If you had any reservations about attending Beach Goth 2018, the pop up events will sway you into buying tickets. In anticipation of the festival on August 5th, The Growlers have opened a pop-up shop at a warehouse in Chinatown and are throwing some insane parties. This past Saturday, Starcrawler headlined a raucous night filled with spitting skulls, moshing, and noise.
Always remember to RSVP and arrive early, folks. The warehouse met full capacity quickly and two lines wrapped around the block—the no-RSVP line was tragic to behold. As people trickled in, the first major landmark is a neon sign that says ‘The Growlers,’ which served as the background of many selfies. Every wall was plastered with something striking, from this year’s festival mascot to a series of prints by Taylor Bonin to a linen portraying the mascot as the Virgin Guadalupe; many props from fests of years past were also on display.
The first live band of the night was fronted by SoCal drag queen DMTina, who received a standing ovation before the show had even begun. She riled up the crowd with her band’s renditions of punk staples which created an early mosh pit and swallowed just about the entire indoor crowd. DMTina was labelled The Growlers’ ‘hype (wo)man’ back in 2014, and it seems that not much has changed. She remains an irreverent, wig-optional, down-for-whatever queen.
More drag performances followed from Xotica Erotica and Mia Dosin, and as DJ Bella spun heavy jams all night, a contortionist slid through the crowd. Between acts you have the opportunity to get a drink, head outside for either a smoke or some fresh air (depending on your perspective), or buy any of the festival and band merch tucked in the back. There is occasionally special edition merch known to be available on certain nights—something to keep in mind for this weekend’s events.
Starcrawler ended the night with a set so disruptive, it immediately became my morning. The easy access to the crowd proved to be a hindrance and a blessing, considering how wild folks had become at that point of the night: sloshed and ready to mosh. An inflatable alien made its way into the hands of an event organizer, but was saved by DMTina to continue its journey to mid-air deflation. The band played fiercely, dripping in heavy punk riffs, sweat, and by the end of the night, (hopefully fake) blood. Expect more of the same at this year’s Beach Goth.
Words: Zoë Elaine
Photography: Jessica Moncrief