first Fuck Yeah Fest in Echo Park. Seven years later, and Fuck Yeah Festival (or as it's
often and more appropriately called these days, “FYF Fest”), has snowballed into one
of the best end-of-summer events in Southern California. All right, so this is more of a
LA county thing -but it's worth battling the freeways for a couple of hours to get there.
(And it's at least cheaper/cleaner than Coachella.)
Last year, they had a preview concert in Pomona a few weeks before the main FYF Fest. This past weekend, Carlson and crew wanted to warm us up once more. Keep in mind that this is not just a barebones promotion, but a full-fledged, 8-band music event. So let's try it before we buy it….
Long Beach locals The Growlers were next on The Glass House stage, and they quickly captivated the crowd with their haunting beach grooves. It was just like being at The Detroit Bar, but tenfold, with hundreds of people working themselves up into a dancing, undulating mass. All of their songs are mid-to-slow tempo, so what is it about The Growlers that moves people like this? It's gotta be frontman Brooks. How does he make a wispy mustache and hawaiian shirt so goddamn seductive? Is it his fisherman's hat? Or maybe it's the bumping bass and the grinding guitars. Whatever magic they're working, it's pretty powerful.
It's unfortunate that by the last band, Crystal Antlers, most of the concertgoers were sweaty, exhausted, sobered up and/or late for curfew. This Long Beach group had less hype than the other bands but more substance, drawing in the shuffling mass with '60s- style organ trills and intoxicating bass lines. Their drummer (Kevin Stuart) sealed the deal with constant rambunctious cymbal-bashing. “Sounds like victory,” I sleepily tapped into my phone, reminding myself to check them out when they get home.