In this week's Nightranger, we hiked out to Valencia for “Out On The Mountain” the wild gay dance jamboree at Six Flags Magic Mountain thrown by DJ Ray Rhodes (Tigerheat). The GBLT gathering took over the thrill park last Friday night (til 1 am), offering line-less rollercoaster action, dancing under disco lights and mirrored balls, and even a VIP area sponsored by Stoli in the rustic restaurant across from the Log Jammer.
Roaming and rolling about the rides with some of the event's more flamboyant patrons gave us a major flashback. For many of us who grew up in Southern California, Magic Mountain offered our first live concert experiences ever, and attending shows there always made the park feel like a giant teenyage nightclub, especially the new wave and goth-ish gigs, which saw the grounds flooded with black garb (and this was way before Bats Day in the Fun Park).
DJs have also spun on outdoor stages over the years making for a real club vibe, but Knotts Berry Farm in Buena Park probably had MM beat on that front with its regular danceterias, Cloud 9 and Studio K.
Like Knotts, Magic's musical heydey was in the 80's when KROQ presented bands in the Golden Bear and Showcase Theatres. We remembered seeing everyone from Berlin to Oingo Boingo to Jose Feliciano (a “Feliz Navidad” show we saw with the familia) there. More recently it's been about boy bands and country artists, but we did catch Katy Perry kissing girls there last year.
So who else played memorable Mountain shows? We put out word to our local Facebook friends, and the list we got back had some surprises. Here, some favorite (and long forgotten) bands who rocked the Magic. What were yours?
-Lords of the New Church
-Night Ranger (the band)
And the two most memorable Mountain music gigs….
TLC (1993) When a second performance by the trio was canceled, a riot broke out, people were arrested and concerts didn't return to Six Flags for several years. Metal detectors were put near entrances soon after.
KISS (1978) KISS Meets the Phantom of The Park is a cult classic and the live show filmed for it surely the most explosive set seen there ever. Trivia: The film is available on DVD as part of Kissology Volume Two: 1978-1991, but Ace Frehley is for the most part, edited out.
More on theme park partying (Gay Days at Disneyland happening this weekend) in our column this Thursday.