Roaring Nights at LA Zoo

Another week, another Roaring Nights. If you missed Megan’s review of last week’s iteration, allow me to briefly sum up Roaring Nights: music, comedians, food trucks, pop-up animal encounters, alcohol, and 18+ every Thursday in July (with the exception of the 4th).

Basically, there was nothing about this event that didn’t sound awesome to me.

Since Roaring Nights is after hours, many of the animals were fast asleep or in hiding. Some exceptions to this were the meerkats (one of which took a particular liking to my friend’s fuzzy moose hat), a female chimpanzee and her baby, and an Asian elephant.

Roaring Nights

After securing non-virgin libations and inhaling a four cheese crepe from Crepe’n Around, my friends and I were sufficiently satiated and able to begin our LA Zoo exploring expedition. For many of us, this was the first time we had been back here in decades, so there was an air of nostalgia that accompanied our wandering.

In between animal viewings, my group meandered over to catch recently-reunited LA natives Chief, whose folk rock sound went hand in hand with the laid-back vibe the event exuded. I can safely say this is the first time I’ve ever heard live music in the presence of a Komodo dragon. Oh, and for the record, I kinda really liked it.

Roaring Nights

From there we made a pitstop at the Coolhaus truck for some delicious ice cream sandwiches before heading off to the carousel to enjoy some of DJ Morningstar’s set. Fusing Y2K-era hip hop, EDM, and Michael Jackson, DJ Morningstar offered up an eclectic yet danceable mix that seemed to resonate with the crowd. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I would be perched atop the LA Zoo carousel’s panda listening to Notorious B.I.G’s “Hypnotize,” but again, I kinda really liked it.


Because of the ultra-condensed 3-hour window you get to explore everything before the 10 PM closing time, I didn’t get to catch any of the comedians’ sets. If there was one critique I could give of the event, it’s that it’s entirely too short. Still, for $18 a pop (FYI, free parking), you’re hard-pressed to find more bang for your buck on a Thursday night.

If you haven’t already checked out Roaring Nights, be sure to catch its final event this Thursday, July 25th, with local act NO!