Same Same But Different Music Festival Returns for a Second Year to Perris Beach, CA

By: Benjamin Tillis

After a successful inaugural year of the Southern California music festival, Same Same But Different (SSBD), we are excited to see that the two-day arts and music event is returning for a second year. Taking place September 20 and 21 at Perris Beach, CA, which IS 90 minutes from both Los Angeles and San Diego, SSBD just released its funk and jam focused musical lineup, and now we simply cannot wait to attend.

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The weekend’s headliners are Baauer and Beats Antique, and they will be joined by Turkauz, Exmag, Cofresi, Megan Hamilton, and CAPYAC. Beats Antique is a favorite on the list, an electronic trio that incorporates sounds from all over the world with a focus on Middle Eastern beats. David Satori, who plays guitar among many other instruments for Beats Antique, also performed at last year’s Same Same But Different as part of his other musical project, Dirtwire.

There are other names from last year’s lineup that are returning this year, and we’re not sad about it! Those names include, CAPYAC, an LA-based funk band that plays to a beat of its own, Fashion Jackson, a San Diego-based garage pop group who gained our fandom last year when they played their rock-heavy but humorous song “Gossamer,” and MDRN HSTRY, another group out of San Diego that plays surf rock.

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With just one band or artist playing on one of two stages at a time, SSBD is unique in that you can truly see every artist if you want to. And the crowd is very small, so you never have a bad seat or feel too crowded. On top of that, Same Same takes place on a beautiful beach under the California sun. What else can you ask for from a music festival?

We are very excited about this year’s festival and are already counting down the days! For more information, visit the fest’s website.

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

3 Lasting Takeaways from Lightning in a Bottle 2019

By: Benjamin Tillis

On Monday, May 13, over 15,000 attendees of Lightning in a Bottle (LIB) music and arts festival departed their five day home of Buena Vista Lake outside of Los Angeles to return to their regular lives. But not everything is simply back to normal. If other festival goers had a similar experience to what my camping group and I had, which I’m sure they did, then they not only returned home with countless great memories, but also a new vibrant energy and attitude on life.

LIB glow up energy. Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

LIB glow up energy. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

I was lucky enough to attend the festival as part of a 20-person camping group, many of whom I had never met before. But by the end of the weekend, and really by day two, there was a distinct and strong bond between everyone, and it’s no fluke.

It’s because if you were to remove from LIB the great music, the learning workshops and yoga, the delicious food, and the parties, you would still be left with something special: thousands of people coming together around art, creativity, mindfulness, compassion, and fun! The festival creates a one-of-a-kind atmosphere that makes meeting new people and building on current relationships easy and natural.

Campsite times. Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Campsite times. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

And of course, the music and other activities are why we’re all there in the first place. It’s what we create these amazing experiences around. Most importantly, I believe it’s the following three aspects that make LIB the amazing festival that it is, and allowed me to become so close to, and have such an incredible time with, the group I attended the festival with.

Dance dance. Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Dance dance. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

1. The Music and Dancing - Lightning in a Bottle curates an incredibly diverse musical lineup. It opens you up to different music tastes and styles, and introduces you to types of music you would never listen to. In addition to that, no stage is ever packed with people, and the crowd is so welcoming that you feel zero pressure or judgement when you dance. More so than any other festival I’ve attended, people are moving to the music however they see fit. Dance is a way for us to interact and communicate with each other in a purely physical sense. It lets us feel things and play with one another. Through dance, one can create a unique bond with a total stranger, or get to know a close friend in a different way than usual. By cultivating a space that welcomes all sorts of dance and movement, LIB made it easy for us to go out of our comfort zones and get down!

Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

2. The Workshops and Art - During the daytime, Lightning in a Bottle hosts countless speakers and workshops on an endless amount of topics. Researches and teachers who are leaders in their respective fields of research share ideas and thoughts that you’ll have never heard before. In addition to that, there are amazing art installations throughout the festival. One notable one was a duo who deconstructed a piano and turned it into a new musical instrument that resembled a harp. You could go inside of it and have others strum the strings, creating a really cool experience for the person inside the instrument.

Typically, the time we spend with our friends is purely social. Being able to learn new ideas with each other and experience artistic creativity can be a new experience that helps you learn more about one another.

Lakeside at LIB. Photo Credit:   Timothy Bailey

Lakeside at LIB. Photo Credit: Timothy Bailey

3. Camping and Nature - Buena Vista Lake is beautiful. The festival grounds have green grass and there's a gorgeous lake and pretty sandy beaches. And when you’re camping with a large group, you’re there as a team! Different people contribute differently to the group, and everyone is valued. Essentially, you are surviving as one unit, and that will naturally bring people closer. We cooked breakfast for each other in the morning, cooled down and washed off in the lake, and prepped for the evening activities with fun pre-games. It felt like we were all part of one tribe. All of this said, LIB is something that could absolutely be enjoyed solo. I spent most of my Sunday roaming the festival alone and I made new friends quickly. In fact, it could open one up to make new connections more than someone who’s already surrounded by a crew of friends.

I understand now why festivals like Lightning in a Bottle are referred to as “transformative”. I feel like I’ve gone through noticeable growth and have a better understanding of myself and my old and new friends. Truth be told, I’ve been on a complete high ever since the festival, and I can’t wait to do it all again next year.

Don’t miss out on the incredible time next year, and stay tuned for news on early bird tickets here!

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

The Kaleidoscope Experience Is the One-of-a-Kind Psychedelic Wonderland Experience You're Looking For

By: Benjamin Tillis

Walt Disney once said, “Adults are only kids grown up.” And last Friday, The Kaleidoscope Experience, an event hosted at The Globe Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles, proved Walt right. Marketed as “a whimsical playground for adults,” The Kaleidoscope Experience was a one-of-a-kind event that transformed The Globe Theatre into a psychedelic wonderland that sparked creativity and innocent wonder for all those who attended. The experience began the moment you walked into the theater, where funhouse mirrors and fog turned the hallway entrance of The Globe into a trippy maze. A multi-sensory, magical, make-believe land awaited once you completed the maze.

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It was impossible to stay focused once you were inside. On stage was a Pink Floyd cover band, playing with Alice in Wonderland projected behind them. But that was hardly the main attraction. In the middle of the crowd there was a pyramid covered in chocolates and sweet snacks and a wheel for attendees to spin. Depending on your spin, you could take a snack, or even better, press a button to make popcorn explode from the volcano-looking structure. It was glorious!

On the sides of the venues were treehouse structures you couldn’t see into, so you had no choice but to explore. In them, you encountered someone dressed as a rabbit who did nothing but offer you lollipops and tell you to “write your hopes and dreams” on sticky notes and add them to a wall that was already filled with hundreds of these. Also on the same floor as the live music, there was a bottomless tater tot buffet. It was a junk food paradise.

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The Kaleidoscope adventure continued downstairs with countless attractions. There were inflatable horse races, a tunnel maze that led to a secret pillow fort, and a close-up magician. Most notable, though, was the silent disco, which is usually a guaranteed good time. There was a dance floor decked out with lasers and glow sticks, and it was a fun escape from everything going on to dance to either the EDM channel, or a channel playing 80s and 90s classics.

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Although the designated dancing area was fun, it was a whole new experience walking through the rest of the event with silent disco headphones on. Another attraction on the main floor was a free-play arcade. Competing in stand up arcade games like Mortal Kombat and Crazy Taxi while jumping and dancing to your favorite songs was exhilarating!

Later in the night, the band switched to a Led Zeppelin cover group, which performed alongside the original animated version of Lord of The Rings, a cherry on top of all the ridiculousness that took place at Kaleidoscope. I sat in the love sacks in the general admission area and enjoyed the handful of songs they played until the end of the event. And then I headed home happier than I’ve been in a while! Keep your eyes open for The Kaleidoscope Experience coming to your city. For more information, check out out their website!

-Benjamin

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Excitement Builds as Lighting in a Bottle Releases Phase 2 Lineup

By: Benjamin Tillis

With less than two months to go until Lightning in a Bottle (LIB) music festival, DoLab released the second phase of their lineup. Phase 2 includes names for the transformative festival’s Grand Artique, Favella, Compass, and The Stacks stages, each of which contribute a different vibe and experience to LIB.

One of the most interesting stages is Grand Artique. In previous years, Grand Artique has curated an eclectic group of artists to perform throughout the weekend, many of which have a folk feel. Notable names playing this year are Ozomatli, Rising Appalachia, My Baby, Swingrowers, and WC Thornbush & The Great American Show. The latter is a comedy act that puts you into the world of America during The Prohibition in the 1920s. They sing fun jingles, including a satirical advertisement for cigarettes, and show off their musical talents all while making you laugh.

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It’s shows like these that separate Lighting in a Bottle from other festivals. It’s an event that you can walk into knowing few of the musicians and leave with five new favorite bands and DJs. This is in addition to the yoga, workshops, speakers, and other fun events that take place throughout the weekend.

Lighting in a Bottle will take place in Buena Vista Lake in central California, two hours north of Los Angeles and will host 20,000 attendees from May 8th-13th. Headliners include Disclosure, Big Gigantic, Santigold, Lane 8, G Jones, Polish Ambassador, Toro y Moi, Khruangbin, and a much anticipated “3D” set from Flying Lotus topping the lineup.

For more information on the festival and for tickets, click here.

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Lightning in a Bottle Releases Incredible Lineup, Offers Much More Than Just Music

By: Benjamin Tillis

Now taking place in Buena Vista Lake in central California, two hours north of Los Angeles, Lightning in a Bottle will host 20,000 attendees from May 8th-13th this year, instead of its typical Memorial Day Weekend dates.

After festival creator DoLab announced a new date, location, and capacity for their “transformative festival,” LIB fans were anxious to see the Phase 1 lineup released February 15th. It is safe to say people were pleased.

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The biggest names on Lightning in a Bottle’s Phase 1 lineup for its Lightning, Woogie, and Thunder stages include Disclosure, who went silent after releasing their last full album, 2015’s Caracal, along with Big Gigantic, Santigold, Lane 8, G Jones, and Polish Ambassador.

This year the festival also seems to appeal to a more indie jazz vibe with musicians like Toro y Moi, Khruangbin, and a much anticipated “3D” set from Flying Lotus topping the lineup.

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There are still two stage lineups that have yet to be announced, Pagoda and The Grand Artique, which bring one of a kind musicians and theatrical acts you won’t see at any other festival.

DoLab does a great job year after year of bringing in unique and up and coming artists, but they also curate a festival with so much more than music. With a focus on sustainability, social cohesion, personal health, and creative expression, there is so much to experience at Lightning in a Bottle, including yoga classes, sound baths, and creative workshops. It truly creates its own culture that encourages you to express yourself however you feel.

For more information on the festival and for tickets, check out LIB’s website.

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Desert Hearts Creates Love with Late-Night Los Angeles Party

By: Benjamin Tillis

This past Friday night, following Valentine’s Day, Desert Hearts hosted a cupid-friendly event at The Belasco Theater in Downtown Los Angeles, titled Let’s Make Love. Desert Hearts is a music festival and record label located in Southern California. More recently, they host parties like Let’s Make Love and many others around the country. However, to call this event just a party would be a huge understatement.

Let’s Make Love. Photo Credit: Miranda McDonald

Let’s Make Love. Photo Credit: Miranda McDonald

With two stages on two different floors at the historic Belasco Theater, all you had to do was climb up a couple flights of stairs to switch from a music festival DJ set vibe to an underground warehouse party scene. The music was primarily house and techno. On the main stage upstairs, fans gathered with lights and Valentine’s Day-themed decorations to dance to Marbs, Lee Reynolds, and Desert Hearts’ staple Mikey Lion.

Meanwhile, the smaller stage downstairs was hosted by Sublevel, a DJ who also goes by the name Doc Martin. Sublevel played a set following satisfying shows by Aunton Tumas, Mr. Koolaid, and Jeno.

Desert Hearts knows good music, but their biggest draw is the crowd their events appeal to. There is a culture of acceptance, giving, and being yourself, and as a result, you meet people who are happy to be there, decked out in crazy outfits and grooving with new and old friends. It’s an incredible atmosphere that even extends in the common area outside. When you’re tired of dancing, it’s easy to start conversations there with other party goers.

Like most Desert Heart events, the party went until 4 AM, satisfying the dancing needs of all the nocturnal animals of Los Angeles.

Check out DesertHearts.us for more information on parties in your area and the Desert Hearts Festival which takes place April 26th-29th just outside of Los Angeles. You’ll be glad you did!

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Decadence: Bass, Balloons, & Everything We Loved About This Year's Festival

By: Benjamin Tillis

After several consecutive years of bringing dance music entertainment to Denver, Decadence has become an established music festival during New Year’s holiday season, and it shows. BolderBeat attended the first night of the two-day, EDM-focused event, and we were impressed to see clear improvements from previous years.

First, the lineup…

The first night of Decadence was clearly geared more to the “hard” EDM loving fans. With names like Zed’s Dead and Bassnectar, there were some big dubstep fans ready to get down. The lineup for New Year’s Eve was a little more dancey and mainstream, with names like Marshmello headlining.

Decadence. Photo Credit: Jay Bird.

Decadence. Photo Credit: Jay Bird.

On January 30th, with two main stages and a smaller silent disco, Decadence had no choice but to stack the lineup with talent, and they did just that. The first notable names of the night were Above & Beyond and Alison Wonderland. Although these two acts are significantly different styles of EDM, this was clearly the attendees’ most difficult decision regarding which show to see. Bouncing around both stages, it was obvious that each show was its own party. But Alison Wonderland garnered a larger crowd, which made sense. The only DJs whose names were sported on fans’ clothing were Allison Wonderland and Bassnectar.

Which brings us to the most anticipated performance of the night. Bassnectar, a Colorado favorite, did what he does best: mixing new and old hip-hop with his hard hitting classics. This night’s set included a fun, sped-up remix of “Teach Me How to Dougie,” which of course got the whole crowd moving.

Silent Disco. Photo Credit: Jay Bird.

Silent Disco. Photo Credit: Jay Bird.

Meanwhile, if you wanted a break from the big stages, there were always enough headphones to go around at the “Silent Disco.” Always a fun battle of colors, there were constantly three different DJs competing to change the headphones to their own “channel.” It was surprisingly easy to be social at the Silent Disco though; you could take off your headphones and chat it up with your dancing neighbors!

Vegas favorite Skrillex closed the night with an hour-long 2AM set. He played the oldie “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites,” and also the entirety of his newer remixes of rap songs, both Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble“ and Travis Scott’s “Sicko Mode.“ The fans were pleased; this set definitely had the most jumping and moving compared to the others.

Next, the logistics…

New Year’s is inevitably a hectic holiday, and when you pack thousands of partying people into one building, it is easy for things to get out of hand. But Decadence did a great job of controlling everything. Entering and exiting moved smoothly, although security was still diligent. And coat check, which can prove to be a huge time waster at events like this, ran efficiently, which was awesome to see. The only word of advice to those who don’t want to wait out the end of their night in the cold at Decadence is to leave 20 minutes before the last set ends to avoid waiting forever for an overpriced Uber/Lyft. Spoken from experience.

Lastly, the production…

The lights and lasers at the stages were impressive, but you didn’t need to see a show to experience cool visuals. Throughout the Denver Convention Center were different light fixtures and displays that had fans double-taking over and over again. Above the crowd were interesting inflated white balloons, and UFO-looking ships that lowered and raised to the music. It was a playground for adults and a really cool sight to see.

After a very successful weekend, it’s safe to say we’re even more excited now to see what Decadence has in store for ringing in 2020!

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Five Reasons to Ring in the New Year with Denver's Decadence

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The new year is quickly approaching, which means countless concert options for Colorodans on the 30th and 31st. One that continues to stand out is the two-night, multi-stage electronic music festival Decadence, and for good reason. Read below to see how Decadence never fails to bring EDM fans in Denver two nights that they won’t stop talking about until the next year...

The Venue and Location - The event takes place at The Colorado Convention Center. This venue is humongous, which means there is plenty of room to fit multiple large stages and for thousands of music lovers. The Convention Center is located in the heart of Downtown Denver on 14th Street, so once the show is over, you can still enjoy Denver’s bar scene and get the most of your night.

Two Days of Fun (if you choose) - Why limit your New Year celebration to one day? With Decadence, you have the option to go either the 30th, the 31st, or both nights! Each night has a unique, star-studded lineup that touches every facet of electronic dance music. You can choose which lineup looks best and go on that date, or if it all looks great, extend your NYE partying to two nights!

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The Full Experience - There’s a reason this event is called Decadence: it is over the top in all the best ways. Around the venue you will find performers on stilts, entertainers with never-before-seen outfits and lights, and incredible stage productions with each act. There is even a balloon drop at midnight, and you can guarantee there will be lasers and great light shows. Decadence does New Year’s Eve the right way!

Everything You Need in One Place - New Year’s Eve can be a madhouse in a large city. Getting around town to grab dinner, drinks, and go to a party is hectic and expensive. Decadence, on the other hand, is the only stop you need to make all night. Besides providing the main event entertainment, you will be able to purchase food and drinks at The Convention Center, so your party never has to stop.

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Top-Notch Lineup - Every year, the Decadence lineup gets even better. Colorado is a state filled with EDM lovers, so large events like this know they need to provide a unique and stellar list of performers. Some notable acts playing the night on Sunday, December 30th include, Bassnectar, Skrillex, Zed’s Dead, Above & Beyond, and Alison Wonderland. DJs playing New Year’s Eve include Illenium, Griz, Big Wild, and Marshmello. While these are just some of the big names, there are many more acts playing throughout the night to keep you dancing too.

Treat yourself and go all out this New Year’s at Decadence! For more information on the night, lineup, and tickets, click here!

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Same Same But Different Festival Bringing New Vibes to Lake Perris This Weekend

By: Benjamin Tillis

As this year’s music festival season comes to a close, Southern California is graced with yet another music filled weekend. Same Same But Different, taking place 90-minutes east of Los Angeles and San Diego at Lake Perris this weekend September 22nd and 23rd, boasts much more than just music. They’ve got “camping, hiking, yoga, swimming, and interactive art” planned for the weekend as well.

With headliners Lettuce, The Floozies, and Boombox, the festival is bound to attract more free spirited and dance-loving festival goers, which should make for a fun and open experience. Other musical artists include Dirtwire, a country/dance fusion group that includes members from Beats Antique, and LYFTD, the Colorado-based electro-funk group. And although the music ends at 2:00AM both Saturday and Sunday, the dancing will go all night, with a late night dance party beginning right after the fest’s final headliner sets.

The visual artists whose work will be featured throughout the festival include Hannah Rowan and Krystal Dyer. Yoga and mindfulness workshops will also be taught by leaders in the community.

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It will be very interesting to see how having a lake in the middle of the grounds shapes the festival. It is very likely that most of the attendees will be taking it easy on the beach or in the water during the performers that they may not know as well, making this festival a great combination of a party and a relaxing vacation.

Bolder Beat can’t wait to attend this festival this weekend to get the inside scoop on what Same Same But Different Festival has to offer, and we are confident it will not disappoint. Tickets still available here.

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

The Top 10 Things About KAABOO Del Mar We're Obsessed With This Year

By: Benjamin Tillis

Kaaboo Del Mar announced their lineup earlier this year and we’ve been stoked from the start.

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10. Ideal Location

KAABOO Del Mar is a music and arts event taking place September 14th-16th at the Del Mar Racetrack + Fairgrounds in San Diego. Held in a well-kept venue under the bright sun, KAABOO provides the perfect spot to enjoy music, food, comedy and more. It is right next to the beach to ensure you enjoy those shore breezes, and the festival boasts its clean facilities, including the restrooms! When you’re festin’, you know that’s important.

9. Comedy

Need a little comic relief at KAABOO? Don’t fret! KAABOO hosts a stacked lineup of today’s hilarious stars. Big names for 2018 include Craig Ferguson and Iliza Shlesinger.

8. Eats

Who doesn’t love food, and what better way to enjoy it than from the world’s top cuisinartists? Take your taste buds on a trip with chefs like Michelle Bernstein and Michael Mina. There will be numerous food stands from local restaurants for you to get your grub on too and that lineup is still on the way!

7. Three Day and One Day Passes

Do you want to get the full KAABOO experience or just a little taste? This year, you can choose either one! KAABOO offers well-priced three day tickets and one day ticket options so that you can enjoy the event for as long as your ears desire.

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6. Pool Party!

In partnership with Las Vegas’s MGM Grand’s Wet Republic, KAABOO will host a “high energy” pool club with direct views of the main stage. Go splash around and make new friends while seeing live performances from some of today’s most talented artists, all in your best suit for summer.

5. Art

KAABOO firmly believes that there should be art in everything we do. With galleries set up throughout the event space, and festival decorations created by up-and-coming creative thinkers, you can’t turn the corner without seeing something that catches your eye. If you’re lucky, you may even see someone creating a new piece right in front of you!

4. Mature Audience and Entertainment

KAABOO strives to make its event an "adult escape." Unless accompanied by an adult, attendees must be 18+. This makes KAABOO a perfect time for those who want a level of entertainment with the kiddos.

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3. Robert Delong

Robert Delong is a one-of-a-kind electronic musician who dispels the myth that EDM artists don’t do much on stage. Delong bounces between drum sets, keyboards, different microphones and self-made musical instruments that look like video game controllers to play his tunes. His catchy songs are hard not to dance to.

2. Big Boi

Best known as half of the rap duo Outkast, Big Boi is a superstar rapper with songs that’ll make you jump. The performer always gives it all on stage, and once finished playing a show after breaking his leg during the performance so he just doesn’t stop! Songs like “Shutterbug” and “Kill Jill” will certainly be played, and if we’re lucky we may get some Outkast classics too!

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1. Foo Fighters

In the middle of a North American tour promoting their 2017 album Concrete and Gold, Foo Fighters are true rock legends who no doubt know how to put on a grand performance. With multi-talented guitarist and lead vocalist Dave Grohl, this is a headlining show that you do not want to miss. We already can’t wait to rock out to “All My Life” next to you.

Still need your full fest or day pass tickets? Click here to get in on the fun!

-Ben

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Why Rainbow Kitten Surprise Is Slowly Taking Over the Rock Realm

By: Benjamin Tillis

In March 2017, Rainbow Kitten Surprise performed in front of 500 people at Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles. Just over a year later, in May of 2018, the alternative folk rock band headlined one of two sold out shows at Hollywood’s Fonda Theater, a venue that seats 1,200. Needless to say, RKS’ rise to fame has been quick, and based on their electric performance and quality new album, it is likely they will soon be a well-known name to most rock music fans.

On April 6th, Rainbow Kitten Surprise released their third studio album How to: Friend, Love, Freefall, a space-themed, 36-minute record that expands on RKS’ raw sound and witty lyrics. The biggest development from previous albums was lead singer Sam Melo’s addition of rap verses as heard in songs like “When It Lands.” RKS primarily performed songs from their new release, but still stayed true to old fans by playing classics like “Devil Like Me” and “Seven.”

Rainbow Kitten Surprise. Photo Credit: Emily Quirk 

Rainbow Kitten Surprise. Photo Credit: Emily Quirk 

What was most exciting about the band’s recent Fonda performance was each member’s energy throughout the show. Melo, a trained dancer, never stopped twirling around stage, bouncing from front and center upstage to playing the piano across stage, often multiple times in one song. He seemed to be acting out each of his theatrically written lyrics with every dance move and hand gesticulation. Lead guitarist and backup vocalist Darrick “Bozzy” Keller didn’t refrain from showing his energy either. He rocked back in forth to the music and did not hold back when he briefly took the role of lead singer for parts of their song “Recktify.”

The performance of the night had to be on “Hide,” which is arguably the best received single from the new album. Written by Melo about recently his personal journey of coming out as gay, the song touches on finding and accepting love, and the track was released with a powerful music video which follows drag queens in the rural south who revealing their identities to their family in the video. Fans have been quick to claim this as their favorite new song, and all were pleased, but not surprised, when RKS started playing "Hide" track near the closing of their set.

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After announcing the band had two more songs, RKS went ahead and delivered three tracks before coming out for a five-song encore that finished with a head-banging “Run.” The crew blew the fans away throughout their entire set, and there is no telling what size venue they will play on their next Los Angeles run. But something tells us it’s going to be big. Bowl show anyone? Fingers crossed for RKS' rock takeover. 

-Benjamin

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Five Reasons Daybreaker Is Even Better On A Boat

By: Benjamin Tillis

On March 13th, I woke up before the Los Angeles sun for yet another Daybreaker, an event that has turned into a monthly staple in my life. This one, however, was a bit different as the early morning mischief took place on a boat!

I arrived at the dock at 530AM and was greeted by welcoming crew members who also handed me my silent disco headphones for the yoga session before the dance party. Silent disco yoga was a first, and it allowed for everyone to listen to great music while stretching before the instructor took over. From there, life was downward dogs and smooth sailing- quite literally- out into the Pacific. Here are the five reasons why BolderBeat seriously loved Daybreaker on a boat:

5. Nowhere to Hide! – When you’re on a boat, you have no choice but to stay for the party the whole time, unless of course you want to swim home! This meant that the party was rocking from the time we left the dock until we returned to land. The dance floor was crazy for two straight hours: people rolling on the floor, jumping up and down, hula-hoops everywhere. This was also thanks to the fact that the place was packed with positive, outgoing people. Daybreaker events really cultivate their own community, and one I’m grateful for.

4. Exploration – Another beauty of the boat was the fact that we weren’t confined to one space. You were able to enjoy the scenery of Marina del Ray and it was as if you were on a tour of the bay while also getting down to great music. Views on views.

3. Onlookers – Some of the most fun moments of the morning were when other sailors passed our boat. Crew teams paddled by and were distracted by what probably seemed like crazy people partying on a boat at 7AM. Daybreakers waved hello and cheered them on as they raced by, spreading the good vibes out into the seas.

2. A Breath of Fresh Air – Dancing at a Daybreaker is no joke, and when you’re tightly packed into a small space, it can get hot. But at Daybreaker on a boat, being able to run out onto to the deck or the roof of the boat was so refreshing! It provided that perfect reset while you slammed your kombucha and breathed in the sea breeze to recharge and boogie down again.

1. Doing it Big – Among other things, one of the best takeaways from every Daybreaker is that you leave feeling so energized for the rest of the day. After spending the morning dancing with friendly people and eating delicious and healthy foods, you’re inspired to tackle the rest of your day with a newly found intensity. But when you add a boat into the mix, this feeling doubles! Andy Samberg didn’t dedicate a song to one for nothing. Standing in the ocean simply makes you feel… well… cooler! It set my confidence sailing for the rest of the day.

Daybreaker On A Boat. Photo Credit: Daniel Sozanski

Daybreaker On A Boat. Photo Credit: Daniel Sozanski

If this sounds fun to you, then make sure to check out Daybreaker’s next adventure event in Los Angeles on April 11th. It may not be on a boat, but it will still definitely be the best way to wake up and rejuvenate for the week while making fun friends and getting fit!

-Benjamin

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

At A Time When Music Festivals Are Starting To Feel The Same, LA's Air + Style Is Doing It Different

By: Benjamin Tillis

In a time when music festivals can all feel the same, Air + Style in Los Angeles was a refreshing change of pace aimed at pleasing the sport and music loving state of California. With an incredibly diverse lineup and the unique opportunity to watch professional athletes flaunt their tricks, the two day festival did not disappoint. There may have been snow on the ground, and even the rare case of rain on the first night, but the acts and competitors kept the crowd hot!

Air + Style brought the heat... and the snow.

Air + Style brought the heat... and the snow.

Highlights of the first day were no doubt EDM superstars Cashmere Cat and Zedd. Norwegian DJ Cashmere Cat thrives on radio’s top voices, including Selena Gomez’s and Ariana Grande’s, both of whom could be heard at his set. The most surprising song had to be his take on Panic At The Disco’s “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”, which got the whole crowd excited. Never before had it been so cool to sing at the top of your lungs to the chorus of that song. Zedd finished off his show with currently popular “The Middle”, which concluded with an epic fireworks show with the backdrop of the beautiful downtown LA skyline.

Tinashe.

Tinashe.

It would be difficult to find another festival showcasing the great musicians who performed on the second day of Air + Style. The four-piece jazz/hip hop group BadBadNotGood played a phenomenal set that no doubt revolved around their impressive drummer, Alexander Sowinski. Directly following BBNG’s set, Tinashe took the stage. Although she played the smaller of the two stages at Exposition Park, located beside University of Southern California’s campus, her performance was that of a stadium tour. Incredibly rehearsed, she showed off her dancing skills with her backup dancers and hit every note beautifully. She closed her set with “Faded Love,” her new song that features Future and is quickly climbing the charts.

Spotted: Shaun White. 

Spotted: Shaun White. 

In the middle of all of this, it was a difficult decision as whether to watch the skateboard or snowboarding competitions. Popping into the skatepark, the winner of the Best Trick Competition the first day was Alex Sorgente. Heimana Reynolds took home the first place trophy for the skateboard Best Trick competition the second night. He was joined on the podium by Tom Schaaf and 14-year-old CJ Collins. These awards were presented by snowboard legend Shaun White, who at the 2018 Winter Olympics broke the record for the highest score in men’s snowboarding halfpipe. Needless to say, fans were very excited to see him in such an intimate setting.

The skating competitions kept us on edge.

The skating competitions kept us on edge.

To continue the high energy of the festival, Griz played an ever upbeat set on night two. The DJ recently announced that he’ll be pursuing a rap and spoken word project instead of EDM, and he proved this by beginning his set rapping over his own beats. After a couple songs of this, he transformed back into what his fans know and love, belting out groovy tunes through his saxophone. Closing out the night was French pop band, Phoenix, who absolutely owned the stage. The crowd was happy to close out the night with their hit song “1901.”

Pheonix singing to the crowd. 

Pheonix singing to the crowd. 

The mutual love for high adrenaline sports and live performance created an instant bond that brought the crowd at Air + Style together, and it was apparent at every show and event. To add to that, it seemed like the musicians were inspired by the athletes. Every set seemed to be the artists showcasing the best of their best; every trick was an athlete proving their insane capabilities. It was an impressive sight to see and something you do not want to miss out on if Air + Style comes to your city.

Learn more about Air + Style here.

-Benjamin

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

The Top 10 Things To Do At LA's Air + Style This Weekend

By: Benjamin Tillis

On March 3rd and 4th, Los Angeles is hosting the incredibly unique event Air + Style, which combines a star-stacked music festival lineup with a snowboard and skateboard competition. Check out the ten things that BolderBeat can’t wait to see, and why you should grab a ticket before it’s too late!

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10. Snow in Los Angeles...Outside! - Instead of another weekend at the beach, watch talented riders show off their moves on the giant snow park at the festival. You can pretend the Pyeongchang Winter Games aren’t over!

9. Exposition Park - Located near Downtown Los Angeles and near University of Southern California, Expo Park is beautiful park and a great place to spend your weekend. There may be snow on the ramps and terrain parks, but you’ll still be able to enjoy the lush green grass and the sunshine.

8. Universal Experience - Also taking place in Sydney in August and in Beijing in November, Air + Style is an international event that Los Angeles is fortunate to host. The festival will connect you to others across the globe who also enjoy the adrenaline rush of sports and the excitement of live music.

7. Merchandise - Let out your inner skater with Air + Style’s awesome merch. Deck yourself out here!

6. Skateboarding - In previous years, Air + Style only showcased snowboarders, but this year they’re adding the exhilarating event of skateboarding. This should resonate well with a city that has such a deep-rooted skating culture.

5. Street Style Snowboarding - Also added to the event line up is Streetstyle Snowboarding. Inspired by “skateboard jam competitions with urban terrain and a best trick contest,” this is sure to add variety to the games.

4. Delicious Foods - With awesome sponsors like Califa Farms, Saint Archer Brewing Co., Clif, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and Beatbox, we’re confident there will be scrumptious eats and drinks for when you want a break from the music and sports.

3. Zedd - This Russian superstar is enjoying the success of his Billboard-topping new track, “The Middle,” on which he collaborates with Marin Morris and Grey. Lucky for you, on Saturday night he’s playing a headlining set at Air + Style.

2. BadBadNotGood - Added in the final wave of musical artists for the festival, BadBadNotGood provides a change of pace for the generally upbeat and EDM-focused lineup. This jazz quartet can get seriously groovy and will leave you blown away with the musical talent they possess on stage. Check out their track “Confession” ft. Leland Whitty for a little taste.

1. Phoenix - Returning to LA since their show at Hollywood Bowl in June ‘17, Phoenix will be showcasing songs from their newest album Ti Amo, while also belting out familiar jams like “1901” and “Lisztomania”. This will be their last show in the US until July.

Music and extreme sports: what else could you ask for? Don’t miss out on everything above plus much more this weekend at Air + Style! You can get your tickets here!

-Benjamin

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

LA's Recent Daybreaker Was Filled With A Little Extra Love

By: Benjamin Tillis

Did you know that the secret to having an energized, supercharged day is... waking up at 5AM? It’s true! On Valentine’s Day morning, I crawled out of bed before the crack of dawn to attend Los Angeles’ Valentine’s Day Daybreaker. Both a yoga session and a dance party, Daybreaker is a series of almost exclusively early morning social gatherings geared towards music lovers, social butterflies, and the health conscious. The end result: a fun-filled, completely unique experience that left me skipping back to my car excited about my drive to work.

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To start off the event at 530AM, roughly 50 attendees rolled out their yoga mats in the event space at Joseph’s Café, located in the heart of Hollywood. Sympathetic to the fact that most of us were still waking up, the yoga session was low-intensity and lighthearted. It was a perfect way to loosen and wake up before the big dance party. As soon as 630AM came around, the door opened to those who came just to break a sweat dancing, and several healthy food and beverage brands set up free samples of their products, including Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods, RxBar, and Noosa Yogurt. Delicious.

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Once my stomach was full, I joined the rest of the event-goers on the dance floor, which was illuminated with various colorful lights. In the theme of love and light, we were encouraged to wear clothes and accessories that lit up, making it a beautiful scene of glowing good vibes. For two straight hours we danced to DJ Eric Sharp, who played upbeat jams. Periodically, he was accompanied by a trumpet or saxophone player or a rapper, making it an eclectic set that kept us moving the entire time. You couldn’t turn your head without seeing big smiles and new connections being made on the dance floor.

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The event closed with a short meditation focused on love and our intent for the week, which was a good way to relax before getting the rest of the day started. Check out Daybreaker’s next LA event, an early morning silent disco boat party on March 13th! Get your tickets here!

-Benjamin

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Throwback Punk Music Meets The Chainsmokers For Emo Nite Day Music Festival

By: Benjamin Tillis

On December 3rd, BolderBeat geared up in all black to attend Emo Nite Day, a three year anniversary celebration of the increasingly popular Emo Nite party, which consists of events held all around the country geared towards lovers of “emo music” from the late 90s and early 2000s. The multi-staged festival held at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles featured some big names performances, including The Used and Machine Gun Kelly, and From First To Last, the band that Sonny Moore played in before he garnered worldwide fame as Skrillex, and which he has recently rejoined. Sadly, Skrillex did not join the group on stage at Emo Nite Day, but he has made surprise appearances at other Emo Nite events. There were other unexpected surprises, though, as the night ended with a one song performance from Demi Lovato and an hour-long set by The Chainsmokers.

The most memorable act was The Used’s acoustic set, performed by the band’s lead singer Bert McCracken and guitarist Justin Shekoski. Taking in all of the appreciation from the crowd, it was clear the duo were as happy to be there as the rest of the attendees. The climax of their show was when they played fan-favorite “The Taste of Ink,” a song recognizable to even those who don’t necessarily have a nostalgia for this type of music. And like many other performers throughout the night, Bert dedicated his last song to the great musicians we have lost throughout the past couple of years. They ended with the song “It’s Hard to Say,” a track about mentor David Bowie.

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Although Emo Nite Day honors overly emotional hardcore punk music, it seemed to also be a celebration of millennials. The “DJ sets” may have merely been members of bands you hadn’t heard about in years “pressing play” on songs that weren’t necessarily theirs, and often repeating songs other groups had already played (Jimmy Eat World’s “The Sweetness” played three times in two hours). But having these band members playing these angry oldies was exactly what the early 20 to late 30-year-olds in the crowd wanted, as each song inspired a new mosh pit and singing at the top of each concert goer's lungs.  

The peak of this millennialism occurred when The Chainsmokers joined pop-trio Captain Cuts for the final performance of the night. Each song followed the same pattern, and one that would leave any one of our parents incredibly confused. It began with a Yellowcard, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Blink 182 chorus, followed by an extremely hard-hitting dubstep drop. This meant the crowd went from jumping up and down singing the words to these classics to instantly getting into Vegas club mode and grinding on anyone near. At one point, The Chainsmokers even put together a pretty creative mix of Dashboard Confessional’s “Hands Down” and DJ Snake/AlunaGeorge’s “You Know You Like It.” Right before the EDM breakdown when AlunaGeorge repeats the lyric “down,” The Chainsmokers threw in the beginning lyric of Dashboard’s famous verse with the word “hands,” combining the songs to create a millennial medley. It was truly a party by the end of the night.

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Be sure to check out other Emo Nite events going around the country here. Even their smaller events are filled with the same high energy and special guests! It’s something you should do at least once if you have a soft spot for depressing love ballads and the bands that made many of our teenage years so darn emotional.

-Benjamin

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the festival featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

The Front Bottoms' Fans Sing Louder Than Yours

By: Benjamin Tillis

On Tuesday, November 7th, New Jersey-based indie rock band The Front Bottoms headlined a packed show at The Wiltern Theatre located in Koreatown, Los Angeles. The band released its sixth studio album Going Grey mid-October, so fans were excited to hear the new songs live. Just as expected, the band began its set with the new album’s opener “Used to Say (Holy Fuck)”. And from there the band played a full 21-song set, a majority of the tracks from the newest release and their 2013 Talon Of The Hawk.

The Front Bottoms.

The Front Bottoms.

Most concerts host a core group of day-one-fans who know most songs, and usually the entire crowd sings the one with the most radio play, but this show was in its own league: no audience member missed a single word. It makes sense though, considering TFB’s most unique draw are its witty and emotional lyrics and lead singer Brian Sella's unique voice that enunciated every syllable. It was clear that the audience truly connected to these songs that they belted out. And it is no coincidence that The Front Bottoms are signed to Fueled By Ramen, the same label as Twenty One Pilots, who also have passionate fans.

The Front Bottoms at The Wiltern. Photo per the author.

The Front Bottoms at The Wiltern. Photo per the author.

The way fans connected to these songs was also interesting. The Front Bottoms definitely does not hold back with its often depressing and dysfunctional imagery in its songs. For example, during the show, Sella proclaimed that the next song was about “drowning someone you’ve been in love with for a really long time.” The songs are sad, but playful, and it’s clear the band doesn’t take itself too seriously. This leads to a close-knit community in the crowd, who smiled and sang to each other, proving that these sad songs are about moving on and improving, not harping on the past.

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Very grateful to its fans, Sella thanked The Wiltern concertgoers multiple times for coming out the the show. Most entertaining was their final encore. Throughout the show, an excited and impatient fan kept yelling for TFB to play “Ocean,” Going Grey’s closing track. At one point Sella even addressed her and assured her that they would play the song at some point. Sure enough, for its encore the band invited the same girl to sit on a couch onstage with the band as Sella played an acoustic version of her requested song. Needless to say, she lost it on stage when she wasn’t taking selfies with the band. It was great to see the group turn a nagging fan, an element that is often an annoying aspect of playing a live show, into a really fun and entertaining situation. Overall it was a great performance and a show that you shouldn’t miss. If you’re not a fan now, you will be after seeing them live.

Catch The Front Bottoms as they continue on tour here.

-Benjamin

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Traveling Food Festival 'Taste Talks' Made Their Final 2017 Stop In LA & It Was Really, Well, Tasty

By: Benjamin Tillis

This past Sunday, October 29TH, BolderBeat was lucky enough to experience the second day of Taste Talks. This Los Angeles stop of a national series, which also tours through Brooklyn and Chicago, brought together some of the most innovative chefs and restaurants for taste testing and speaking panels. We stopped by The Holding Co. and the neighboring Medusa Lounge where the events took place.

At The Holding Co. we listened to a few panels on the food space today. Most interesting was a discussion on restaurants that serve foods from countries other than the US. Restaurateurs are attempting to shift away from the label of “ethnic food” that often implies inexpensive dishes. Instead, they want the freedom to market their food as something that is high end and fancy. This is especially an issue for South and Latin American and Asian cuisine restaurants according to some of the industry professionals present. All the panels offered a really unique take on something we may not think twice about- it was fascinating!

The goodness.

The goodness.

Next door at Medusa Lounge’s outside and spacious lot, you could find the All-Star Cookout. With a handful of different Los Angeles-based restaurants and caterers showcasing their best barbeque themed dishes, it was easy to spend a few hours trying new foods and drinks and meeting other local foodies who love chatting about their favorite eats.

Exhibitors included Kato Restaurant, Barbara Jean LA, Broken Shaker, The Exchange, MexiKosher, Bone Kettle, Cento Pasta Bar, Secret Lasagna, Dream Pops, and more. Our two favorites were Abbot Kinney-based restaurant Neighbor and the tent next to it, Wood. Based in Silver Lake, Wood served a wood-fired meatball that we couldn’t get enough of.

We loved these balls. 

We loved these balls. 

If the food didn’t suffice, the bar was pouring Altos tequila and Tecates from the open bar. The combination of the delicious food and drinks made it impossible to not stay until the very end; they were practically kicking us out!

Chicago, Brooklyn, and Los Angeles, keep your eyes out for 2018’s Taste Talks festival dates!

-Benjamin

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

I Ate My Way Through LA Weekly's Delicious Brunch At The Races

By: Benjamin Tillis

What a day at the races! In the middle of the Santa Anita race tracks, I joined 2,500 other attendees clad in pastel suits and dresses for LA Weekly’s  Brunch At The Races. With over 30 booths serving their signature brunch dishes or late morning beverages, the festival-goers were presented with endless options, making it easy to spend all three hours at the event.

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To get the day going, I started with… dessert! McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams served miniature cups of their famous cold treats; one was flavored Turkish Coffee, the other Churros Con Leche. Both were delicious, but I am a sucker for anything cinnamon, so the Churros got my vote.

The cream.

The cream.

Following that, I went to Poppy + Rose’s tent to enjoy the biscuit and jam they were serving (we may have gotten back in line a couple more times after that).

Although I love meat, I decided to check out Fred62’s tofu chilaquiles. The restaurant, located in Los Feliz, a neighborhood in East Los Angeles, really impressed me with their dish.

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Lastly, and absolutely the best dish of the day, was La Huesuda Tacos’ dish. It was a chorizo, potato, and fried egg taco well worth the longest wait at the festival.

While enjoying the brunch foods, it was hard not to venture off to Effen Vodka’s Bloody Mary booth and Maker’s Mark’s Mint Julep stand for some refreshing adult beverages. And with newly legalized weed in California, there were also limited gift bags handed out that included Sprig THC-infused soda.

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Overall, LA Weekly’s Brunch at the Races was an awesome experience that I did not want to leave. Brunch forever.

-Benjamin

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

LA Weekly Has Your Ultimate Brunch Dreams Covered This Weekend

By: Benjamin Tillis

Los Angeles offers endless brunch options, sometimes it’s too hard to choose a place to dine. Lucky for you, LA Weekly is hosting its third annual Brunch At The Races, a showcase of over 30 of the City of Angels’ top restaurants’ and vendors’ late morning and early lunch dishes. There will also be countless drink samples, making it a true brunch experience. All of this takes place at Santa Anita Park, so you can always step away to take your chance with Lady Luck at the horse tracks!

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Here’s who you can expect to see at the event: Red Herring, Cindy’s Restaurant Eagle Rock, Pono Burger, La Huesuda Tacos, AR Cucina, Pez Cantina, Fred 62, Myke’s Café, Kobawoo House, Jones Coffee Roasters, McConnells, Chez Tex, Poppy + Rose, and many more! And sponsors include Effen Vodka, Maker’s Mark, and Food Forward.

Are you going to miss out on eating endless brunch foods at the horse tracks? We say ‘naaaaaay!’ Get your tickets here before they’re gone.

See you there!

About LA Weekly:

LA Weekly has Los Angeles covered with investigative reporting, comprehensive calendar listings and forward-thinking cultural coverage, including daily blogs like the highly regarded Squid Ink, which covers the city’s food scene. We keep our readers loyal with stories by some of the country’s finest writers—now accessible through our mobile platforms. LA Weekly has won more awards from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies than any other paper in the country, and in 2007 was the first newspaper to be awarded the Pulitzer Prize for its food criticism.

-Benjamin

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.