Two days, two stages, 41 bands, $20 per day and one tired pair of legs.
For the second sold-out year the Fullerton-based record label, Burger Records, force-fed a hungry audience a family-sized platter of howling axes, deep-ocean bass, loud kicks and whiny licks at its second annual music festival—Burgerama II.
The massive weekend took place at the Observatory in Santa Ana and featured a full range of genres and sounds, from gut punching punk (Pangea) to throwback alternative hip-hop (The Pharcyde) to the chirp and charm of comedian James Quall as its master of ceremonies.
From earth to sky this event held a tall order of talent.
The sun-stroked, three women and one man band, Cherry Glazerr, cultivated a field of fans, flowery jams and all while still achieving their high school diplomas (they returned to the hallways of hell today).
Natural Child demonstrated the delicate Nashville, Tenn. taste and fusion of bluegrass, country, rock and soul—something Jerry Garcia would be grateful to see alive in today’s youth.
And the progressive and ever spooky band, The Garden, contained twin brothers who have set a new standard for band etiquette—put the track on loop and jump in the audience to dance with them.
Marty Keegan, father of William Keegan (guitarist for Pangea), endorsed the concept of these artists actually acknowledging their fans as human beings and not dollar signs. And just as the artists return the love to their fans, they equally return it to each other.
It wasn’t surprising or rare to see Kyle Handley and Erik Gage of the Portland, Ore. band, White Fang, roam the stomping grounds of the venue after their set.
It wasn’t awkward or weird when Erik Jimenez (drummer for Pangea) was seen wearing a White Fang t-shirt throughout the night.
Even Natural-K of Pharcyde incorporated his preschooler into their performance to teach the audience how to correctly dance.
What Burger Records does for these artists is something YouTube cannot. Burger Records gives its nuclear-sized family a studio, an outlet and more importantly, a home.
Regardless of where an artist may go or which record label a band might sign with, like a good parent, Burger Records extends its arm of creation and welcomes said voyager back at any time to its home base in fortuitous Fullerton, Calif.
“It really is like a big family,” said Nick Benshoff, a dedicated and self-declared Burger devourer. “And it’s cool to see we can all come together over something like music. Burgerama II, in essence, is one big family reunion.”
Even as the deluge of sweaty bodies and conflicting patterns rushed from the Constellation room to the main stage and anxious security guards began to twitch to near identical perspiration, nothing went awry at this show. Within this population people look out for each other.
The pit of any stage would seem like outright pandemonium to an outsider, however the parallax of the dance is far above civil standards. If someone falls, someone immediately yells—Pick them up!—and an arbitrary array of rescue moshers fling them upright and push them on their way.
The energy that’s released in the pits is far from hate and sheer wantonness, rather, the smell of love and dysfunction like that of most family gatherings heavily radiates throughout the rafters.
“Though my abhorrence to Nixon is indelible,” said Sahil Sharma, 21, a senior and psychology student at the UC Davis. “Burger Records and its successive series of events give Orange County the needed rejuvenation and collectiveness every community needs. And can you believe Disneyland isn’t the reason I come to this land?”
Pilgrimages have been made for this organization. First, go to the market and pick up some peanut butter, and then head to Burger Records and pick up the jams.
Burger Records: 645 S State College Blvd., Fullerton, CA 92831
Open Monday through Sunday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.