All photography by Lindsey Best
It’s Friday night in Los Angeles. Surely, a well perfumed crowd is descending upon Echo Park for Echo Park Rising right at this very moment. But just up the street at Los Globos in Silverlake, the smell of sweat, whiskey and hormones is emanating from every crack of the venue as the “other kids” convene for Berserktown Festival: a concurrent, three day musical happening. The type of event from which the word “alternative”, surely derived long ago but has since been misused.
I was only able to come to this one night in which the Weirdo’s were headlining the bill and they didn’t disappoint. In fact, they were by far the tightest and most polished band playing on Friday. Of all the old bands that have been resurrected to relive their glory days and cash in on the interest of musical connoisseurs, The Weirdo’s have stayed beyond believable and notable.
The young guns didn’t disappoint either. What bands like Dawn of Humans out of New York lacked in musical competence was made up for in raw emotion and blistering tempo. Conjuring images of G.G. Allin, the singer for Dawn of Humans displayed all the rage and contempt of Allin without needing to incorporate any fecal matter into their show. They were so bad, they were good. The sound was not dialed in, the band wasn’t very tight, yet they were one of the best bands on the bill. There is much to be said for authenticity.
Another band of note was Nasa Space Universe from right here in L.A. Their dissonance was delightful to the more damaged sensibilities of human emotion. Their singer Kevin and I talked after the show about having the dance floor almost entirely to himself. There were enough people out there swinging their arms and knocking him off his perch to make it interesting but we both noted that the young folks in Los Angeles don’t do the dance like they used to.
The sound was a chaotic mess, the venue stunk like sweat, people were unfriendly and it was everything I hoped it would be. I missed a lot of great bands I wanted to see like Final Conflict, Chrome and Destruction Unit but the bands I did see blew me away with their indulgence in overdrive pedals and a complete mistrust of the sound guy.
Words: Danny Baraz
Dawn of Humans
Dawn of Humans
More features by Danny Baraz:
Jurassic 5 and Dilated Peoples Open Hip Hop Time Capsule at Greek Theatre
Burger Revue Reviewed: Ronnie Spector takes a fall, King Khan steals the show
Punk Rock Bowling 2014: a chaotic musical playground for punks