Best Venue for Live Music - 2012
The Observatory and the Constellation Room
3503 S. Harbor Blvd.
Santa Ana, CA 92704
If you visited the Galaxy Theater in Santa Ana a little more than a year ago, you would've been met by cover bands, one-hit wonders or closed doors. It had its moments, of course, but those moments were rare thanks to a lengthy closure and lackluster booking. Enter Jon Reiser, former partner and booker for Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa. Reiser purchased the venue and made several significant changes: booked popular acts, upgraded the sound system, added a smaller venue-in-a-venue called the Constellation Room. The Observatory now hosts popular acts such as Thrice, GWAR, Tiesto, Waka Flocka Flame and many, many more. Several shows even sell out—when was the last time the Galaxy did that? Most of all, it provides a valuable service to the whole county by bringing in acts we could usually only see by driving to Los Angeles. Oh, and it even—gasp!—makes Angelenos cross the Orange Curtain for a show.