This lo-fi surf punk all girl band killed it on the Observatory Stage day one of BURGERAMA III. Habibi knew how to get their audience pumped with an array of songs everyone at some point could relate to.  Even I cheered when they announced, “this song is about our ex-boyfiends… We hate you!”, and my ex and I have no harsh feelings. This being said, not only are Habibi fashionable as heck, they had the talent and tunes to back up their killer stage presence. Their charisma and bad-ass attitudes along with their danceable tunes made for an amazing show.

-Paige Schwimer, Publications, Super Paige Show Show


Upon making his entrance, Hunx demands the crowd to take off their shirts. He proceeded to share his yearning to see teenage dicks (he was thankfully joking), and finally went on to introduce himself and his band… as the secret act the Dum Dum Girls… actually Pearl Jam, ACTUALLY they’re the Black Lips.

After Hunx’s version of charming and witty crowd banter, him and his punx went into a series of fast paced punk songs, none of which were probably longer than a minute and a half at the most. Crowd surfing blow-up dolls joined the crowd as they jumped along to songs such as “Bad Skin” (“It’s about being a teenager!” –Hunx). The entire set I had a stupid grin plastered on my face. Hunx’s hilarity alongside his rad punk rock made this show the best of the day. At one point Hunx punched an on stage photographer in the dick. Don’t worry, though, I saw him at a later show and confirmed he was uninjured.

Overall, Hunx put on an amazing, and very quotable show. I’ll leave you with my favorite Hunx quote of the night: “Imagine that you go to hell and have to watch this the rest of your life… and you have to jack off and if you don’t cum, like, 20 times you go to a worse hell”

-Paige Schwimer, Publications, Super Paige Show Show

The Coathangers

The Coathangers were probably the most badass band of the weekend. They drank PBRs on stage, yelled at the crowd the give them Adderall, and somehow managed to all sing and switch up their instrumentation while still going hard. Initially on the drums, Rusty Coathanger, real name Stephanie Luke, also sang lead vocals. She later switched to guitar and then played bass. Minnie Coathanger (Meredith Franco) and Crook Kid Coathanger (Julia Kugel) also traded instruments on various tunes, bringing a unique sound to all of their songs.

-Paige Schwimer, Publications, Super Paige Show Show


Live Show alums BLEACHED put on an awesome show on the Rama Stage on day one of BURGERAMA III. As always, thier performed their kick ass cover of the The Misfits’ “Hybrid Moments”, and closed out their set with some hardcore guitar solos.

-Paige Schwimer, Publications, Super Paige Show Show

The Growlers

Though the sound of their music suggests lazy days of getting stoned in the sun, the crowd at The Growlers was the most intense of the weekend. I can usually handle the pits that these types of bands lend themselves to, but after one song I bailed out towards the back. Unfortunately, most if the crowd was more interested in pushing towards the front than anything else, smashing everyone together with no room for a pit to even open up. Once I was at a safe distance, however, I was able to enjoy the show. I was a little disappointed with their cover of Violent Femme’s “Add It Up”, but overall, The Growlers put on a great show.

-Paige Schwimer, Publications, Super Paige Show Show

Kool Keith

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Kool Keith brought a much-needed breath of freshness to BURGERAMA III. This self-appointed inventor of horrorcore lead the crowd in sing-alongs with lyrics such as “girl let me touch you” and graced the audience with lots of air-humping dance moves while filming the whole thing from a camcorder placed at the back of the stage. 

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-Paige Schwimer, Publications, Super Paige Show Show


I completely understand why the girl directly behind me repeatedly shouted “SHOW ME YOUR DICK!” at the charming young men on stage. Well dressed in spiffy leather shoes, Allah-Las got the crowd moving to their up-tempo indie rock.

-Paige Schwimer, Publications, Super Paige Show Show

Together PANGEA

Together PANGEA wins the award for most crowd surfers being carried over the barricade and helped down by security. This LA based punk band engaged the crowd, answered questions regarding the wellness of their mothers, and got the biggest crowd they had ever played for to thrash about uncontrollably. As they left the stage they announced, "Third Eye Blind is up next. Thank you guys!"

-Paige Schwimer, Publications, Super Paige Show Show

Mac Demarco

It was sundown at the outside stage at the Observatory OC, and Together Pangea just finished their rowdy set at day two of Burgerama. Canadian rock singer Mac DeMarco was next. Ol’ Maccy D. This guy has been touring nonstop for two years! In fact, I saw him perform at FYF in 2013, so I knew to expect a fun set. Before Mac started his set, he pulled out a cigarette, lit it up, and took a few drinks from his beer. Quite a way to set the mood for his set.He had the same band performing behind him - Pete on guitar, Pierce on bass, and Joe on drums. Mac even used the same beat-up guitar he’s been using since who-knows-when, and I noted his infamous shoe string guitar strap. One would think that, with all of his touring, he’d have enough money to buy a sturdy guitar strap, but  I suppose it added to his charm. The only new additions to his set up were keyboard synths which Mac and Pete later played during “Passing Out Pieces” and “Chamber of Reflection”, songs from his upcoming album Salad Days.

Mac’s performance was a pleasure to see and hear. The classic Burger Records crowd was already going crazy and moshing during the first song. He started with “Salad Days”, the title track off his third studio album. Instead of playing covers and lengthening songs to fill up set time like he did at FYF, he performed some of his new material. Some of those tracks besides “Salad Days”, “Chamber of Reflection”, and “Passing Out Pieces”, were “Brother” and “Let My Baby Stay”, a song he said was about the U.S. government not allowing his girlfriend live in the country.

The lyrics on Salad Days are a little less playful and more serious than the lyrics on 2 and Rock n Roll Nightclub, but he kept his performance light and fun. Between songs, he kept the crowd laughing with his quirky humor. The charm this man possessed was unparalleled.  As always, for his last song, he sang “Still Together” and ended it crowd surfing. Rock on, Mac. Very chill.

-Bianca Fragoso, Assistant Concerts Director 

Black Lips

As far as I’m concerned the Black Lips could have been the only band playing Burgerama on Saturday and I still would have bought the ticket. It’s not every day that a southern band makes the long trek out to the LA area, and I think I proved my loyalty in making the long trek down to Santa Ana, Santa who? The Georgia boys are currently on tour promoting their latest release Underneath the Rainbow, an album which exhibits impressive musical growth, crossing into southern rock and even glam. I’ve long argued that the Black Lips are the founding fathers of the current punk scene, a genre that they initially termed flower punk, but which has since been diminished as a new wave of garage rock. Their lo-fi, psychedelic infused, punk rock no doubt served as some inspiration for almost every other band at Burgerama so it makes sense that Black Lips would headline the festival.

Unfortunately, punk is, once again, dying. The genre that The Black Lips started has become saturated with acts making nearly indistinguishable music. It has become stale, which is why I’m glad The Black Lips are branching out on this latest album. It also should have come as no surprise that when the Lips threw some of the new tracks into their set, the crowd came to a standstill. Apparently everyone wanted to hear the exact same song 100 times in a row and the Gary Glitter inspired “Funny” threw everyone through a loop. Whether it was the crowd’s response to the new material or the band’s seeming sobriety, the Lips did not look like they wanted to be there. This was a first in my experience seeing the Black Lips, but to be fair it was also the first time that I had seen them play outside of Georgia and that I wasn’t certain of their intoxication. Though even when I saw them open for Mastodon and the metal heads were booing them off stage, they still managed to laugh it off. Overall, the Black Lips set at last Saturday’s Burgerama was perfunctory and impersonal, but I hardly blame the band. Change is a-comin’ and I just hope the kings of flower punk stay ahead of the curve.

-Sam Hill, Punk Director, Magik Mother Invokation


During day 2 of Burgerama, I decided to reach out to Brand Schwartzel (bassist & regular press spokesman for the band). Since today marked the largest headlining event in Fidlar’s career, I wanted to commemorate it by bestowing an important rock artifact upon them. When we finally convened, I pulled out a large bass-guitar pick embellished with the artwork of Metallica’s “Master of Puppets”. I explained that this object was of great significance to me because it was only made for the band members themselves and Kirk Hammett had personally gifted it to me when I was 13. Honestly ecstatic about the gift, Brandon offered an equally unique response “how would you like to be onstage in a dress and a mask?” I was confused but not thrown aback “I will do whatever it takes”. (I rep the ‘LAR hard). He revealed a coveted pink “artist” wristband and whisked me back through the catacombs into the backstage area. Brandon disappeared briefly into their green room, a luxury RV decked out in Affliction clothing symbols and logos (one of the main sponsors of this years festival). With a large cardboard box in tow, he presented the mask that he had painted with his girlfriend the evening before. It was a radical caricature of Frida Kahlo, the celebrated 20th century Mexican artist. The band wanted to maximize the opportunity for a high-profile performance like tonight’s by employing their DIY ethic to a handful of costumes and a massive illuminated cardboard-box rendition of their iconic logo. Suddenly his proposition began to make sense. Without spazzing out too much, I sent out one batch text to some of my friends at the festival— “I am Frida Kahlo.” While this prompted many accusations of drug-induced hallucinations and worries regarding my whereabouts for a brief time, it would all make sense when they saw me onstage. 

Even before the music started, it was apparent that this was a turning point: FIDLAR had be touring the US and Europe for the better part of two years, hustling their way from LA punkers to a full-blown rock powerhouse. After playing the inaugural two years of Burgerama as openers, they were now closing out the entire weekend to an audience of 5000. I had prepared myself to endure an hour of holding off rabid kids in the front pit for FIDLAR’s set, but I would no longer need to worry about that from my newfound perch opposite the crowd.

The performance itself was excellent. They organized a no-nonsense setlist of fan-favorites, racing through a dozen hits including “Stoked & Broke”, “No Waves”, and “Awkward” (the latter of which is their sole release on Burger). Knowing this might be their last chance to debut any new material before it comes out on record, they also squeezed in a handful of unreleased tracks (to the unanimous pleasure of the privileged audience). Cherry bombs, stage dives, and crowd-propelled projectiles further embodied the controlled chaos of the hour. Dancing around in an oversized Frida mask was no longer some sort of gimmick, but an outlet for the overwhelming and building excitement that I have associated with these songs since I first discovered Fidlar as an opener at San Diego’s “Che Cafe” years ago.

From my location at the righthand edge of the stage, I was torn between watching the band and the crowd. A sea of young punks pogoed, slammed, and circle pitted in as I’d only seen in MTV recaps of festivals 20 years prior (check out clips of Smashing Pumpkins playing Pinkpop fest in 1994 and you will know what I mean). The band was given the signal to cut their set, and reluctantly laid down their instruments. But after a brief minute of discussion, the band opted to live up to their name and say ‘fuck it’ to noise ordinances. They marched back out to play would-be classic, “Cheap Beer”, to the apparent joy of hundreds chanting the motto “I drink cheap beer, so what, fuck you!” With a thunderous and justified shower of applause, the four happily exited the stage one final time for the foreseeable future. It will be interesting to see what this period of rest brings for the band…

-Nick Arnold, Assistant Music Director

Photography by Carrie Sun

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