We can’t believe it’s been a decade since the Burger Boogaloo‘s humble beginnings as Total Trash Fest, where Marc Ribak and his intrepid crew packed cozy San Francisco venues the Knockout and Thee Parkside with bands such as the Spits, Shannon & the Clams, and Thee Oh Sees. Two years later in 2011, Total Trash teamed up with Burger Records and renamed the beer-soaked weekend “Burger Boogaloo,” inviting garage-punk favorites such as King Tuff, Nobunny, Traditional Fools, and Davila 666 to tear up Thee Parkside. In 2013, the Boogaloo moved across the bay to roomier digs (Oakland’s Mosswood Park) and expanded even further in 2015, when it unveiled an extra stage and welcomed legendary director John Waters as its master of ceremonies. (If you missed the magic of previous years, visit our posts from 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.)
This year, the two-day Boogaloo celebrated its 10th anniversary by inviting back some of the bands from its early days (Shannon & the Clams, King Tuff, Nobunny, Davila 666) as well as Boogaloo veterans such as the Phantom Surfers and Nikki Corvette; embracing an Aussie contingent (the Scientists, Amyl & the Sniffers, the Chats); having post-punk paragons the Jesus & Mary Chain headline both nights; and scaling back to one stage to avoid displacing the homeless population that had set up camp in the park. Happily, the Pope of Trash also returned with hilariously bawdy band introductions that were eagerly anticipated if rarely family friendly.
Amazingly, we managed not only to catch all the Boogaloo bands but also have enough energy for the weekend’s afterparties, which featured the likes of Billy Childish, the Sneaky Pinks, and Tommy & the Commies. Here are some highlights from day 1 (for full videos of the weekend, check out PressureDrop’s playlist). Click here for day 2, and stay tuned for portraits of some of the fine folks who helped make the weekend a winner!
NIKKI CORVETTE WITH PRIMA DONNA
Detroit’s bubblegum queen and her LA backing band kicked off the weekend with hip shakers such as “He’s a Mover,” “Girls Like Me,” and “Shake It Up.”
TERRY & LOUIE
Terry Six and King Louie unleashed not only a thousand catchy, glammy guitars but also Exploding Hearts and Persuaders tunes.
AMYL & THE SNIFFERS
Hearty head banging and hair flinging ensued when this Aussie group tore up the stage with the fervor of Iggy and Wendy O.
These Philly punks cranked out ’70s-tinged rockers that were perfect for a lazy, sunny afternoon.
A masked imposter (taken out by the real Bunny with a beer bottle), flaming drums, and a crowd-surfing panda were just a few of the delightful shenanigans that marked Nobunny and his motley crew’s hippity-hoppity garage-punk set.
Clad in snazzy pink suits and their signature masks, this Bay Area quintet ripped through surf instrumentals and garage punk classics while a primitive soap opera unfolded onstage.
Blag the Ripper, He Who Cannot Be Named, and their cohorts whipped up the pit with tunes ranging from the poppy “Everybodies Girl” to the sludgy “You Gotta Burn.”
THE DEAD BOYS
We didn’t know what to expect here, what with Cheetah Chrome being the only original member, but he and the Bay Area musicians who supported him delivered an impeccably solid set. Even singer Jake was seemingly possessed by the spirit of Stiv Bators as he belted out a handful of Young Loud and Snotty stalwarts like “Sonic Reducer” and “I Need Lunch.” Protopunk pioneer James Williamson joined them at the end for “Search and Destroy” and other Stooges classics.
JESUS & MARY CHAIN
The Reid brothers and co. ushered in the night with “April Skies,” “Some Candy Talking,” The Living End,” “I Hate Rock ‘n’ Roll,” and other fuzzed-out favorites that spanned their tempestuous career. While we were slightly disappointed that neither Nikki Corvette, Amy of Amyl & the Sniffers, or Tina Halladay of Sheer Mag provided backing vocals for “Just Like Honey,” their tribute to Roky Erickson (“I Think of Demons”) was a sweet surprise.
WILD BILLY CHILDISH & CTMF
Headlining two nights of sold-out shows at Starline Social Club, thee garage-rock legend and his latest project cranked out lo-fi goodies from his early bands and ’60s giants like the Kinks and the Who.
They made merry and dished up ooey-gooey garage punk at Eli’s Mile High Club, and it’s just what we needed.