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Burgerama 4, Saturday March 28th 2015, Part 2

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Gang of Four changed a bit the crowd surfing trend on the main stage,… they were not the type, although they are described as one of the most important punk-rock bands of the last four decades. They were a bit contrasting with the rest of the previous bands, since they were older, heavy on bass, and had the tougher look and bolder attitude of all the bands I had seen so far. In any case, their somber tone worked very well with the crowd, bringing a dark wave of anger with a touch of Bauhaus-meets-Joy-Division in the vocals’ monochord style… And their last song was one dark dance floor which was worth any good crowd surfing….

Later, I didn’t get convinced by Beach Fossils and their relaxing, nonchalant, dreamy pop, although a lot of people truly enjoyed their set. They were gentle, a bit delicate and bouncy but failed to hook me up, and I passed on Tobacco, an electronic act (not EDM though) hidden behind a lot of stuff.

FIDLAR was great as usual, they never disappoint me and I have seen them a ridiculous amount of times. I almost fought with a security guard who was brutally chasing us from the pit after the 3-songs notice. It’s a shame because I couldn’t see much afterward, although I found a bench in the back and stepped on it. ‘I lost my virginity in a Jack-in-the-box on Harbor boulevard’, screamed frontman Zach Carper after a few songs, Harbor boulevard being the address of the Observatory of course…. FIDLAR must have played all the Burgerama fests, and they were even headlining last year, so they weren’t the biggest act this year, but neither them or the crowd even care, they were on fire. They played old and new songs, even started a Weezer song but didn’t cover the whole thing, and chaos reigned again till the end of their set, with many happy ooo-ooo-oo-aaahaaahaas punk-pop songs, some giant FIDLAR lettering and character cutouts in the back of the stage.

A security guard told me that the last act, Weezer wasn’t allowing any press in the pit, and I was starting to curse Rivers Cuomo, but it turned out that, the guard was either lying or had the bad info… in any case it was a good distraction and I decided to check the Observatory another time, since I couldn’t get inside the pit. And this was a good idea because Roky Erickson and his powerful psychedelic rhythm & blues, wobbling keys, and cavernous vocals made me quite happy… kids were screaming his name ‘Rokyyyyyyyy’, and it was quite justifiable because, as the father of psychedelia, many of the bands playing at Burgerama own him a lot. He was a little bit of everything, bluesy, rocky, and looked solid as a mountain. Regrettably, I couldn’t stay till the end of his set because Weezer was about to play on the main stage…

Finally, I thought for a minute I knew all the songs of Weezer, but I realized it was because the band may have played all its greatest hits… From ‘My Name is Jonas’ to ‘Hash Pipe’, ‘El Scorcho’, ‘Go Away’, ‘Island in the Sun’, ‘Beverly Hills’, ‘Say it Ain’t so’, ‘Pork and Beans’, ‘Undone’, ‘Buddy Holly’, yes it was a real crowd pleaser with only two songs of the new album, and a very long sing along,… but isn’t it what Weezer is about? A very catchy music getting so joyful at the end, and I think I may know Cuomo’s trick. There must be a sort of Weezer-formula, as a lot of Weezer’s songs sound similarly or at least start the same way, and that’s why they feel so familiar. Talking about Rivers, I was looking at him very closely as I was in the pit, and despite a beard, he doesn’t age!! The nerdy glasses, the svelte silhouette and the energy is totally there from start to finish. But Cuomo has a very high-pitched juvenile voice, especially when he speaks between songs, and it’s a bit weird. He sang a duo with the girl of the Coathangers, and called his father on stage, for the first time ever!! The ‘old man’ played drums like a pro, then there was the Sweater Song (‘Undone’) and an encore with ‘Buddy Holly’ and it was over. The set went so fast and the energy was high. Seriously, I told you that Rivers Cuomo doesn’t age and he still can play these over-played hits which sound as fresh as they were decades ago, and they still stay in your head for the rest of your day? Week? Life? Before leaving the pit, I dropped my card on his guitar pedals, so if I may end up interviewing Rivers, and I will surely ask him about this Weezer formula.

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