This year's FYF Fest had plenty to offer in the way of dirt, sweat, guitars, EDM and gastropubbery. We were there to soak it all in. Here's our highlight reel.
The Locust set was fucking insane There's nothing better than a festival for discovering your next musical infatuation. I had slept on San Diego noise-core quartet the Locust throughout the whole of their career. Apparently, this FYF performance was their first in SoCal in five years. Since Davendra Banhardt was putting my geriatric ass to sleep, I figured I'd mosey on next door to see what the fuck all the thrashing was about. Holy. Shit! The Locust were out there just getting brutal, thumping kick drums into your solar plexus, humming feedback drones into your third eye, and shouting into your eardrums about, um, well, nobody really knows but it doesn't fucking matter, RUH! The stage was doused with a purple carbonate floodlight, and a hot-white strobe accented the oddly-timed, rapid-fire meters of this band's ultra-tight, fine-tuned hardcore. It suddenly made sense why the dude with the Grateful Dead shit was there. It's as brutal as psychedelic gets, and an awesome new discovery for this writer. (Adam Lovinus)
Classixx had us dancing The sheer amount of energy embedded in each moment Classixx's set was undeniable early Saturday night. The LA-based production/DJ duo turned the plain white tent where they performed into a neon-washed, interstellar disco. Their remix of Phoenix's "Lisztomania" started things off nicely, but it was tracks from their Innovative Leisure debut Hanging Gardens (quite possibly the best dance album of 2013) that really sent bodies moving and all hands in the tightly packed tent clapping. The duo brought out Danish singer-songwriter Jeppe for "I'll Get You," and Superhumaniods singer Sarah Chernoff couldn't have been more enticing while singing her part on "A Stranger Love." All in all, Classixx's set was a funky, dance-inducing delight. If the cluster of disco balls suspended from the middle of the tent weren't already there when Classixx started, it probably would've materialized out of thin air. (Max Bell)
Churchill Gastropub Beet & Quinoa salad Attending a festival, you walk in knowing you'll probably poison your insides with greasy county fair-style eats. Luckily at FYF, the Churchill Gastopub stand is dishing out a hearty portion of quinoa and beet salad ($9). It comes in the same size container as the fries, and eats like a meal -- complemented by feta cheese, cucumbers, baby heirlooms, currans, and pumpkin seed in a olive oil/lemon juice dressing. Located in the VIP area near the Carrie Stage, it succeeds in providing a solid nutritional base for a night of hard festival-ing. Highly recommended. (Adam Lovinus)
The bar food and beer were worth the cash Food and drinks at a festival are expensive. It's practically written in the rules at this point. FYF Fest was no exception. Expense aside, both were actually pretty good. There was a decent selection of beers to choose from, and the bar tenders weren't too stingy when mixing drinks. One of them even gave us two drinks at a reduced price without telling us. And while we can't attest to the quality of all the food at the festival, we will say that our chicken sliders topped with coleslaw really hit the spot. If the ATMs didn't have a four-dollar service charge, we definitely would've gone back for seconds. (Max Bell)
Washed Out actually woke us up After Beach House lulled people to sleep during their set on the Carrie stage, the masses were drawn to the upbeat sounds of Washed Out. Playing selections from their latest album, Paracosm, released a few weeks ago on Sub Pop, Ernest Greene and his live band dazzled the crowd, which were dancing and clapping along to his luscious synths and signature brand of chillwave. What was striking about the performance wasn't so much the lighting, which was neat, or the audio, which was crisp. Instead it was Greene and company's veering towards a New Order-esque sound, something that has been missing since the Manchester quartet released its last relevant album in the early '90s. Put these elements together and you have one of the top performances at FYF. (Daniel Kohn)
The Crowd Compare to other festivals this year, FYF gets major points for one thing: no bros! The lack of these idiots at the festival was not only a welcome relief, but made the Los Angeles Historic State Park a safer, douchebag free zone. Granted, there were some bros there, but they were few and far between. There weren't any neon wearing, ironic t-shirt chomping idiots. Instead, the crowd was composed of mostly kids in their early 20s looking to have fun and rock out to their favorite bands. Isn't this the heart of what a music festival is supposed to stand for? It may seem like a foreign concept, but a bro-free zone made for a much better festival experience. (Daniel Kohn)
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Flume's Packed Set Twenty-one year old Australian house wiz kid Flume curated one of the heaviest dance sets at FYF. People came running from the far reaches of LA Historic park-- by mid-set his tent was completely overflowed. Jamtastic tunes like "Sleepless" and a high production value stage set up welcomed nightfall with a massive disco. (Kai Flanders)