The Observatory is an open concert venue conveniently located in the heart of North Park. In addition to that it also features two bar areas, a restaurant, seated balcony's and VIP sections. In recent years the San Diego location has become quite the destination for big names in today's music.
Thursday night was a busy night at North Park’s The Observatory with opening act The Chain Gang of 1974 opening for New Zealand’s Naked and Famous, and the 80's inspired vibes were alive and well. The Chain Gang of 1974 performed such hits as “Sleep Walking” and “I Still Wonder” which made it no wonder as to why they were selected to perform alongside TNAF. Lead vocalist Kamtin Mohager brought fire to the stage with his charisma and energy in his vocals and performance creating the intense electro pop sounds of nostalgia that is The Chain Gang of 1974. Though similar in genre’s to TNAF, this band brought its own flare and individuality that deserves to be recognized as something to add to your Spotify or Pandora playlist. So be sure to check them out.
Finally taking to the stage around 9 pm, the indie electronic rock ensemble themselves, all the way from New Zealand hit the stage and the performance immediately electrified the air with the melodic post 80’s punk. Sounds that drove the crowd to sing along and dance. Lead female vocalist Alisa Xayalith and male vocalist/guitarists Thom Powers both harmonized with powerful vocals, bringing a combination of vocalizations that synced to perfection with the melodic, synthetic and electronic sounds brought to life by this band. It isn't until seeing a band like this live that you realize how much is put into the music they create. With frequent instrumental exchanges onstage to keep up with their selected playlist of songs for the evening those who had the privilege to attend this concert saw true artists putting their hearts and souls into every song performed. Alisa's energy and whimsical prancing on stage seemed to bring everyone into a trance combined with the bass of the electronic sounds pulsating through the building.
The first song of the night "Higher" from the new album Simple Forms (released Oct 2016) had a huge response from the crowd. Many of the favorites from past albums were covered like "Rolling Waves" & "Hearts like Ours", from the In Rolling Waves album of 2013. A few songs from the 2010 album Passive Me, Aggressive You such as "Punching In a Dream", "Girls like you" and the song that put them on the map "Young Blood" with Alisa introducing that song title as the song that got them out of New Zealand and that truly belongs to the fans now more than the band. Needless to say it was a performance to remember. Be sure to check out their latest album Simple Forms produced by male vocalist/guitarist Thom Powers released October 2016.
The Naked and Famous
Alisa Xayalith: Vocals, Keyboards (2008-present)
Thom Powers: Vocals, Guitar (2008-present)
Aaron Short: Keyboards (2008- present)
David Beadle: Bass (2009-present)
Jesse Wood: Drums (2009-present)