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1 Strange Night in Orange County: The Garden Live at Observatory OC Festival Grounds

Author: Karol Melchor


After about a year and a half, The Garden returned to their hometown of the Orange County region. The duo put on a unique and once in a lifetime event dubbed 1 Strange Night in Orange County, which ended up with a multitude of fans singing and moshing along to every song from every artist.

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The particular festival was held this past weekend on Saturday July 22nd, 2023. Upon arrival at the venue, either by the free shuttle provided or by preferred mode of transportation, attendees were greeted to a welcoming environment. This huge outside space consisted of a vast selection of food, beverages, merch you definitely did not want to miss out on and the enormous stage. Not to mention the super cool photo-ops provided by The Garden such as the huge inflatable jester and the creepy hearse with the festival banner right above.

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The event kicked off with legendary 45 Grave setting up the mood, to Alice Glass having everyone jump and dance with her ethereal set, to punk icons The Addicts literally throwing a party, to then JPEGMafia getting the crowd ready to mosh to The Garden.

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After hours of awesome, loud, fast paced and electrifying music, the lights then dimmed for the main event. Finally, the long awaited return of the OC punk twins. Upon Fletcher Shears walking out on stage, the fans were screaming out their lungs. Once Wyatt walked out in completing the duo, fans continued to yell with all their might. Right off the bat with no hesitation, The Garden went in full force opening with their latest album titled track Horseshit on Route 66, a new fan favorite. Following was Call This # Now which yes, we definitely did love it, to OC93, another new song from their latest 2022 record. After epic songs back to back, California Here We Go also made its return as it has not been performed since 2017. This one was so especially cool because it had everyone singing and moshing making it feel like an anthem. Or so it should be whenever The Garden is on stage in the Golden State. Later down the set, The Garden included what I consider to be their most unique and heaviest song yet, Squished Face Slick Pig Living in a Smoky City. Fletcher and Wyatt put on a sick combination of bass riff & drum pattern that makes you want to march all the way through that closed door, if you know what I mean. I would not be surprised if they were inspired by Primus with that band's classics like Too Many Puppies, Eleven & My Name Is Mud. Additionally Gorilla was brought back as well as they have not performed it since 2018. After a fun and rowdy performance, the duo ended with Thy Mission to an encore of Hit Eject and Banana Peel, leaving us Gardener’s with an outstanding 26 song show.

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Overall, this strange night was definitely an exciting and memorable one. Although there were some downsides like the feeling of not enough security guards to the headliner merch station not having more registers, the concert was an experience not only where I did not want it to end, but one I want to keep reliving. As Wyatt stated the night of that, “we’ve waited a long time to get here,” it showed and so did the fans. 1 Strange Night in Orange County was absolutely a testament to that and they rightfully earned it. Jampak is honored, thankful and grateful to have covered the event and we look forward to anything The Garden has for us and fans all over the world.

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📸: Charlie Cisneros @deadeye.charlie