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Mosswood Meltdown 2022 - Day 1: (Oakland, CA) - July 2nd, 2022

Twompsax (2), Mosswood Meltdown, 2022.
10 August 2022

John Waters addresses the crowd at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
Total Trash Productions returned to Mosswood Park in Oakland, California this summer for their annual fest after a two-year hiatus. Debuting the new name Mosswood Meltdown (formerly known as Burger Boogaloo), the festival’s return was a comforting bend towards normalcy for those living in the fringe.
John Waters addresses the crowd at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
Nashville band Snõõper kicked off the festival with their color-outside-the-lines sound that was slightly reminiscent of early Ween. At this point, the crowd was sparse and the atmosphere felt more like a backyard show than the kickoff to a two-day event, but Snõõper poured a lot of energy into their set.
Snooper, Mosswood Meltdown, 2022.
Photo by Sammy Braxton-Haney
There were certainly some old favorites and familiar faces during the festival. Berkeley music scene veterans Rubinoos played a solid set of that brought some of the power-pop, elevated garage rock sound of festivals past back. There well-honed cover of Tommy James and The Shondells’ “I Think We’re Alone Now” was the highlight of their set, filling the unusually chilly July air with a waft of warm, sweet romance.
Rubinoos, Mosswood Meltdown, 2022.
Photo by Sammy Braxton-Haney
Festival favorite Shannon Shaw returned this year, giving a nod to the demise of Burger Records amid allegations of normalizing a culture of sexual assault and, subsequently, the festival’s change of name. “Congratulations on the hard pivot,” Shaw remarked, nodding to the lineup packed with feminist and queer artists. Shaw’s performance persona seems to have hopped right out of one of festival emcee John Waters’ movies. Stuck in an eternal state of teen heartbreak with the eyeliner to match, her kitch catches all the right details. It’s not just about having the look with Shaw, though, her vocals are vibrating nostalgia. Her haunting “Bring Her the Mirror” was a sensational performance. Her vocals were so soft and buttery at moments, they seemed to saturate the airspace. What made the set, though, was her gritty and entrancing cover of “Never Tear Us Apart by INXS.
Shannon Shaw at Mosswood Meltdown, 2022
Photo by Sammy Braxton-Haney
Legends Flipper took the stage with their grotty, desperate noise. “Life is Cheap” was probably the highlight of their set, with the demonic tri-chord waltz dragging the crowd along to that special depth that only a pre-90s punk band can. In that space that says, “I didn’t think it could get worse than Reagan, but here we are,” there’s also a hopeful, collective fighting spirit.
Flipper performing at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
Flipper, Mosswood Meltdown, 2022
Photo by Sammy Braxton-Haney
There were so many bands that have been established amongst their various niche fan bases. Bleached had my hair standing on end with punchy, shrill vocals that cut through the crowd. Of course, Dirtbombs delivered and explosive set, and the Carbonas ripped through old favorites like “All I Want You to Know.”
Twompsax, fronted by transgender activist Cher Strauberry, gave a graciously vicious set to the crowd. With songs ripping through the fabric of time at warp speed, their set was particularly heart-shaking. Like a bizarro Mr. Rogers, Strauberry gave a very heartfelt message to the crowd at the conclusion of their set, reassuring the crowd that they are loved and valued.
Jennifer and Jessica Clavin of the band Bleached at Mosswood Meltdown, 2022.
Photo by Sammy Braxton-Haney
Jennifer Clavin of Bleached at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
Carbonas, Mosswood Meltdown, 2022.
Photo by Sammy Braxton-Haney
Twompsax, Mosswood Meltdown, 2022.
Photo by Sammy Braxton-Haney
Twompsax perform at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
Twompsax singer Cher Strauberry
Photo by Patric Carver
Twompsax drummer Ian
Photo by Patric Carver
Twompsax perform at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
Headliner Kim Gordon started her set with the more cerebral and droning sound that she has leaned on more in the most recent parts of her career. Songs like “Sketch Artist” sound positively experimental and in the vein of Laurie Anderson meets Nine Inch Nails. Sweet and jangly “Cookie Butter” showcased Gordon’s ability to really stitch a song together from barely there elements and still give it so much presence. “Green Jeans” was her most explosive performance, bringing a close to day on of the festival.
John Waters addresses the crowd at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
Guitarist for Kim Gordon at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
Guitarist for Kim Gordon at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
Kim Gordon performs at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
Kim Gordon performs at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver
Kim Gordon at Mosswood Meltdown, 2022
Photo by Sammy Braxton-Haney
The anticipation for this festival paid off, as Meltdown has emerged from the pandemic a more thoughtful, inclusive gathering.
Lonely spectator at Mosswood Meltdown 2022
Photo by Patric Carver