Ed. note: Andre Torrez’s feature story on Burger Records, tape culture, and Burgerama II will be in next week’s issue of the Guardian. Here’s photographer Dallis Willard‘s images and impressions of the Santa Ana festival.
At the end of March, my friend Andre and I flew down to LA to check out Burgerama II. The second annual garage-slop festival drew a sold out crowd of kids ready to dine on $5 burgers and stage antics. As someone who feels pretty comfortable with the Bay Area’s rock scene, it was a great chance to check out how the other half of California gets down.
Pulling into the Observatory’s parking lot, the differences were readily apparent. Teens dragging along parents, floppy neo-hippy hats, and lots of face make-up seemed to be the norm.
In San Francisco, audiences seems to come in two flavors. Either “This is the first/best concert I’ve ever been to, so I’m going to go completely bananas.” or “I’ve spent two hours on this outfit, so I can be seen at this obscure side project. Please don’t bump me or dance too close to my hair.”
The vibe in Santa Ana seemed to be one of excitement and camaraderie. Kids were all around checking the stage times and discussing who they were looking forward to seeing the most. Security cracked jokes as they hustled everyone through the entrance. Even the bartender was overly apologetic that he couldn’t serve me since I had forgotten to get a drink bracelet.
The bands seemed to be having a great weekend as well. Hunx gave a fan a mid-set haircut for her birthday. A sea of female fans washed over the security barriers to swarm the stage, and plant kisses on their favorite Black Lips members. My favorite memory was of the entire venue trying to cram into the tiny Constellation room to watch Shannon and the Clams.
Over all, it was a great weekend. My only regret was not buying a Burger Records t-shirt before they were all sold out. I guess that’ll be first on my agenda for next year. — Dallis Willard, dalliswillard.com.