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FYF Fest 2016 day 1 pics & review (Kendrick, Tame Impala, Grimes, Wolf Parade, Air & more)

words by Zack Baker

Los Angeles’ FYF Fest went down over the weekend, beginning on Saturday (8/27) with a psych and rap-heavy lineup that closed out with stellar sets from Tame Impala and Kendrick Lamar that couldn’t have been more different.

The long lines from FYF 2014 made a return appearance this year, making me miss indie-shredder Alex G and most of Philly charmers Hop Along. What I did catch of Hop Along’s set was fantastic, with Joe Reinhart’s solos ebbing and flowing with Frances Quinlan’s pained yelps perfectly.

DIIV took the main stage next and brought their hazy psych jams to a fairly large crowd for a (relatively) early set. The band leaned heavily on the catchier songs from this year’s Is The Is The Are which matched the vibe of the sun-bleached crowd and the seemingly constant puffs of smoke.

Long Beach rapper Vince Staples was hungry in his hometown, bringing out a blazing set featuring bangers from his fantastic full-length debut Summertime ’06, day-old EP Prima Donna and a smattering of features including his verse on Major Lazer’s remix of With You.’s “Ghost”. The main stage felt like a natural fit for the rapper, with his vicious flow and energy backed by massive projections of scenes from Long Beach.

Like his records, Todd Terje’s set was a celebration. All cheer and fun that excited both the crowd of dancers in the front half of the Lawn stage and the fans bobbing along sitting to catch a break before the night’s headliners started to take the stage. The sun was just starting to set over Exposition Park, and Terje’s undeniable charm and upbeat tunes won over the crowd instantly.

Grimes brought her chaotic and exciting live show to FYF, although it was clear that a good amount of the main stage’s parking lot was full of people who didn’t exactly know what they were in for. The pulsing drops of “Go” got lots of the crowd dancing along, but when Boucher brought out Taiwanese rapper Aristophanes for their collaborative “Scream,” the crowd surrounding me didn’t quite know what to make of the shrieks. Even with a host of technical problems, Grimes played an incredible set that got everyone bouncing along by the time “Kill v. Maim” closed it out.

Oneohtrix Point Never played the most tucked-away stage of the festival, drawing a smaller crowd than I was expecting but used the tent for complete sensory overload. 0PN was easily the loudest set I saw all day, blaring the broken bangers of last year’s Garden of Delete to a rapt audience with plenty of glitched-out body horror filling the three screens flanking him.

Australian psych-superstars Tame Impala doused the main stage with a thick technicolor haze. Kevin Parker and company certainly have the arena-ready stage show down, effortlessly blending each song into the next with audio-reactive visuals and songs with hooks ripe for crowd sing-a-longs. The band closed with “New Person, Same Old Mistakes” which got a few playful cheers for Rihanna out of the people surrounding me. Oh, and Lady Gaga walked out to hug Parker during the song’s final chorus.

Kendrick Lamar closed out the first night of his hometown festival with style. Where Tame Impala coated the stage and audience in rainbows, Lamar drained his entire stage performance of color. The entirely black and white nature of the show gave even more weight to Lamar’s incredible lyricism, and really made it feel amazing when the stage-filling bursts of flame shot up behind him to punch up a lyric. The set had some live instrumentation, but it was pretty noticeable when it disappeared for some of the older tracks Lamar dipped into. Lamar was championing the day-one fans throughout the set, and gave them a huge shout out by closing out the day with Section.80’s breakout “A.D.H.D,” shouting his love for LA as he walked off the stage.

Day one also had Air‘s first US show in five years, the reunited Wolf Parade, post-hardcore supergroup Head Wound City (Blood Brothers, Locust, Yeah Yeah Yeahs), post-rockers Explosions in the Sky, Steve Albini’s band Shellac, and garage rocker Ty Segall, as well as Classixx, Hot Chip, Jagwar Ma, Junior Boys, Kamaiyah, Kelela, Moby, Museum of Love, Peter Bjorn & John, Sheer Mag and more. Pictures of day one are in the gallery above.

photos by Anastasia Velicescu, Debi Del Grande, Elli Papayanopoulos, Everett Fitzpatrick, Jesse Fulton, Jose Negrete, Laura June Kirsch, Oliver Walker, Quinn Tucker, Tod Seelie for FYF Fest

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