Quickly becoming a Southern California tradition, Beach Goth 4—the eclectic DIY festival hosted by The Observatory and presented by the O.C.’s very own The Growlers—took place this past weekend in Santa Ana drawing thousands of Cali seapunks and indie-grungers.
Making the journey to Beach Goth this year was a lot like going home for us. Although, our local haunts are more like SF’s Rickshaw Stop or LA’s The Echo, the O.C. is actually where The BAIT SHOP started and also, is home to the fictional venue from which we took our name. So it should come as no surprise that we saw many familiar faces, reuniting with old and new friends alike. Surrounded by thousands of beach goths, this year’s fest wasn’t for any one type in particular. The eclectic lineup of Day One proved dynamic, from No Parents and Wanda Jackson to Tomorrows Tulips and Grimes.
We started strong at the main stage with together Pangea playing their skate-punk anthems “Badillac” and “Offer,” along with some of the new songs off The Phage EP. Inside the Graveyard Stage (The actual Observatory), Tomorrows Tulips were glowing with their SoCal beach psych jams. The Mummies followed suit, ripping the stage to shreds, thus carving out a place as one of the highlight performances of the weekend nobody should’ve missed.
In between sets Japanese surfers The 220.127.116.11’s killed, even playing their Kill Bill standout single “Woo Hoo.”
Warpaint won us over with their dreamy Cali rock, but come sunset, The Drums’ Jonny Pierce would be melting hearts with his swaying movements. We’re pretty convinced Mac DeMarco is the leader of his own cult—man, the kids love him. By the time Grimes went on, we joined the massive crowd to dance and revel in the cyberpunk ecstasy of “Oblivion” and “Genesis,” along with brand new material never played before. The night was closed out to a blissful set by The Growlers, dressed up like a band of raggedy skeletons, with the makeup to match. We were taken aback by the thunderous sound behind us, as the crowd seemed to cry out every single lyric.
All images Copyright © Julie Juarez and James Juarez.