from left to right : Growlers (pictured left and center) and Cults (pictured right)
from left to right: Vetiver (pictured top left top) and Warpaint
The FYF Fest report.
Over the course of around ten hours, I caught thirteen bands on three stages (I was only able to catch a couple songs by three bands, which helps explain my ability to see so many bands in such a squeezed timeframe).
Here are some notes on some of the bands I saw:
Madeline Folin’s voice ,(The Cult), is sweet. It seemed like they cut their set short by five minutes, which was unfortunate. One more song, one more song. The photo pit became a near mosh pit for Warpaint. The photographers were rather polite however, so it was a friendly mosh pit. I think Warpaint gets the award for best ending song jam.
Quote: “You guys are hot, I mean literally.”
Best Coast went as Cold Cave in one of my tweets. I blame it on the heat though one could feel the start of a breeze during the back half of their set, which meant the temperature high of the day was recorded – a very very good thing. There were a number of folks on stage with them, including a guy hanging out with a parasol.
Quote: “I see you all. I felt like God saying that.”
Quote 2: “We have two songs left. (An FYF staffer ran up on stage with a single finger.) I guess this is our last song.”
Titus Andronicus gets the award for most energetic band. And they get a couple bonus points for bringing out a string instrument for two songs. The fans were kicking up a dust storm. The Oak Stage, their stage, was out in a dirt field covered with straw. I dealt with the hay fever impact through the middle of Sunday. I only caught a couple songs of Wavves. They were tossing out some jokes as their set was held up by amp problems. “He’s not Ben Stein.” “Watch out for that baby. No one run over that baby in the mosh pit.”
My favorite band of the FYF Fest lineup, the band I told my editor was THE reason to go to FYF, Local Natives. It was so nice to see them again. The last time I saw them was a year ago, close enough to say exactly a year ago, when they were closing out their August ‘09 residency at Spaceland. Since then their reputation has only grown in Los Angeles to the point where I couldn’t even get tickets for their shows at The Echo, Bootleg and Troubadour. And to emphasize their growing reputation in Los Angeles, the photo pit was packed. As they were about to start their set, the afternoon sun was starting to give up its power to the evening sun, resulting in a perfect moment for music. They responded by knocking it out of the park. And to end their set, the drummer went to the front of the stage to photograph the crowd.
I only caught the last two songs of Ariel Pink. Someone in the crowd yelled out for one more song. Ariel Pink responded, “One more song.” A festival staffer rushed out onto the stage to yell “No!”
Quote: “The next song sounds fine without the gold standard of tuning.”
Quote 2: “Did I piss someone off, because someone won’t help me with the f*#!king mic stand.” (which for some reason had started to shorten). My guess about Ted Leo, he loves his fans and is very particular about giving them the best show possible. Ted Leo gets the nod for best song lyric, hope I’m quoting this right: “We have the best of an imperfect world.”
Cold Cave. I have no photos of them. Seeing Cold Cave was my first time heading over to the Sequoia Stage and I didn’t know where to go to enter the photo pit. The start of the Cold Cave set got delayed by about twenty minutes. Cold Cave was given only a five minute switch over time, which perhaps was unrealistic upon reflection. There were also problems starting up the video display. One of the stage grips climbed up the side of the stage to get to the roof where he proceeded towards the edge where the video equipment was hanging. Someone to the side of me voiced my fear, “Watch, he’s going to fall.” It took awhile, but in the middle of Cold Cave’s set, the video started. I must say the stage grip earned his salary that night. Just watching him leaning over the side of the roof freaked me out. As for Cold Cave, I believe they had to cut their set by a couple songs due to their late start, but even with a shortened set — excluding a comparison to Local Natives — I’m giving them the award for best set of the festival. Here’s how I described the start of their last song on twitter: Wall of synths. Pounding. Throbbing. If there is one band I recommend catching when they come back through Los Angeles, it is Cold Cave. (Side note: it was interesting exiting from the stage area after Cold Cave. It was like those heading off and those heading in had a pre-arranged agreement to follow a human checker board strategy, almost perfect precision.)
School of Seven Bells had this lingering beauty. My last band of the night was Delorean. It was interesting watching them set up. The band is from Spain and I have to assume their English it limited, because it appeared like all communications with the sound guys were via hand motions. I only caught two of their songs, which was driven by the fact that the Sequoia Stage got set back after Cold Cave’s late start. Delorean started their set at the time they were supposed to end their set, 10:50 p.m. I had a metro bus to catch so I unfortunately had to bail after two songs.
Random observations about the security that worked the three stages. The most relaxed security worked the Redwood Stage. Yes, they made sure all the photographers left the photo pit after the fourth song (one of the rules so nothing unexpected there), but they just had this relaxed way to them. The Oak Stage was run like a semi-military training camp. Enter now, exit now. The Sequoia Stage was run with a degree of nervous tension.
Photographers. Perhaps a half dozen photographers had to leave the photo pit before Delorean started their set. Off to other band assignments. And I couldn’t help but think, “One lucky thing about my music life is that I get to sit back after taking photos and just enjoy the music versus having to rush off from one band to the next. I’m a fan versus an employee.”
I barely survived my ten hours of music. I woke up in the middle of the night with heat radiating from my head. I rushed to the bathroom and splashed my face with cold water. When I officially woke up for the day, my face was still burning. I became convinced I was suffering from severe sunburn, but upon checking my body out I noticed only a small strip of my neck (darn it, missed that section while applying the sun screen lotion) got sun burned. I was drinking down the water all day long and into the next, today. After getting off at my bus stop, I went to a late night restaurant and ordered juice. I sucked the cup dry within seconds. And today as I’m writing this, I’m still consuming enormous amounts of water. And to venture into the scatological joke area, the water isn’t ending up in the toilet bowl. Here’s one major problem with having the festival at the Los Angeles State Historic Park: I only saw one water fountain. And at the height of the day, there must have been over a hundred people in line for a drink. A large park with one water fountain – that’s just nuts. (I skipped the lone water fountain. Instead, I went the expansive route and just purchased the $4 water bottles. I swear that one of the venders said the words “That’s $4” with a tad too much glee.)
Note: Though I write about music here on intraffik.com, I openly admit I’m not an expert when it comes to filtering out the up and coming bands. So I needed some help in deciding which bands to check out. It might appear that I perfectly followed Deltron 3030’s recommendations from an intraffik.com article. I did read the intraffik article, but I also went to Kevin Bronson’s blog and listened to his mix tape as well as reading articles up on the LA Times and LA Weekly websites. There was an apparent understanding among the music experts out there regarding certain bands to check out. So if you are asking yourself why in the world I missed such and such a band (and give me a break regarding bands I skipped to catch the bus); the reason is that yes I’m not independent enough to know any better
Final. Just want to say thanks to FYF Fest for letting intraffik.com get a couple press badges.
P.S. Self-promotion. I recently started up a Twitter account. Follow me at www.twitter.com/notesfromvivace.