The Observatory in Santa Ana, CA is just down the road from Disneyland. Although it’s not officially part of the Magic Kingdom, for three days last week, Thief Presents’ third annual doom festival was The Loudest Place on Earth. Riff Land if you will. 50+ bands on 2.5 stages, spread out across three days. It was a long and wild weekend to say the least.
Psycho CA featured the best bands the doom, stoner and sludge genres had to offer…plus Municipal Waste. What were these thrashers doing there? Who cares! The whole lineup for Psycho CA was ridiculous. Anytime you can see Sleep and Kylesa on the same day is a sign that somebody in festival land is doing their job right. Band’s like Earthless and Elder upped the shred guitar quotient considerably, as the veterans in Earth and newcomers Bell Witch worked the power of the almighty riff. SubRosa achieved new levels of heaviness on the intimate second stage, while the genre benders in OM blew everyone’s mind in the big room. Again, anytime you can see Caleb Scofield’s crazy scream faces in Cave In and Old Man Gloom, on the same day, is a guaranteed good time in my book.
Here’s to all the heavy metal pilgrims that made the trek to Riff Land last week. I’m talking about those funny Canadians at the merch table, the folks who drove through barren deserts and anyone stuck in a soul sucking airport to bask in the glory that was Psycho California 2015. I don’t know how Thief Presents is going to top this one. Tony Iommi performing in the Grand Canyon might be a start.