The bands on the lineup are all over the place, spanning a buffet of genres over every possible decade. I entered the venue to the 60’s drenched haze of the Mystic Braves ending their set. They wrapped up and turned the stage over to The Coathangers, who sound like a catchy version of 3 people falling down an elevator shaft. This dichotomy of sound has to be at the core of what Burger Records is all about. I ponder the fact until I realize that I’m thinking like the music critics I used to make fun of as a kid. What can you do?
I ran back and forth between stages for next couple of hours doing my thing. In the late afternoon I went to go see Tomorrows Tulips and get some pics of Ford and Al, because I figured Brophy would appreciate it. The room was packed. The stage was just as full with all the usuals piled around the back of the drum set. I shot a full roll of film. It felt great. I felt like a real photographer, though, my point and shoot looked underwhelming compared to the humongous SLRS that surrounded me in the pit. Al and Ford started their last song and the crowd roared behind me. It was really cute actually. I left, went outside, and started to take my roll of film out. Unfortunately my roll of film didn’t rewind into the canister. I tried to force it to roll a couple times, but too much time had passed. My film was ruined. I quickly closed the back of my camera and checked all around me to make sure nobody saw my amateur photo skills.
I needed something to cheer me up, so I walked backstage to where my bag was to grab more film. A security guard grabbed my hand as I was walking and told me I was going the wrong way. It was a funny joke so I showed him my wristband and he said I needed some other color.
No problem I said as I turned around. I went back inside put my hat on backwards and walked back by the guard. His hand shot out again. My disguise was foiled. And as he stared into my soul and kicked me out a second time I could tell I didn’t want to run into him again.
I placed the encounter in the back of my mind, and soon forgot, as I spent the rest of the night in awe of the literal blitzkrieg of the main stage put forth by Gang of Four, Beach Fossils, FIDLAR, and Weezer.
The next day started late due to car troubles. I got there and stayed close to the Observatory Stage which was packed tight like a talent filled burrito. As I’m talking outside to some girl who driven down from Washington for the festival, I hear something very low and mean coming from the main stage. I didn’t need to look at the schedule to know that Bone Thugs-N-Harmony took to the stage. I picked myself up diligently and walked over to the entrance to the press pit. It was quite literal madness on all sides. I settled in and started squeezing through the outstretched arms of media all around me. I just wanted one shot. I was in the trenches and bombs were going off all around. I heard the yells of a thousand souls and turned my back on the stage to witness the tornado of colored hair and lipstick going bezerk behind me. I nodded to them in appreciation as I ducked out of the way of a flying shoe. These kids know what its all about. They get it. And at that moment, I got it too. Burger Records is about the kids as much as it is about the bands. The bands empower the kids and vice versa. This isn’t anything new to music, but the way that Burger dudes have built this scene has created something so explosively fun, that it is like nothing I’ve seen before.
Something caught the corner of my eye as I was in the middle of the storm and I was sucked back to reality.
A face I recognized. But from where?
All at once it hit me, and my heart sunk, as I was staring in the face of the security guard that turned me away twice with a scowl the day before. Oh no! I thought as my mind started playing hyper realistic images of him picking me up with one hand and tossing me into the crowd as a sacrifice. I closed my eyes and waited for the worst. After a few seconds I realized I was still alive, so I peaked out behind my fingers. The security guard didn’t even recognize me. And I barely recognized him as he stood singing along to Bone Thugs with a flat-billed-hat wearing youth on the other side of the barricades.
That’s all it took for me to be a believer. I snapped his picture and he gave me a high five. I suppose there could be some underlying theme here about music bringing people together, but I feel like analyzing the whole thing would cheapen the magic, and like I said earlier. Whats the point?
Good job, Sean and Lee, you’ve created something truly special.