Total Trash Productions and Burger Records puts on another successful garage and punk music festival in Oaklands' Mosswood Park. Into its eighth year, it maintains a real raw DIY, Old School vibe and this year boasting its biggest headliner yet, The original punk, non other than Iggy Pop!
Burger Boogaloo took place July 1 & 2 with a peaceful, chilled, yet musically charged two day festival. Iggy Pop headlined on July 1st and July 2nd was headlined by other punk heavyweights, The Buzzcocks and X. The festival also had other acts in the lineup such as NRBQ, Shannon and the Clams, Guitar Wolf, Hunx and His Punx’s Nobunny and others. Two stages, lots of crowd surfering, and plenty of food and drink to chose from at the Boogaloo.
Cult film maker, John Waters, hosted the Boogaloo for his third time in a row. Waters entertains the crowds between sets. He refers to himself as “Bob Hope from Hell.” Waters is kitchy, outlandish and definitely not boring. He is the only host the festival has ever had, and his colorful personality is a perfect match for this crowd. He introduces the bands unlike any other. Not with one line but rather a lengthy description of the artists bio and music. He is quite a character and fits with this event better than anyone else I can imagine. He does it with an oh so natural finesse, all his own. The festival has become notorious for its random moments of eccentricities and Waters is the mascot. Last year, headliners The Mummies played their set on top of a 1966 Pontiac Bonneville while wrapped in toilet paper and Nobunny burned an entire American flag on the Fourth of July. In 2016, Black Lips also played in front of a giant inflatable vagina on a stage labeled “Flesh Land.”
The festival has a very handmade feel about it, comforting and friendly despite the look of the hardcore punk audience, one thing I was sure of, that everyone was there to have a good time, and in my opinion succeeded. Fans continiously jumping on stage, only to dive back into the audience, reminiscent of punk shows of forty years ago.
Whilst John Waters was into his lengthy introduction of The Godfather of punk, I glanced over at the backstage area at Iggy psyching himself up for his set, looking rather like a pent up wild animal, pacing furiously. Just as the gate lifts in a bullfight releasing the bull...upon Waters' last word of his intro..., Iggy ran out and went right into I Wanna Be Your Dog. Iggy Pop performed a total of 16 songs and ended his fiery set with Real Wild Child. His 75 minute set included hits... Gimme Danger, The Passenger, Lust for Life, Gardenia, and 10 songs in between. All sending the audience into a frenzy, loving every Iggy second!
The headliners on the second day were locals Shanon and the Clams on the alternative stage drawing a packed crowd with another colorful and much appreciated set. The main stage was then ready for X. With Excene Cervenka, Billy Zoom and John Doe (all X original members) performing their tunes, with the same gusto as when I saw them in small Hollywood clubs back in the late seventies. They played Breathless, Los Angeles, Nausea, Come Back to Me, and ending their 17 song set with Soul Kitchen.
The Buzzcocks were last up, they also played 17 songs, one after the other in quick succession in the traditional punk way. Songs including Orgasm Addict, Love You More, Promises, and they left the audience with the massive hit, What Do I Get. Ending the weekend on a high note for sure!
Burger Records, a successful independent record label, and record store in Southern California has made a name for itself, being heralded as punk with a “bubble gum streak.” They continue to produce live events because it is what founders Bohrman and Lee Rickard know. They put on a handful of events throughout the year where they showcase their labels' talent. Theres no corporate sponsors involved and luckily they're well attended so it enables Burger Records to keep on doing it. You can tell by the look and flavor of the festival, its purely for the love of music and putting on a good show in the park in the middle of Oakland on a gorgeous summers day is the core of what its all about. If you haven't gone to a Burger Boogaloo, I highly suggest it, and personally, I hope the Burger team continue as I look very forward to Boogaloo 2018!