way through a brightly lit course at night with the Neon Splash Dash 5k. This all-ages fun run combines the spectrum of a color run, the brilliance of a glow run, and the wetness of running through the rain with specially formulated glow-in-the-dark glow water. Throughout the 5k course, live music will pump up the runners while course staff and volunteers will spray participants with the glow water to give them that special something that lights them up in the night. Following the run, all participants can stay for the after party that goes on all night. Registration costs $60 online and $65 on the day of the event, while teams of four or more can pay $50 or $55 per individual, respectively. As a color run, all participants should wear white during the race to absorb the most color possible, and have spare clothes to change into when going home. Parking will range from $5 to $10, but since spectators can enter for free, feel free to bring friends & family to watch the run. Note that the race will start at 8pm, and with thousands of participants, I highly suggest arriving at least an hour early to circumvent traffic.

“Save Ferris” @ OC Fair
7:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 27
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://ns.ocfair.com/ocf2/calendar/ViewEvent.asp?EventId=2725

Originally announced as a reunion show, the facts quickly surfaced that the original band members would NOT reunite, but instead vocalist Monique Powell would perform Save Ferris songs with lesser-known musicians providing instrumentals. Regardless of the controversy, fans of old school ska will not want to miss this rare opportunity to witness Monique Powell perform classic Save Ferris songs. This all-ages concert starts at 7pm on Saturday, July 27th at the Orange County Fair & Event Center’s Pacific Amphitheater with two other bands opening the show prior to Monique’s performance. Ticket prices range from $20 to $33 depending on the seat location, and tickets include admission to the fair, so arrive early to enjoy the fair! Parking costs $10, so I highly advise carpooling.

GOGO13, CodeName: Rocky, Not A Chance @ The Observatory
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 27
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/events/gogo13

Get your ska on this Saturday, as ska band GOGO13 hosts a CD release party at The Observatory with CodeName: Rocky, Not A Chance, and more. Tickets to this all-ages show cost just $12.

Swiss Fair
11:00 am – 7:00 pm, July 28
Swiss Park, Whittier
http://www.swisspark.la/

The Annual Swiss Fair returns to Swiss Park in Whittier this Sunday. Guests of all ages will find Swiss food, drinks, desserts, vendors, dance, music, cheese tastings, games, and more. Entry costs $5, which includes parking.

Brew Rendezvous
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, July 28
Handlery Hotel, San Diego
http://www.sdchip.org/support-chip/brew-rendezvous.aspx

Support local businesses at this fundraiser/beer fest, where guests will receive beer and food from San Diego’s top breweries, restaurants, and farms. VIP admission costs $60 and starts at 12pm, where VIP guests receive exclusive beer and food tastings, as well as a meet & greet with Stone Brewing Company’s Dr. Bill. General admission costs $45 at starts at 1pm, and comes with unlimited beer and food while it lasts. Non-drinkers may attend for $20. The venue typically covers parking; however, have cash available in case they decide to charge for parking that day. No one under 21 may attend.

30th Anniversary Chaya Summer Festival
5:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 28
Chaya Brasserie, West LA/Beverly Hills
http://www.thechaya.com/

This all-ages festival will provide unlimited (while it lasts) food, drinks, live entertainment, and games for all attendees. Tickets cost $55 presale and $65 at the door. Bring some cash for parking.

Suburban Legends, Save The Swim Team, and The Maxies @ The Observatory
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 28
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/events/suburban-legends

Ska lives on at The Observatory this Sunday night, with Suburban Legends, Save The Swim Team, The Maxies, and more. Tickets to this all-ages show cost just $12.