2015 is the year for music lovers, local music communities, and venues, to capture their sound and build. Within this short time it is noticeable that this will be a great year for music – artists and listeners all together. As Orange County continues to grow with their own sound, with the help of Burger Records, college radio, the beach down the street, and the upcoming Burgerama Festival around the corner, the tease would be The Indigo Festival. Due to the lovely, KX 93.5, and my obsession with Twitter, music, and the “retweet” button, I scored some passes to the event Saturday.
This festival was supposed to be a two-day event, from Saturday Jan 31- Feb 1, held at The Observatory, in Orange County, yet due to “bad planning,” it ended up being a one day show. OC Weekly stated that it was “bad timing” and gave reasons for The Superbowl (which on average 114.4 million people view). Notable acts that dropped were: The Black Angels, Rocket From the Crypt and Converge, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon’s new project Body/Head, and Nothing. Refunds were made at point of purchase, and The Black Angels posted on their Facebook for sadden fans “Don’t worry Southern California, on Monday we’ll have good news for you,” this being their addition to the line-up of Burgerma at the Observatory in March. Tickets still available.
Despite the poor planning, fans upset for Sunday, and those who looked forward in watching the bands that dropped, Saturday was enough. It wasn’t as crowded as I expected it to be, which could lean towards anywhere from good and bad, but the end result of making it a one-day event was a good idea.
The Observatory has a welcoming atmosphere and a nice set-up. Once in, immediately and conveniently straight ahead is a bar, to the right an outdoor patio (perfect for in-between sets, drinking and eating, buying band merchandise, or having a good talk about the show under a string of lights). To the left holds the stages. The first, and smaller stage is the Constellation Stage, a pretty intimate enclosure and was home to The Vivids, Thee Rain Cats, LA Witch, Hard Girls, Ancestors, Drinking Flowers, Mini Mansions, Crystal Skulls, Kiev, Talk in Tongues, Fever the Ghost, Youth Code, and Jeffertitti’s Nile. While the Observatory Stage held, Dahga Bloom, Tashaki Miyaki, Morgan Delt, The Warlocks, The Entrance Band, Mike Watt, Moving Units, Deerhoof, Blonde Redhead, Deafheaven, Melvins. There was approximately a 15 minute delay within the two stages to make it easier for people to catch all the bands and miss only a couple of songs.Could not complain about any of the performances of the bands, yet, the one band, (besides The Black Angels), that was on my mind and held anticipation for would be Moving Units.
Announced by Blake Miller (singer/guitar player/ leader of the pack), they were to play ‘Dangerous Dreams’ (2004) in its entirety that night. Nostalgia overwhelmed my mind, and the crowd, by the time they performed “Between Us and Them.” Drawing in a crowd as the hits began to unravel, the floor emerged with people from all ages dancing to the insatiable grooves and rhythms Moving Units are known for. “Emancipation” showcased Miller’s enthusiastic, and at times seductive performance on stage, all being confined in a black leather jacket, with a high collar, and tight black pants, which amazed me how well he was able to move. Each member of the indie-dance punk group exhorted great amounts of energy and always tried to involve the crowd when they could. From the catchy bass riffs, and tedious drumming, The Moving Units relit my personal flame, and I anticipate that this year will be more than revisiting old albums, but a foreshadowing of great music to come from them.