Kicking off Burger-A-Go-Go a day early, an eclectic array of bands were paraded across the Observatory stage last night, led by a spectacular finale from indie rockers Cults. Known for its heavy handed build up of punk-rock and beach goth tinted groups, tailored mostly from the Los Angeles and Orange County areas, Burger Records wrangled together an unsurprisingly diverse and talented group for the annual event’s pre-party.
Cults was the highlight of course, but the four hour build up to their midnight performance was a raucous one, filled with fuzzy guitar burns and frenzied percuss gimmicks. La Mirada born Lovely Bad Things might not have been the tamest band to step onstage last night, but the contrast of front woman Lauren Curtis’ vocals with the group’s, riff heavy, garage-rock sound proved to be a major crowd pleaser.
Kim and the Created and Sex Stains stood out as the most memorable performances of the night, each of its lead singers offering an eerie, almost unnerving passion that seemed to possess them as they thrashed wildly onstage and even in the crowd. Local favorites LA Witch pounded fans hard with their special brand of punk-rock, soaked in reverb; while The Coathangers dazzled in the contrasts between baby-voice vocals, brutal crushes of guitar cuts, and sonically overpowering percussion solos.
By the time Cults arrived onstage, fans were more than a little intoxicated and raving for more. Echoing 70’s era vocalizations and grooves, Cults slowed down a night dominated by wildly fervent bands and resolved to a more poised image of passion. Both hands on the microphone, her yells transformed into heartbreaking, euphonious cries of love and loss, Madeline Follin changed the entire tempo and atmosphere of the night.
Words & Photography: Steven Ward
Lovely Bad Things