FYF Day 3 pics/review (Run the Jewels, Nine Inch Nails, Iggy Pop, Solange, more)
The final day of FYF 2018 started off about as well as can be hoped for with a beautiful set from Julia Jacklin on the Club stage. The Australian singer-songwriter, joined by a more than capable band, executed her great songs to perfection. It was a testament to the virtues of good singing and songwriting, really all you need, and it was especially refreshing to see in the midst of a festival full of bells and whistles. Her voice was piercing and on-point for the whole set, and when the band cleared out for her to play a song totally solo, she absolutely held the stage and had everyone hanging on her words.
Next up was Julia’s tourmate Andy Shauf who was solid, albeit somehow less exciting to me, than Julia on the same stage. After that I headed over to the Lawn stage to catch festival mainstay Ty Segall rip it up. Ty reliably delivers etremely fun Rock ‘n’ Roll sets, and his Sunday afternoon was a rollicking good time. His band is great, and they played their special brand of heavy, skronky 70s scuzz with the right amount of swagger and showmanship.
Next up I went to check out Little Dragon on the main stage. People seemed really into it, and while I like their recorded output quite a bit, I couldn’t quite connect with their live show, probably because I’m a rockist snob. Rockist snob that I am, I decided to show up a little early and snag prime real estate for Iggy Pop. I obviously can’t say anything about him that hasn’t been said already, so I’ll just say that I felt truly blessed to be in his presence. He still has every bit of energy and stage presence that he’s known for, commanding the crowd through sheer force of personality. And what a catalogue of songs he ran through: “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” “Lust For Life,” “Search and Destroy,” “Repo Man” and, especially, “TV Eye” were some of my many highlights. It’s rare to get to experience that kind of living legend, and even at 70 he still felt like a vital force surrounded by so many younger artists.
Next up was Solange, who had a meticulously composed, pristinely executed live show to show off. Solange and her excellent band were all dressed in matching bright red, ’70s-invoking outfits and overlooked by a giant pink orb and pyramid. The visual component of the set was as important as the music, with choreographed dancing from the whole band. The sound was also pristine, and Solange is an effortlessly compelling center of the show, able to command your attention without over-emoting, always remaining almost supernaturally poised and in control. “Don’t You Wait” was an early centerpiece, going on for an extra long time with a particularly elaborate series of poses and dance moves for the band, and serving as a kind of mission statement for the whole set. It was pretty great.
Now it was time for Run the Jewels, which was, as you might expect, one of the most hyped-up set of the day. El-P and Killer Mike are such great performers who play so well off each other at this point, and at this point they have a seemingly endless well of bangers to draw from. They shredded, and the crowd was appropriately bananas the whole time. In particular, I thought the material from RTJ2 killed the hardest, with “Blockbuster Night Part 1,” “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry” and “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)” really leveling the crowd. They also brought out Memphis great Gangsta Boo for her guest verse on the sex anthem “Love Again,” which was really awesome, as well as singer Joi for the closer “Down,” which they dedicated to the late Chester Bennington. It was incredibly fun set that ended on a seriously powerful note, a testament to these guys’ brilliance.
And, for the last set of the festival, Nine Inch Nails flattened the crowd at the main stage. They have such a huge sound, and Trent Reznor is such an iconic frontman, and they really just delivered the rage. Nine Inch Nails are professional crowd killers at this point, and it was a huge, blown-out counterpoint to the understated headlining of Frank Ocean the night before. They mixed in some of the stuff from their new EPs with a laundry list of classics (“Closer,” “The Hand That Feeds,” “Head Like a Hole,” etc.), and they also threw in a cover of Bowie’s “I Can’t Give Everything Away.” It was basically the perfect closer to a wild weekend.
photos by Elli Papayanopoulos, Erik Voake, Jesse Fulton, Julian Bajsel, Kayla Reefer, Lance Skundrich, Laura June Kirsch, Michael Drummond, Miranda McDonald, Neil Husvar, Oliver Walker, Roger Ho, Santiago Felipe, Tod Seelie, and Quinn Tucker for FYF Fest.