When We Were Young Revels in the Right Kind of Chaos at Observatory
Christopher Victorio

When We Were Young Revels in the Right Kind of Chaos at Observatory

When We Were Young Fest (By the Minute review)
The Observatory

Saturday, April 8
10:28 a.m. Though we're hopeful about this weekend's emo-driven nostaliga fest at the Observatory, there seems to be very little organization. There are no signs to guide the way. Ticket holders started waiting in one line just to be told they had to get into a separate line to get wristbands. Everyone is getting different instructions from the staff. (Brittany Woolsey)

10:56 a.m. They're moving people back and forth to different lines. What the hell is going on? People who got here later are getting wristbands before the people who were waiting for two hours. There's no organization one hour before doors. (BW)

11:30 Security already being dicks to attendees as a guard yells at a group of girls running to the front, "Stop running, there’s no one in front of you!" (Frank John Tristan)

11:41 The line is moving 20 minutes ahead of schedule. Something positive! (BW)

11:43 Walking through this zig zag line, the attendees are being herded like cattle. Me thinks Moz won't be too happy about this. (BW)

11:40 Bypassing the lines because I'm media. Those few seconds of privilege that made me feel like royalty. Filthy peasants (FJT)

11:45 The "hydration station" should just be called "sink water" 11:45 (FJT)

12:38 p.m. David Bazan starts the day off mellow with some acoustic tunes. Most of the fans up front seem to be here so far for AFI and Morrissey. I just want some Streetlight Manifesto, honestly. (BW)

12:39 "There's too many feelings for the daylight but here we are" - David Bazan (BW)

12:49 The Observatory has taken the Goodfellas route as the new parking solution."Fuck you, pay me." (Eran Ryan)

When We Were Young Revels in the Right Kind of Chaos at Observatory
Christopher Victorio

1:15I just got here and for a second I thought I took a wrong turn because I feel like I walked into a Forever 21 Spring 2017 collection photo shoot. (Jacky Linares)

1:28 After getting turned away for parking at a few different spots, I made it inside just in time to catch the Regrettes. Moshing has already commenced. (Josh Chesler)

1:32 I was ordered to remove even my glasses as I went through metal detectors at Soulquarius, but today there are only light pat-downs and a smile. (ER)

1:38 Balance and Composure is the type of music I'd like to just gel out and lay in bed to, in a good way. Nice, mellow stuff and the crowd seems to be digging them, too. (BW)

The Regrettes
The Regrettes
Christopher Victorio

1:47  The free swag for early ticket buyers (because we got screwed over) is actually pretty sweet. A t-shirt with the festival's logo, hat and tote bag. Nice of them to try to correct that clusterfuck of a ticketing situation. (BW)

2:03 If a bar is supposedly located in SanTana and claims to be “Full,” but doesn’t have micheladas, is it really a full bar? The answer: NAH. (JL)

2:10 "You all look so fucking cool" the singer of Plague Vendor said. I feel vilified. (FJT)

2:12 It appears that a good chunk of the crowd may know Morrissey primarily from a Brand New song, and I'm pretty sure there are more Supreme shirts here than any one band. Maybe the older crowd will come out later, but the afternoon of When We Were Young is still pretty damn young. (JC)

2:16 Um, I was told the Observatory was the hottest of messes? There’s a phone charging station and hydration stations? I’m impressed frankly, like I was ready to die in the pit due to dehydration because it would be in the spirit of emo. (JL)

All you need is mushroom
All you need is mushroom
Christopher Victorio

2:30 This pizza is delicious but I'm still pretty bitter it doesn't have any pepperoni on it. Thanks, Morrissey. (BW)

2:32 To the raspado cart ran by a man with his two daughters; you the real MVP with the $4 big ass bags of chicharrones. (FJT)

2:43 I love paying $8 for two tacos that didn’t even require an animal to get killed in order to make them. They taste street as fuck though, so I’m not too mad. Bravo, Taco Chavo! (JL)

2:53 "The now we are old Fest... The once we were skinny Fest... I'm old now. Fuck it I can say whatever I want." - Jim Suptic, Get Up Kids guitarist (BW)

3:08 This girl next to me in the crowd just described Cage the Elephant as a "new band." (BW)

3:10 Intoxicated ladies’ room chatter:
"We’re a lot more drunk than I expected us to be. I ate spinach and pasta yesterday at 11a.m. and that was it."
"Wow, I wish I could do that. I see food in front of me and I just...I just eat it!” (ER)

Elotes, anyone?
Elotes, anyone?
Christopher Victorio

3:12 The Observatory Redemption Arc is not having micheladas as a fake full bar, but making up for it by having over priced eloteros hand out their yummy steaming cobs and freshly scraped raspados. Dios los Bendiga. (JL)

3:23 The crowd immediately started pushing and shoving itself to the front at the start of Joyce Manor. Yassss. Living for this. (BW)

3:32 My favorite part of the Joyce Manor set was seeing masculine insecurities being dealt with via a violent mosh pit. Men punching each other while crying and singing? Pass the expensive vegan popcorn. (JL)

3:35 Somewhere in the crowd of Joyce Manor, a person’s covered in Pabst because some rich kid decided it’s a good time to throw their $9 tall can in the air. (FJT)

3:51 All of the food vendors are vegetarian today because of Moz. Most of it looks bland at best, and these kids look like they're starving. (JC)

Joyce Manor
Joyce Manor
Christopher Victorio

4:00 “We want to thank Mike Watt for hitting our merch guys car" the singer for Joyce Manor joked. (FJT)

4:12 Dude on the stage is throwing water bottles to the audience. Honestly, someone can dump one on me and I wouldn't even be mad. It's so hot. (BW)

4:18 Who put Senses Fail on the second stage? They're drawing one of the biggest crowds so far and everyone's crammed into the weird corner of the parking lot. (JC)

Senses Fail
Senses Fail
Christopher Victorio

4:21 Buddy Nielsen has successfully caught all 6,184,826 mic tosses. He should probably give thanks to that magnificent combination of cut-off sleeves and full beard. (ER)

4:25 A group of girls just passed a blunt to a guy and he drops it on the floor and puts it out with his foot; #dickoftheyear2017. (FJT)

4:30 Senses Fail is playing “Calling All Cars”; BRING ME A RAZOR STAT!!! (FJT)

5:00 The highlight of the Streetlight Manifesto set was when the guy next to me took off his cap, and basically baptized me with sweat. Thanks. (JL)

5:10 Music really is something. Here I am, the daughter of refugees singing the words to “We Will Fall Together” with the up and coming generation of future gentrifiers. (JL)

5:30 "Eat whatever you want to eat." Streetlight Manifesto's Tomas Kalnoky ends their set with my favorite words of the day. (BW)

5:32 Smiles, kisses, dancing and singing fills the Selena tribute room as Chulita Vinyl Club bumps I Could Fall In Love by Selena.(FJT)

Alkaline TrioEXPAND
Alkaline Trio
Christopher Victorio

5:38 I don't know what the fuck a Homeshake is or what it's doing here, but the kids love it. At least Alkaline Trio is next, (JC)

5:39 The line to get into the Selena DJ set is yuuuuuuge. (BW)

5:54 The playlist between sets has shifted from classics like Elvis to more appropriate tunes like "Bastards of Young" and "Just Like Heaven." It's probably for the best. (JC)

6:12 I’ve overheard way too many Alkaline Trio audience members who are seriously hoping Matt Skiba will bust out Blink 182 hits like “Dammit” and “What's My Age Again?” (ER)

6:30 My friend Mondo just said, "I love how all the members of Alkaline Trio have completely different aesthetics. Dan looks like he is ready to hit up the club in Miami, Matt is ready to put all his Blink money on black at the Golden Nugget, and Derek is ready to hit up the vegan co-op for some kale before hitting up that grindcore show in the back." (BW)

Christopher Victorio

7 p.m. I didn't know Reel Big Fish was gonna be here! Wait. That's Guttermouth in the Hawaiian print shirts? Oh. "I would like to thank everyone for having Guttermouth at Morrissey Fest."- Mark Adkins, Guttermouth singer. There's a pretty packed crowd in the main room for the old school punk band. (BW)

7:02 Beach Fossils playing “Sleep Apnea”, this cigarette, this sunset, this moon; perfect. (FJT)

7:12 Call me old school, but I remember when being called "emo" was an insult. Now it's flaunted around like some great achievement. What a difference a decade makes. (JC)

7:17 All the old people who want to see Morrissey (you could tell by the faded shirts they were wearing) came to the venue just as the sun was setting. They came in a giant mass and suddenly there wasn’t a place to sit anywhere. How did y’all coordinate that? (JL)

7:25 Mostly though, besides the horrible unorganized lines in the morning, this Fest is going pretty okay so far, at least from my viewpoint. And Cage the Elephant is so far the only band that has started late on the main stage (a mere eight minutes behind). Kudos to the Observatory! (BW)

7:29 I'm not sure what Cage the Elephant is doing right now, but I'm behind half of the Get Up Kids in the backstage beer line, so I can't complain. (JC)

7:36 I'm surprised Morrissey is playing with a band called Cage the Elephant. For a dude who advocates for animals so much, you'd think he'd be more anal about the band names. (BW)

8:09  This festival is so California. I was so hot just a few hours ago and now I'm freezing. (BW)

8:27 Shout out to the port-o-potties for still being stocked with toilet paper, even toward the end of the night. (BW)

8:31 "I've had so much beer, but I'm so hungry right now. All I want is a cheeseburger." - Some college-aged bro in a Morrissey shirt. (JC)

Christopher Victorio

8:42 Davey Havok just pulled off a great mic drop after performing "The Leaving Song Pt. II" for the second song of the set. Just one of many reasons AFI is legendary. (JC)

8:50 Davey Havok is seriously one of the most talented, commanding front men of my generation. Always so entertaining to see live. I'll even forgive him for that pretty horrid book he wrote a few years ago. From "Girls Not Grey" straight into "The Leaving Song Pt 2," AFI is bringing all the hits tonight. (BW)

8:52 If you were to put the all of these bros in a locked room with Davey Havok, not one would emerge without having questioned their sexuality at some point — especially with him wearing those leggings. (ER)

9:21 The piano introduction of "Silver and Cold" starts playing and the crowd cheers. Yay for mid-2000s KROQ hits. (BW)

9:26 Davey Havok credits Morrissey for being such an inspiration to AFI and says he never thought in the band's 26 years that they would share a stage with him. (BW)

Christopher Victorio

9:31 I'm surprised how many people seem to be shuffling out and leaving the venue early before Morrissey's set. (BW)

9:33 One day, I hope to hear AFI rock out "Totalimmortal" live. Today was not that day. (JC)

9:36 Um I'm pretty sure this is an old music video showing on the screen but it looks more like porn. I just saw bare man ass humping an obviously naked woman. (BW)

9:48 The 35+ portions of the crowd is blazing heavily ahead of Moz. Their babysitters may be working overtime tonight. (JC)

9:59 Arguably the biggest headliner in the history of Observatory festivals is about to take the stage and the parking lot isn't nearly as packed as usual. Considering there were tickets on Groupon for $60, I guess they had trouble selling it out, but it makes for a much more comfortable and pleasant festival experience. (JC)

When We Were Young Revels in the Right Kind of Chaos at ObservatoryEXPAND
Christopher Victorio

10:03 Morrissey hits the stage three minutes late. So surprised he actually showed. There's a giant gong on stage. Ok, I'm interested. (BW)

10:04 This dramatic intro music seriously sounds similar to the "A Clockwork Orange" song that plays before every Adicts set. (BW)

10:15 Some dude just walked out of the Morrissey crowd with a bloody (and what looked like a broken) nose. I didn't know crowds could get so rowdy to such mellow music. (BW)

10:22 Forget singing, Morrissey's real talent is his sweet dance moves. I still like the Smiths better though. (JC)

10:24 I just went to the women's restroom and there's literally vomit all over the floor. Someone just left caution tape around it. That worker must have thought they don't get paid enough for this shit. (BW)

10:30 Had to leave early because my homegirl was tired but Morrissey can be heard for blocks around the Observatory. Somewhere a homeless goth is sleeping with a smile on their face. (FJT)

Christopher Victorio

Sunday April 9

2:04 p.m. I tried to get here for Pinback's set, but I wasn't about to pay $30 for parking and all the secret parking spots were full. (JC)

2:06 Now that Morrissey has come and gone, the venue has rid itself of the overwhelming police presence from yesterday. It’s every man for himself. (ER)

2:21 Tijuana Panthers probably have the most awkward white people dancing in the crowd so far this weekend. (JC)

2:36 People are already giving up and searching for the nearest patch of shady grass to sit on...ah, they joys of attending a parking lot festival. Only seven hours more to go! (ER)

2:39 Strangely enough, fewer of the guys in Dr. Dog are wearing sunglasses today than when I saw them inside the Observatory. Hipsters, man. (JC)

3:15 "Pretty sure now they have tacos with meat outside, now we can do whatever the fuck we want." the singer for Mount Eerie said as an obvious diss to Morrissey’s Day 1 vegan requirement. (FJT)

When We Were Young Revels in the Right Kind of Chaos at Observatory
Christopher Victorio

3:23 I'm almost shocked to see so many goths out in broad daylight, especially in Orange County. (JL)

3:32 The singer for Mount Eerie rubs his ass and dick with the mic, then dangles it in front of the audience and photographers with everybody leaning away. (FJT)

3:34 There are a lot of parents with small babies here today. Just... why? (BW)

3:37 As the singer asks the audience to give it up for the tech guy onstage, the tech guy grabs the mic and licks it as the audience yells "Eww!" (FJT)

3:53 This girl is wearing an Emo Nite jacket while watching Saves the Day. Pretty perfect. (BW)

3:53 Chris Conley of Saves the Day is either in a really good mood today or he's really high. Either way, this is a spectacle and everyone's loving it. "Freakish" is still better than "At Your Funeral" though. (JC)

4:06 I'm watching Saves the Day about three people away from my favorite skateboarder of all time, Chris Cole. I'm pretty sure this was a goal of mine in eighth grade. (JC)

Jose Maldonado from Sweet and Tender Hooligans DJs a Morrissey tribute set, sans shirt.
Jose Maldonado from Sweet and Tender Hooligans DJs a Morrissey tribute set, sans shirt.
Christopher Victorio

4:10 The Smiths tribute set is lit; the DJ started throwing flowers into the crowd, then people jumped on stage and started dancing with him. (FJT)

4:28 I'm living for "At Your Funeral" by Saves the Day. High school me would be proud of present-day me for finally hearing this song live. (BW)

4:40 This dude started dancing onstage during the Morrissey DJ tribute. A security guard pulled him off and immediately got booed. Now the DJ is trying to get the dude to come back up. (BW)

4:41 The singer for D.I. tells the audience that Mike Palm broke his wrist skateboarding and dedicates their next song to “Mikes fake story about his broken arm!” (FJT)

4:42 The bars inside have drinks named after songs by bands on the lineup. Clean Sheets (Descendents) sounds enticing. But that $20 price tag is so ugh. (BW)

5:02 There are a lot more families here today than yesterday, and the small children are excitedly jumping and dancing around. When We Were Young is officially a multi-generational experience. (JC)

Silversun Pickups
Silversun Pickups
Christopher Victorio

5:21 Nothing like seeing a bunch of 30 year-olds dance to Silversun Pickups next to 20-somethings checking their Instagrams and Snapchat. Truly the zeitgeist of “When We Were Young.” (JC)

5:22 Brian Aubert from Silversun Pickups took a jab at Morrissey's veggie activist antics saying "This song doesn't usually go with these types of shows but if you want this is your chance to go get your veggie- wait Morissey was yesterday... your meat!" Followed by cheers and claps from the crowd. (JL)

5:26 As the Silversun pickups play a slow song, I see a girl reach down and squeeze her boyfriend’s butt. (FJT)

5:29 Some dude just yelled "Show Us Your Tits" to the female guitarist of Silversun Pickups. Really? (BW)

5:41 Even though I've seen them a few times now, I still don't really understand the Silversun Pickups. I like
them. I just don't get it. (JC)

Christopher Victorio

5:45 You would think the bands would be late considering the type of music they play about giving the finger to authority and routine but The Frights (or baby FIDLAR as I like to call them) came on stage literally on the dot! (JL)

5:47 The Frights just started their set with the intro to "Stairway to Heaven," which is great since most of their fanbase wasn't alive when Wayne's World came out and/or may not know who Led Zeppelin is. (JC)

5:52 The Frights’ lead singer walked on stage holding an open bottle of wine. Ah, to be young and cool. (ER)

6:16 FIDLAR was a minute late those slackers! Zac Carper was probably washing his hair or something, it’s longer than mine. (JL)

6:20 The Buttertones are not a sufficient replacement for Agent Orange. (FJT)

Taking Back Sunday
Taking Back Sunday
Christopher Victorio

6:21 For a show with Taking Back Sunday on the bill, there sure are a lot of folks here (in former? rival band) Brand New shirts. I'm with them. I have a Deja Entendu tattoo. Let's push for a bury the hatchet tour together. Solidarity! (BW)

7:11 The seats in the tented beer garden appear so much nicer than the ones in the VIP area. (BW)

7:40 Taking Back Sunday has the 25-30 crowd whipped into a frenzy like no one else has all weekend. There's a lot of younger kids too, but the post-college crowd really dug deep as soon as Adam Lazzara uttered "She said don't...'" (JC)

7:41 The singer for Taking Back Sunday tries to do cool microphone twirl and drops the mic. (FJT)

7:48 Taking Back Sunday is throwing it back to the early 2000s with some "Tell All Your Friends" material and the crowd is loving it. (BW)

7:57 “This girl doesn't look like she's having much fun, but don't worry — I'm going to make her mine by the end of the night. Not like that, you perverts.” - Adam Lazzara (ER)

8:19 I now understand the love-hate relationship people have with Taking Back Sunday. You never know which performance will be spectacular and which will result in the butchering of all your favorite songs. Today is the latter. (ER)

8:27 “Tonight we have the pleasure of warming you up for the Descendants,” the singer for Taking Back Sunday said, “Somebody fucked up and put us on this stage.” (FJT)

8:32 Adam just climbed up the damn rafter of stage left and sang the end of "Make Damn Sure" hanging upside down. Took him a bit to come down after and I thought they might need to call the damn fire department to get him. (BW)

8:50 A trump piñata full of candy was thrown during the pit for "Fuck America" by Choking Victim (FJT)

8:52 A girl with a bleeding hand is now high-fiving people in the pit because Hep C is so punk rock! (FJT)

9:04 Why are all these people in VIP sitting during Descendents? Show some damn respect to these legends. (BW)

9:06 It seems like high schoolers aren't into the Descendents as much as they used to be. The crowd's definitely not what it was for Taking Back Sunday. Clearly some people need to be introduced to Milo. (JC)

9:34 Asshole next to me just threw his tall can at someone’s head in front. (FJT)

9:40 A little boy with a Descendants shirt is crowd surfing in the pit. (FJT)

9:40 The Descendents "I Don't Want to Grow Up" is so fitting for a festival called "When We Were Young." (BW)

9:52 I was prepared to blame the Observatory for ruining the music that got me through high school with this festival, but they actually did a pretty good job with this one. It wasn't perfect, but When We Were Young was definitely a step in the right direction. (JC)

9:53 As per tradition Milo goes out into the crowd and holds the mic in front of fans' faces for the chorus of "Thank You." (JC)

When We Were Young Revels in the Right Kind of Chaos at Observatory
Christopher Victorio

9:55 Everybody and their mommas crowd surfing to the last Descendants song. (FJT)

9:57 Descendants came back on the stage after crowd kept chanting ONE MORE SONG! A big turnaround in the crowd's attitude and energy at the end. (F.J.T.)

9:59  "When We Were Young? What the fuck. I'm still young," Milo says. He might be one of the oldest dudes here but with so many songs about farts and junk food, he's still that boy going off to college that we all know and love him to be. (JC)

10:10 As everyone leaves, people agree that the only two problems with this festival was the technical issues and the cost of everything. Besides that most people leave with a smile on their face. (FJT)

10:34 The Fest is over now, and I have to say, I'm impressed with how smoothly everything seemed to go. Well done, Observatory! (BW)


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