Craig Finn & The Uptown Controllers
Date: March 13, 2017
The Observatory Santa Ana


I randomly received an email from The Observatory the day of the concert stating free tickets were up for grabs. I jumped at the opportunity as quickly as it came. I arrived later than I anticipated which caused me to miss the opening band, Craig Finn & The Uptown Controllers. I did hear that band did terrific that night. The crowded venue took me by surprise, with it being a Monday night there were many people there. Finding  a decent spot in the back to take photos I was all set. Work had been stressful lately and this was the type of relieve that I needed. I had hoped to attend a concert by this artist mainly the prior week when they were performing at The Fonda Theatre. I prefer this venue over the other due to monetary reasons.

Japandroids were a hit that night as the crowd roared with excitement upon their arrival. The band are currently on tour promoting their third album “Near to the Wild Heart of Life.” The album was released two months priors on January 27, 2017 to mostly positive reviews. The band threw an entertaining performance that lifted my spirits. This became my first concert that featured a two man band. I loved the simplicity of just having a drummer and guitarist performing together with no other band members. Though it was just the two of them on stage, their lively enthusiastic performance certain made it feel that there more members on stage. A funny anecdote that the band mentioned was what occurred at their San Diego concert which occurred a few days prior. A man at the front row became so drunk that he passed out right in front of the band. I wish I could have seen that, that would have been hilarious to view. In the middle of their performance the two band members started playing a classic rock song, can’t remember which one. What I do remember is that they messed up in the middle of playing the song. They quickly got their groove back as they played Back in Black without error. The lighting of the venue intrigued me as my favorite color, purple, was the primary color that flashed throughout the night. Other than that I thoroughly enjoyed the band, they played some great songs throughout the night. Their punk aesthetic sound combined with their polished lyrics were a welcoming sound to my ears. “And it got me all fired up, to go far away.” Those lyrics perfectly summed up the night I experienced. By the way, Near To The Wild Heart of Life remains my favorite song from the band so far. I actually loved the music they played that night and want to get exposed more to them. The band went out with a bang as they sang If You Want Blood (You Got It) with Craig Finn. The crowd got fired up, especially the people in the mosh pit area as they went crazy thrashing around in there. The crowd that night became quite amusing as the long went on. A random guy in the concert yelled out Free Bird. The band went on a long explanation about how there’s always that one guy that needs to yell that at a concert. The whole exchange was quite humorous. All in all, I am so glad that I was given this opportunity to see this band perform live. They’re a phenomenal band that one needs to see live!

Japandroids Setlist
1. Near To The Wild Heart of Life
2. Adrenaline Nightshift
3. Fire’s Highway
4. North East South West
5. True love And A Free Life Of Free Will
6. Younger Us
7. In A Body Like A Grave
8. Wet Hair
9.  Arc Of Bar
10. The Nights of Wine And Roses
11. Evil’s Sway
12. Midnight To Morning
13. No Known Drink Or Drug
14. Continuous Thunder
15. Young Hearts Spark Fire
16. The House That Heaven Built
17.  If You Want Blood (You Got It)

Trivial Notes

  • 12th concert at The Observatory Santa Ana.
  • 1st time seeing Japandroids.
  • 1st free concert through Observatory RSVP.