Rebooting a local hotspot


— Article originally posted on April 23, 2012.

Out with grime, punk.
In with incense, love.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros invited the crowd on stage to close out their tour kickoff show in Santa Ana.

The huge bouncer in black stood stoically, shrugging his Atlas-sized shoulders at the peaceful commotion of rambling hipsters and stylized rag-bag royals. He was expecting a mosh pit. Instead, he got a love fest.

Formerly known as the Galaxy Theater, Santa Ana’s newest hipster venue, the Observatory, has swept away waves of washed-up punk, metal and cover bands like White Flag and Manic Hispanic.

The gritty underworld that has turned off concert-goers intent on going home with their limbs intact has been refurbished, with middles bro and gal in mind.

Last year local businessman Jon Reiser, along with partner Courtney Michaelis, purchased the piss-stained theater, with plans of converting it.

The new ownership has kept prices the same — with tickets going for as low as $5. The acts are better, too.


  1. WASHED OUT: “Feel it all around
  2. DEVO: “Please Please
  3. YUCK: “Give Away
  4. GROUP LOVE: “Lovely Cup
  5. HANNI EL KHATIB: “Wait Wait Wait
  7. DEVENDRA BANHART: “Carmensita
  8. TENNIS: “Origins
  9. MAPS & ATLASES: “Living Decorations
  10. NEON INDIAN: “Polish Girl

ADDRESS: 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, Calif.

PHONE NUMBER: (714) 957-0600

Illustration of randomly stacked tape titles such as WASHOUT, DEVO, YUCK, NEON INDIAN, and so on.

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