Tiger Army is playing a two-night set (tonight and tomorrow night) at the Observatory for their annual Octoberflame shows just in time for Halloween. Now, you may be asking yourself "Why should I go see Tiger Army in 2015?" That's a perfectly reasonable question, so here are 10 reasons you should be excited to see Tiger Army this weekend (assuming you have tickets to the sold out shows).
10. The whole family can enjoy it. There are a lot of Halloween shows that aren't necessarily family friendly. Maybe they're too violent, scary, or just obscene for children (or they're aimed at children and therefore bore adults to tears). Tiger Army is a pleasant middle ground that folks of all ages can enjoy.
9. There's a new bassist in town. No need to freak out, Nick 13 will still be there to croon and strum away, and James Meza should still be on drums (as he has been for over a decade), but the other piece of of the psychobilly puzzle will be relatively unknown. Respected punk bassist Geoff Kresge left the band (again) late last year, so it'll be interesting to see how the trio sounds without him.
8. Shaving the sides of your head is totally cool these days. If you don't believe fashion is cyclical, look at the old school haircuts rockabilly and psychobilly has been based on for decades and compare them to the current hipster undercuts that have taken over in the last couple of years. Yeah, it's just not that different.
7. Ghost Tigers Rise changed the game for psychobilly. 2004's Tiger Army III: Ghost Tigers Rise is viewed as the definitive record for most Tiger Army fans, as it brought the band out of the generic psychobilly sound of the first two albums and mashed it up with everything from country to old school punk to create a unique sound. That sound is what helped them reach an audience outside of the psychobilly subculture (for better or worse), and introduced a whole lot of new people to the style of music.
6. Octoberflame is kind of a cool thing. This weekend isn't just any Tiger Army concert, it's their annual Octoberflame event, and it's pretty cool that the seventh rendition is happening right here at the Observatory instead of it's regular spot at the City National Grove of Anaheim. It's just another example of some of the cool shows the Observatory is drawing away from other venues, tradition be damned!
5. New Tiger Army music is on the way. Nick 13 and friends haven't released a new album since 2007, but that could all be changing very soon. A brief clip of a new song was posted on the band's Facebook page with a mysterious "coming soon" message, so there could be a new Tiger Army album for the first time in almost a decade sometime in early 2016.
4. Upright basses are awesome. They're way cooler than normal basses. Period. There's not even an argument about that, so don't waste your time trying.
3. You totally used to (and still might) have a crush on Nick 13. If you were into Tiger Army back in the day (high school, college, whatever), you (or your girlfriend) probably thought Nick 13 was your psychobilly Prince Charming. Unlike some similar rockers of the era who have totally changed their look since then (Davey Havok, etc.), Nick 13 still pretty much looks the same, just a decade older. Let all your high school fangirling commence.
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2. They're a rare psychobilly crossover band. A lot of psychobillies out there actually hate Tiger Army for "selling out" or whatever term they want to use (see: becoming semi-successful and introducing others to their preferred style of music). On the other side, most fans of punk or other brands of rock who don't tend to listen to psychobilly consider Tiger Army to be among the best psychobilly bands of all time. If you're an anti-Tiger Army psychobilly, you probably haven't read this far into this list. If you're not, you should totally go see one of the best psychobilly bands of all time.
1. It's Halloween. Is there any more fitting of a holiday to see Tiger Army? No.