It was a rock ‘n’ roll gumbo this past Saturday at the Observatory in Santa Ana as English punk rockers The Adicts, and Reverend Horton Heat came out to headline the Orange County venue. Other acts included the high energy Cadillac Tramps and the sultry sounds of Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas. From Mohawks, pompadours and tattoos to leather, studs, and spikes — the room was filled with an eccentric crowd made up of young adults, parents and even small children.
Kicking off the thunderous evening of rock ‘n’ roll were Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas. They definitely did not play like an opening act. Hernandez performed with power and passion, as though she were the headlining act. Hernandez and company came out with great confidence, which was impressive considering the bands that were to follow. They held their own on stage and the crowd seemed to be receptive. Hernandez’s voice roared with soul and her moves on stage were sexy, but ultimately dripped rock ‘n’ roll. For an opening act on such a heavy lineup of headliners, Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas did a sensational job of commanding the crowd’s attention and revving them up for what was next.
The Cadillac Tramps got the crowd primed for the rest of the show. Mike “Gabby” Gaborno stopped the first song until he saw that the pit was ready to start moving. He relayed to the crowd, “I am 73 years old and I can move better than you people.” They started the music again and the pit was in full effect and lasted that way till the end of the night. Gaborno is quite the show man, he was fast, he was comical, he deep throated the mic, he fucked the drum set, he took my camera and gave it to another photographer and proceeded to give me the other photographer’s camera … It was worrisome but I just went with it and it all worked out just fine. They played for about 45 minutes with non-stop energy. He introduced his young son and also had a kid come out to play bass for a song. It was a stunning set. He ended the show saying that The Adicts and Reverend Horton Heat were “badass mother fuckers”.
Seamlessly rolling into a non-stop Psychobilly Freakout, It was truly a pleasure to see the Reverend perform. He played songs such as “Martini Time”, “400 Bucks”, “Jimbo”, “Marijuana” plus songs from his new album which he jokingly says is the worst album they have recorded. You can tell that he and the band had a good time on stage. The Reverend had a smile on his face just about the whole time and he made eye contact and smiled at a lot of his fans. He noticed that I got excited when “Psychobilly Freakout” was starting and we both did a nod to one another which was awesome. His band consisting of Jimbo Wallace (which the song is named after) on upright bass and Scott Churilla on Drums played awesomely backing the Reverend up.
Closing the epic evening of rock were The Adicts. It was the last show of their tour and they went all out. The show started with music and a clip from “A Clockwork Orange”. The band came out and started playing and then the flamboyant Keith “Monkey” Warren came out dressed in a red top hat and red party suit that had a cape that flared out as if he had wings. Monkey looked devilishly angelic. They started the set with “Let’s Go” and they sure did go. It was non stop for about an hour and a half and the crowd loved every minute of it. The pit raged with a calming violence. People crowd surfed and people were dragged out by security who looked as though they had passed out as what usually does and should happen at any proper punk rock show. Their set contained their popular songs such as “Number”, “Troubadour”, “Bad Boy”, “Fuck it Up” and of course “Viva La Revolution” — they even got into the holiday spirit and did “Jingle Bells”. The Adicts were also up to their normal antics keeping the party going strong by constantly throwing streamers, balls, stuffed animals, and joker cards out into the crowd. They kept a large pile of props on the drummer platform and they used every bit of it.
If you have the chance to check out The Adicts in the future it is definitely worth it. Especially if you enjoy punk rock. If you don’t, then you may want to stay away because you probably won’t get out alive.
Check out the photos below of Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas, Cadillac Tramps, Reverend Horton Heat and The Adicts rippin’ the Observatory a new one!
Photography and Words: Wes Marsala
Want more photos? Check out the photo gallery below!