words by Andrew Frisicano, photos by Chris Juarez & Rachel Carr
Local Natives & the crowd @ FYF Fest Saturday
Yesterday was FYF Fest. We know all the problems... The lines... And are addressing them now. In no way are we sleeping on these problems. The bands were amazing and the turn out was unreal. I'm speechless. -Sean Carlson & FYF FestThat's how the FYF Fest organizers started their post-fest email, which also outlined new, cheaper pricing to the three "fan fest" shows it hosted on Sunday in LA. For all the organizational problems on Saturday, FYF still managed to put on a highly enjoyable day of bands, around 37 total across three stages (plus a comedy tent), at LA State Historic Park.
The day's short sets kept you wanting more from nearly every act, many of whom played for a half hour or 35 minutes (which expanded in 5 minute increments up to an hour for the headliners). That made for tough decisions between overlapping sets. Ted Leo and band blew through their 45 minutes, and Titus Andronicus could've continued for another 35 at least with the momentum from their Monitor songs. Those two, along with Screaming Females, were part of what Ted Leo termed the "New Jersey Takeover" - three punk bands with Garden State roots who all played great sets at the fest.
Los Angeles represented with a number of notable hometown acts. Growlers, in grey facepaint, brought an earthy, ramshackle sound and lots of friends. Best Coast, Abe Vigoda, Local Natives and Ariel Pink also repped their hometown - the latter two with mezmerizing late afternoon sets.
Other acts brought some nice surprises. A chorus of kids, costumed as zombie versions of dead historical figures, backed Dead Man's Bones' Ryan Gosling and Zach Shields. The Blow introduced some of her new songs written for an unnamed celebrity (and played recognizable earlier songs too, including one "written with Sting...when [she] was 7"). And Big Freedia, the fest's only act with any trace of hip-hop, shocked the crowd with a short pre-headerliner dose of "Azz Everywhere."
There was plenty of garage rock (Thee Oh Sees brought the man responsible for their cover art, William Keihn, to play tambourine), punk and metal. A reunited Sleep, in New York this week, grinded away, as !!! had people shaking their ass on the sister stage. On the fest's third stage, hardcore band 7 Seconds reminisced about their first time in LA almost 30 years ago and lead a spirited circle pit. Add to those bands, breezy folk from AA Bondy, the jams of Warpaint and Delorean to name a few.
If FYF's organizers are a bit defensive above, it may be with good reason: the few critical organizational errors were fairly memorable. A long line at will call (an hour would be a short estimate) kept many waiting in the 90 degree sun while the first bands of the day (Magic Kids, Let's Wrestle and The Goat) could be heard starting in the distance. Water inside was also an issue, with limited access to free drinking water and bottled water at $4 (which, according to Noah Lennox, ran out).
By the end of the night, the two final acts - The Rapture and Panda Bear - set up on competing stages. Panda Bear aka Noah Lennox interspersed his dreamy lullabies with patches of noise and dissonance while videos and images that could be described only as "trippy" played behind him; I think your response to the set depended largely on your state of mind after the long day: exhausted or ready for a patience-testing string of songs and sounds. He and The Rapture provided, alternately, a place to dance or doze.
Unsane also played a rare runion set at the festival where Off! shared a bill with Lower Dens. School of Seven Bells, Davila 666, Cults and Ceremony were there too.
Read what Noah thought about his own set, HERE. More pictures from the entire day, below...
Abe Vigoda by Rachel Carr
Growlers by Rachel Carr
Cults by Rachel Carr
Screaming Females by Rachel Carr
Screaming Females by Chris Juarez
Davila 666 by Rachel Carr
Warpaint by Rachel Carr
Best Coast by Rachel Carr
Best Coast by Chris Juarez
Thee Oh Sees by Rachel Carr
Titus Andronicus by Rachel Carr
Titus Andronicus by Chris Juarez
The Soft Pack by Rachel Carr
Wavves by Rachel Carr
Local Natives by Rachel Carr
Local Natives by Chris Juarez
Ariel Pink by Rachel Carr
Dead Man's Bones by Rachel Carr
Dead Man's Bones by Chris Juarez
Big Freedia by Rachel Carr
Vetiver by Chris Juarez
Ceremony by Chris Juarez
AA Bondy by Chris Juarez
Unbroken by Chris Juarez
Ted Leo & The Pharmacists by Chris Juarez
Mountain Goats by Chris Juarez
Sleep by Chris Juarez
The Rapture by Rachel Carr
and the Panda Bear pics are HERE.
and the Off! pics are HERE.