Smoker’s Club 4-20 Tour

Weedmaps and The Smokers Club assemble a crowd-pleasing line up of rappers and Hip-Hop artists to celebrate 4-20 at the Observatory.

Rob StonePlayboi CartiAzizi GibsonSuicide BoysFlatbush ZombiesJoey Badass

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written and photographed by Bryana Schuyler

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Smoker’s Club 4-20 Tour

Local Brews, Local Grooves

By: Liz Pennock

The House of Blues in Anaheim, CA was packed with craft beer and music lovers alike last Sunday for the annual Local Brews, Local Grooves festival last Sunday. Despite the scorching heat, hundreds of people spent the day enjoying a wide variety of craft beer, tasty food and local music in Downtown Disney. With three stages set up throughout the venue, there were plenty of opportunities to catch some great music while enjoying a taste of crisp, cold beer.

Spirit Mother, the first band we saw, kept the crowd moving with their upbeat, infectious sound. Being on the outdoor stage, their music travelled throughout Downtown Disney, and even attracted some listeners beyond the gates of the festival. As the day continued, we headed inside to the Music Hall to catch Thrift, a male female duo, who fed off of each other’s energy, delivering an electric performance. They played “Mockingbird” a delicate yet loud ballad that moved the crowd. After thoroughly enjoying their set, we moved upstairs towards the Rose Terrace to try some more beer and catch Taylor Akey, a local singer songwriter. With his acoustic guitar and soft, sweet voice, we were lulled into staying for several of his songs, taking in the calm vibes and our surroundings.

Later in the day, we caught a few songs from Bird and the War, who gave an explosive performance on the Music Hall stage. The crowd was wild with enthusiasm, and it seemed that they had some very dedicated fans in the audience, singing along with every word of their songs. As we reluctantly decided to end our day, we strolled around the outside of the festival one last time. Just before we were about to leave, we caught Vinnie and the Hooligans mid-set, and were awe-struck. The four men on stage looked like they would have little to nothing in common, yet the music they were making was nothing short of pure, folk-rock joy. With banjoes roaring, the bass humming and brilliant vocals, we were entranced and couldn’t let until they were done performing. The audience consisted of people of all ages, bouncing around and taking in the magic happening all around them.

After Vinnie and the Hooligans’ set ended, we finally left the brews and grooves behind. After a day full of music and beer discoveries, we left satisfied (and a little sunburnt), counting down the days until next year’s Local Brews, Local Grooves festival.

Local Brews, Local Grooves

Foals Show Review

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Foals Show | Observatory North Park, San Diego CA | 9/17/16

by: DJ Jordan Dixon

Post Coachella, Oxford-indie rockers Foals made their final stop at the North Park Observatory. We arrived at the venue around eight thirty, near the end of the opening act Kiev’s set. Fortunately for them, the sold out show was already packed with several hundred Foals fans anxiously awaiting the headliners. However, unfortunate for us, the band didn’t take the stage for another hour and a half. Just when I though the crowd was going to go from excited to angry, the lights faded and the darkness was replaced with lead singer Yannis Philippakis and his band mates. The set started with “Snake Oil” the Foal’s latest release, What Went Down. The crowd responded immediately, singing along and jumping up and down the rock number. Next, they played one of the more popular tracks from “What Went Down” and “Mountain at My Gates”. Anyone who wasn’t dancing or singing along before this point certainly was now.

I have been to a lot of shows, many at the Observatory, but this was by far one of the most entertaining. Yannis was a force of untamed energy: he preformed every song with screaming conviction and even crowd surfed with his guitar several times.  The Foals catalogue is not only dynamic and artful, but their talent is even more impressive to experience live. Since coming on the scene in 2008, Foals have made a name for themselves in British rock and alternative circles especially in recent years with the release of Holy Fire and their latest album, What Went Down. Singer Yannis Philippakis embodies everything I love about indie-rock performers. He is passionate, broodingly soulful and shamelessly gifted. Equally impressive is the sheer talent of the band itself, including fellow-guitarist Jimmy Smith, drummer Jack Bevan, bassist Walter Gervers and keyboardist Edwin Congreave.

On rare occasion have I encountered a band put so much effort into their performance while having so much fun on stage and with the audience. Throughout the entire show, a raucous crowd sang along to almost every song, sat on shoulders and for a moment attempted a mosh pit. The high point of the night arrived near the end of the set when they performed “Late Night” followed by “Inhale.” Both are dark and powerful tracks with massive surges of guitar and crushing vocals. Philippakis spent the greater part of the three-song encore in the audience; he closed the show with the unanimous crowd favorite, “Two Steps, Twice.” Many have credited the Foals as one of the best live bands around. After this show, I can say with out a doubt that they far exceeded their reputation.

Foals Show Review

We The Kings Show Review

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Show: We The Kings at The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA | April 8th, 2016

by: DJ Jasmine Pournavab

I ventured to the House of Blues in Downtown Disney last Friday to check out We The Kings, a band that I have loved and listened to since I was a freshman in high school – you could say we go way back. They promised a good show and as always, they delivered.

With lead singer Travis Clark’s consistently spot on vocals accompanied by the musical talents of Hunter, Charles, Danny, and Coley, the band put on a fantastic show. From the timeless classics all us “old” fans were dying to hear like “Check Yes Juliet”, new jams that brought all the pre-teens out to the show like “Runaway”, everyone in the packed room was entertained. They even threw in a few surprise songs that they rarely perform on tour, such as “Sad Song,” a fan favorite. Clark introduced another favorite, “Secret Valentine,” a song he wrote after losing his virginity, introducing it via a Tetris metaphor. I could definitely see him as a comedian if he ever gets tired of music! From choreographed moves on stage with the rest of the band (and even making the crowd join in), cracking jokes, and serenading the crowd all night long, it was definitely a show for the books.

As an avid concert goer, I definitely appreciate when bands take the effort to find out what their fans want, and deliver on it. The smiles on everyone’s faces all night was a definite testament to the power of music and the amazing impact We The Kings has and has had on thousands of lives. Though the lighting of the stage and acoustics of the venue were average, the band still performed exceptionally and left everyone satisfied and happy. Would definitely recommend seeing them next time they tour, and picking up their latest album, “Strange Love,” which came out last year.

We The Kings Show Review

A Conversation with Grace Mitchell

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Interview by: Mai Gattenyo

Show: 3/11/16 | The Observatory – Santa Ana, CA | St. Lucia with Grace Mitchell

On Friday, March 11th, I had the incredible opportunity to sit down with up and coming artist Grace Mitchell, and interview her before the show about her music.

On the song writing process:

“It all happens pretty organically, either it begins with a melody or a concept or lyrical content, and then naturally progresses from there. I sometimes hear things in my daily life that I think are interesting or could have a good twist on them and then I incorporate them into a song.”

On her biggest inspirations:

“I take a lot of inspiration from female songwriters like Fiona Apple, Alanis Morissette, Paula Cole. They’re my biggest influences for song writing, and as far as music goes my taste comes and goes from hip hop music to folk.”

On her sound:

“I don’t like to put a genre on my music. I think it’s pretty interpretive, and I’d say that whoever is listening can put their own spin on it, and take whatever they want from it, and that’s the way I hope it would be. I want my music to be immersive.”

On having a song on The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Soundtrack:

“My record label approached me to do a cover of the song ‘Man eater’, and we submitted it, and it won so to speak, and so they used it for the soundtrack.”

On the creative process behind the music video for “Nolo”:

“It was a collaboration between me and the director, we didn’t have a particular art concept, except for aesthetics. We knew that we wanted to have it be really involved with choreography, walking around Echo Park. So basically just finding cool locations to shoot at, and dancing.”

On songwriting:

“I was probably 13 when I first started song writing. I didn’t always know that I wanted to be a musician, but around then I started really appreciating music and began to enjoy song writing, creative writing, and journalism. I learned to play guitar when I was 10, and then started performing and song writing shortly after and realized that I enjoyed it.”

On her upcoming album:

“I’m working on a full length album right now, not sure when it will be out, approximately summer time.”

On touring with St. Lucia:

“It’s been fun, lots of good vibes, they’re really good people!”

On which musician she would have lunch with if she could:

“Jeff Buckley, because he’s a genius.”

Make sure to check out Grace Mitchell’s music video, Nolo, here | Check out her music on her Soundcloud | Like her on Facebook | Download her new song, “Raceday” on iTunes!

Check out more photos from the concert below!

A Conversation with Grace Mitchell