Words & Photos by Alan Snodgrass

The good folks at Burger Records knocked it out of the park this year with Burger Boogaloo … Mosswood Park in Oakland to be more specific.  Two days of music hosted by John Water were capped by headliners DEVO (Saturday) and The Damned (Sunday) but the line-up went much deeper and included appearances of bands like Le Shok and Firestarter which haven’t set foot in the Bay Area for many years.

Day #1 of the Boogaloo can be summed up with one word: DEVO!  Their first show in almost four years proved to be one for the history books … stripped of all the production and props that peppered their last tour, the stripped down DEVO with Fred Armisen behind the drum kit was fierce, political and punk AF.  And that’s saying a lot coming hot off the heels of The Mummies’ chaotic ripper of main stage set that was no doubt a tough act to follow.

With such memorable sets by DEVO and The Mummies, it’d be easy to ignore the rest of the bands that performed that day. Seattle grunge pioneers Mudhoney delivered big-time on the main stage but the mid-afternoon action seemed to be down in the little concrete amphitheater which served as the side stage for the weekend. The Bay Area loves Ty Segall so it came as no surprise that the amphitheater was packed for the Traditional Fools but things went downright sideways for The Spits’ explosive performance.  After Saturday, it’s hard to imagine that Day #2 could measure up.

Photos From Burger Boogaloo Day #1

The Damned

Day #2 of the Boogaloo seemed to start a bit slower than Saturday, the air a bit stale and ash from local wildfires dusting the park.  Unfortunately The Dwarves had to drop off but the last minute add of Boogaloo vets Nobunny to open the main stage was a pleasant surprise and a great way to kick off the afternoon.

The Le Shok reunion was one of the most anticipated sets of the weekend. A thoroughly inebriated Todd Jacobs (vocals) stumbled around the stage with a bum knee, inciting the crowd which hollered along to their brief but furious set which was punctuated by the smashing of many guitars.

Giuda from Milan, Italy played the perfect main stage warm up for the headliners. Their retro vibes with hints of MC5, the Bay City Rollers and the Stooges was hit with the Oakland Crowd.

Hot on the heels of their release of “Evil Spirits” and celebrating 40 years as a band, The Damned are no doubt at the top of their game … tight as can be and clearly enjoying their time on stage together. Kicking off the night with “Wait For The Blackout,” the band tore through their 90 minute set like pros, the new tunes fitting right in with the classics. In a moment of pure class, the band dedicated the set closer “Smash It Up” to the recently departed icon Steve Soto before inviting folks (including Jello Biafra) on stage to close the night.  It’s hard to imagine the Boogaloo folks topping this one next year.

Photos From Burger Boogaloo Day #2

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