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Psychedelic show is a family affair

Katie Madden
Staff Writer 

Hidden in an unmarked building in the middle of Los Angeles’ Fashion District lies the Think Tank Gallery, home to “A Psychotropic Summer Volume 3,” which took place Aug. 30.

Musicians, artists, disc jockeys, and a wide array of guests gathered to celebrate the impending conclusion of summer.

Past the narrow and creaky stairs, the building opened up to a vast gallery where chaotic and colorful projections on the white walls set the psychedelic and mystical mood.

One wall contained multiple portraits of Michael Jackson, alike to Andy Warhol’s pop art.

Palm fronds hung from the columns to remind guests that the show was a summer event, although the heat in the room already did a sufficient job of that.

In each corner of the room was a different attraction, whether it was the stage set for bands, turntables for the DJ or a display for the artist.

Harrison Roberts, 26, sat at a table filled with skulls, candles, a severed mannequin leg, and art influenced by Native American and Southwestern cultures.

Roberts has been doing art for more than 25 years, ever since he was able to hold a paintbrush.

“A lot of my work is tribal and geometric,” Roberts said. “I find my inspiration from mom’s side of the family; they come from New Mexico.”

These events have become a family affair comprised of a group of about 200 people, including artists, musicians and dancers, Roberts said.

This peculiar collection of people met and worked together at the Desert Daze Festival last April where they became good friends.

Roberts was not the only one who felt this way.

Guests and musicians alike not only knew the event coordinator, Evan Hagen, who runs Thief Presents, but everyone said that they were part of a continuously growing community of psychedelic fun seekers.

“Think Tank is awesome, it’s one of my favorite venues,” guest Vince Jacob said. “I was one of the sponsors for another Psychotropic Summer.”

Jacob has his own skateboard clothing company called Choo Skateboards, which he was able to promote with the help of Hagen.

Despite the many reasons attendees and artists had for coming to Psychotropic Summer, there was a general consensus that the event was just as friendly as it was eclectic.

“Everyone’s always rad at these,” Blackfeet Braves guitarist, Shane Stots said, “You always feel welcomed. Everyone’s working together and there’s this huge psychotropic scene.”

His fellow band members stood by as they quickly ate tacos, provided by a delightful food truck named Pies and Fries

Blackfeet Braves – as well as the other bands, Sons of Cydonia, Dahga Bloom, Highlands and Insects Vs. Robots – put on an energetic yet dreamy concert that immersed the crowd into an intoxicating beach party that lasted well into the night.

While this might have been an event for acquired tastes, the friendly attendees and familial atmosphere could have attracted even the most straight-laced of folks.

Be on the lookout for Thief Presents’ upcoming events on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thiefpresents.

Katie Madden can be reached at kaitlin.madden@laverne.edu.

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