Top Acid Presents: Way Too Fun Fest

Two experiences in Santa Ana’s DIY music venue

Jesus A. Aviles from Plumber joins the mosh pit at the Penniback stage. (Isaura Aceves/Union Weekly)

By Isaura Aceves Contributor

Neon colored mohawks, leather jackets, long hair and worn out jeans were the first thing you see at Way Too Fun Fest.

There were families, couples and groups of teenagers walking around the streets of Santa Ana. From punks to hippies, I saw everyone interact with one another and listen to the bands that took up the five stages set up at the festival.

The diverse crowd reflected the various sounds and bands that played. From loud garage to psychedelic experimental rock, each stage presented unique bands.

The schedule was organized to provide music throughout the day starting from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.

It also provided everyone different options to see whatever genre of music they felt like listening to by having up to two bands simultaneously playing at different stages.

Ideally, this is a great way for having people pick and choose what they want go see, but it was difficult making that decision since I wanted to see a lot of the different local bands, but I was only capable of seeing a few.

Guitarist Temo Molina and bassist Andy Pedroza from Flying Hand adding some Latin groove. (Isaura Aceves/Union Weekly)
Trumpet player Kael Sharp and vocalist/guitarist Johann Cabrajal from Furcast at the main stage. (Isaura Aceves/Union Weekly)

Raw riffs, distortion and heavy beats were mostly heard from the Penniback stage at the festival. They’re a Los Angeles based record label; even though they’re small, they have a lot of local bands signed into their label.

For example, one of the biggest bands signed is Jurassic Shark. Their stage was between the back of a building and on the side there was a wide alley where the musicians would set up.

The majority of the day I was unable to get near the stage as people would mosh non stop. There was constantly high energy as the mosh pit grew more and more.

One of the bands that performed was Plumber, which welcomed the crowd with a fast paced heavy garage sound.

At one point, after the singer’s rapid shouting, he joined the audience’s mosh pit for the rest of the set.

Even though I had to stay in the back of the crowd to avoid getting pushed into the mosh pit, the Penniback stage kept me up on high energy.

Next, the band the Flying Hand performed at the main stage and filled the air with their fusion of latin rock and electronic beats.

They combined the keyboard with groovy guitar licks and maracas during one of their songs.

A couple of other bands that stood out during the festival was Furcast and The Hurricanes. Furcast was a mix of psychedelic experimental rock while the Hurricanes were a throwback to smooth rockabilly music.

Even though I was unable to hear all of the other bands, I was exposed to several different genres within a day, and that made the shows I did see worth the time.

By Nancy Soriano Contributor

Self-described as a “DIY music venue and vintage clothing store that throws FREE shows and music festivals for the masses,” Top Acid organized Way Too Fun Fest, which took place on Nov. 5 in Santa Ana. Along with five stages, over twenty local businesses came out to set up and showcase their products to the diverse crowd.

This included anything from clothing to vinyl records. Copping a “Combat Rock” vinyl for under $15 and an original pressing of The Byrd’s “Tambourine Man” for $5 were some of the biggest come ups of the day along with getting the opportunity to see 50 locals bands for free.

Local businesses set up to introduce everything from vinyl to clothing to the masses. (Nancy Soriano/Union Weekly)

Simultaneously running at this time was the Konsept Art and Music Festival, hosting a total of ten stages, four of which coincided with Way Too Fun Fest.

At around 1:30 p.m., the OCLM Konsept stage hosted a band that banged out a soulfully subdued cover of “Dazed and Confused” by Led Zeppelin.

Three young college kids took to the stage under the name West Park and hashed out three originals songs and three covers that showed surf, reggae and soul coming together in a cohesive sound of clean guitar licks and steady bass rhythms.

Playing together since their sophomore year of high school, these three guys from Irvine have come a long way since “singing along to Tenacious D at 8 years old.”

One of their notable originals was “That Groove” which feels a lot like Vampire Weekend in its arrangement, but more like Sameer Gadhia in its vocals.

You can find them on Spotify if you want to take a listen. Mad respect for anyone that can cover Zeppelin, Chance, and Cee Lo in a set.

Around 2:50 p.m. on the Top Acid Mainstage, Sister Crowley stepped up to perform. With two guitarists, a bassist, and a drummer accompanied with the smooth undertones of the lead singer, Sister Crowley puts their own spin on garage punk rock.

Their use of distortion pedals is amazing and has that kind of live sound that even if you weren’t there for them, you sure as hell left with them in mind.

Although they clearly enjoy what they’re doing, their stage presence is more complimentary of their music rather than one of the main focuses.

On top of all of that, Sister Crowley hails from Long Beach and there’s a special place reserved in my local heart that is so undeniably proud of any bands coming from the city, that the performance really brought the festival home for me.

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