This weekend Oakland’s Mosswood Park was transformed into a mini music festival of adorable proportions. After two days of PBR, sunburns, and a heap of eclectic and altogether awesome music, the results are in: Here is the best of Burger Boogaloo 2014. [Check yesterday's review for a different sort of run-through.]
Best mosh pit: OFF!
Keith Morris’ newest hardcore punk outfit stirred up a lot of energy and even more dust on Saturday. Playing after the relatively tame Milk N’ Cookies, OFF! turned it up to eleven (really, I think my ears are still ringing) for a rager of a set that resulted in some serious headbanging, slam-dancing, and stage diving. Just what the doctor ordered to keep morale high as the sun went down.
Best posse: Shannon and the Clams
Hometown heroes Shannon and the Clams played a killer set on Sunday. While their setlist crushed it, the backup singers brought it, and the tiki-and-vegetable themed balloons thrown into the crowd were a lot of fun, the main attraction was to the right of the stage, parked on top of an amp. The fan who lipsynched and shimmied his way into all of our hearts was later revealed by Shannon herself to be her “creepy little brother,” making his devotion to the Clams even more aww-worthy.
Best battlecry: The Meatbodies
Midway through the day, a port-a-potty crisis became apparent as lines grew longer and tanks grew fuller. Taking the stage at the end of the Meatbodies’ set, a brave Burger employee announced that due to all of the delicious food and drink provided by their sponsors, the toilets were at critical mass and no number 2 deposits would be accepted at that time. From the middle to the end of this moving speech, the Meatbodies’ guitarist began the rousing and inspirational cry of, “Poop yo pants! Poop yo pants!” Words to live by.
Best bouffant: Ronnie Spector
Everywhere you looked at Burger Boogaloo, stunning feats of follicle engineering were peeking out of the crowd. Beehives and bouffants of all sizes and colors came out for the show. I overheard one couple saying they had made a game of tallying beehives and had found 16 midway through Sunday alone. Unfortunately I missed the memo that big and bulbous is the vogue look for garage rock, but Ronnie Spector did not. With the biggest hair and the best attitude of the day, Ronnie stole all our hearts.
Longest distance traveled: Thunderroads
Japan’s Thunderroads were the wildcard of the festival. With all the raw power of every generic rock band to follow in ACDC’s footsteps, Thunderroads won us over not with originality or musicality but with pure earnestness and excitement to be playing for us. The magic of the moment is best captured by the words of Thunderroads’ guitarist: “Thank you America, USA! I can’t English, but I love you!” We love you too. More than you know.
Best Striptease: Nobunny
Nobunny killed it with a high-energy set and truly great punk performance on Saturday (although someone should break it to frontperson Justin Champlin that Thunderroads had the harebrained-rock-star idea to climb the precariously-stacked amps hours before he did). Nobunny came to the stage in his trademarked and road-weary bunny mask and a red onesie, which impressively concealed a leather jacket and a pair of briefs, which yes, did eventually come off to reveal…another pair of briefs. Finally, a striptease for the whole family.
Best ‘90s throwback: The Muffs
How ‘90s are The Muffs? Featured on the Clueless soundtrack ‘90s. 23 years into their existence, the Muffs were the perfect addition to the lineup, falling squarely between the untouchable status of Ronniw Spector and the hyper-contemporary blog buzz around bands like Nobunny and Shannon and the clams. Still rocking a mini-dress, blunt bangs, and one of the best grunge growls in the biz, Kim Shattuck reminded us just how much we owe to and miss our fellow flannel-wearers of yesteryear.