It was a Tuesday evening and I couldn’t wait to put on my faded high-waisted jeans, a sultry leotard, and my beat-up high-top converse. I topped off my outfit with a leather jacket and a juicy layer of dark lipstick before I ventured off to the historic North Park Observatory in San Diego.With such an outfit, it must come as no surprise to know I was going to watch The Growlers close out their romantic Winter Tour.

As soon as I entered the North Park Observatory, I felt like I walked into a time machine and stumbled into the 60’s. Everyone was dressed in their most eccentric outfits varying from tie dyed shirts and Acapulco button downs, to worn out vans and jean jackets. The venue seemingly sat in a cloud protruding the smell of a combination of marijuana, beer and whiskey. We walked around a bit and decided to grab a drink before The Growlers took the stage. The crowd and atmosphere was so out of the ordinary that I even ran into a girl who was holding a huge furry panda head and didn’t even think much of it, besides the fact that she somehow managed to get it through the tight security at the venue.

Before I knew it, the venue went dark and the crowd started cheering. The band members slowly took the stage in their grungy outfits & started off with a long instrumental beat… then, Brooks finally graced the venue with his presence and the crowd went wild. Everyone started grooving away and letting loose as soon as they started their psychedelic set. Within minutes, hooligans started crowded surfing and shoes were flying.

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Anthony Braun Perry

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Matt Taylor

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Scott Montoya

Los Growlers set seemed to start off pretty mellow and slowly picked up once I finished my Old Fashioned and shimmied my way to the front. I have seen The Growlers numerous times and I noticed that they were exhausted from their grueling tour. It was their fifth night in a row playing, and Brooks even mentioned, “F*ck it, I am going to lose my voice for you guys.” They played a variety of their garage rock and surfer punk tunes. Some of my favorite hits they played were “One Million Lovers”, “Sea Lion Goth Blues”, and “Chinese Foundation.”

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Halfway through their set, I looked over and sure enough, I saw someone in a full panda suit floating above the crowd as people’s hands carried the panda across the floor. Before I could even get a good laugh from it, two huge security guards pulled her from the crowd. I looked up at Brooks who had the biggest smirk on his face. I would have to assume that the security guards threw out about two dozen crowd surfers from the venue. It was utterly entertaining.

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The Growlers closed their set with “Someday” before they came back on stage to play an encore.  They closed out their set with rock n’ roll blues while the crowd swung away, and at that point, I could have sworn The Growlers had taken us from the 60’s to the 50’s.

Photos: Jesse Gassaway