FYF Fest Started 2 Hours Ago, Oh Am I Late?

August 26, 2015 -

Louis Garcia

When people think of the West Coast music scene Los Angeles immediately comes to mind. It has easily identified itself as one of the most influential cities for breaking talent and boundary pushing genres. At the heart of it all lies one music festival that proudly represents the tastes of this city while showcasing top tier acts of global acclaim.

FYF Fest is rooted in the underground garage rock and hardcore scene and has worked up the ranks to this year's booking of Kanye West, arguably the biggest rapper in the game. Whereas most might see this progression as selling out, many fans of the festival can appreciate FYF founder, Sean Carlson's ultimate vision.

FYF 2015

Tod Seelie for FYF Fest

We kicked off the party with Mikal Cronin and Alvvays, two sunny alternative bands that rocked out to an excited audience. Later we headed into the Arena, which included a massive stage setup inside the LA Sports Arena. This alone is an impressive venue with suspended disco balls, strobe lights, and enough air conditioning to cool off a vibin dance floor. This stage hosted the majority of electronic acts for the weekend but one of the first here was BADBADNOTGOOD, a hip hop influenced jazz trio from Canada. These guys hit home for their cult following in LA. The floor and arena seating filled up fast as they ran through songs from BBNG3, their 3rd and latest record. Their cover of Flying Lotus's Putty Boy Strut sent the crowd off as we danced to a jazzy rendition of this beat scene masterpiece.

FYF 2015

Jose Negrete for FYF Fest

Back into the sunlight for Melody's Echo Chamber. This Australian artist began to kick in as she played out tracks from her debut record as well as new unreleased music that was equally as lucid and dreamy. Finally we cut through the new and improved walkways into the main stage area for one of my favorite hip hop acts of this year. Run The Jewels welcomed the sunset to an incredibly hyped up set. The crowd was on another level as RTJ spit their hearts into this undeniably wild show. Everything hit its peak when Rage Against The Machine frontman Zack De La Rocha joined the boys for their collaboration on Close Your Eyes And Count To F*ck.

FYF 2015Kelsey Heng for FYF Fest

Before heading back into the Arena we were lucky enough to catch some songs from Shlohmo's live performance. This was easily one of the deepest sets of the night. He performed his latest Dark Red record with an ominous beauty as his band brought his electronic imagination to life.

FYF 2015

Chris Carrasquillo for FYF Fest

Finally the rightful king of Los Angeles took his place behind the decks to his set that was a last minute replacement. Nobody needed any extra convincing to understand that Flying Lotus was about to tear the roof off of the arena.

Hold up hold up, I bet you thinking that we dead.

Hearing the tracks from You're Dead! performed to an appreciative hometown audience was nothing less than jaw-dropping. His terrorizing bass and celestial soundscapes satisfied everyone for their fill of futuristic hip hop electronica.

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Jennica Mae Photography

After bouncing around the astral planes we hit the Trees stage again for Savages. This year it was particularly easier to hop around sets. We didn't mind missing the beginning or end of a performer if it meant that we could make it to more artists. Through the Trees we could hear the art rock group Savages igniting the fire under an ocean of people. The bright lights complimented this all-female band's energy as they soared through their debut album with perhaps the most energy we had seen all day.

FYF 2015

Chris Carrasquillo for FYF Fest

Finally it was time for the highly anticipated and highly controversial headliner of the night. The man, the myth, the Yeezus walked on stage, luckily only 10 minutes late, to the sounds of No Church In The Wild. It was pretty hilarious that Frank Ocean's cancellation led to the sounds of his voice on the main stage. Nonetheless his set ended up being way more ridiculous then we could have imagined. From No Church he sent the crowd off with Stronger and continued to drop bombs of furry over an audience that knew almost every word to every song. He satisfied every fan by throwing in hits and deep cuts from his entire discography including some Watch The Throne and a few Cruel Summer jams. The chaos hit its high when Travi$ Scott hit the stage to perform Upper Echelon, one of the biggest trap bangers of 2015.

nobody1

Nobody Photography

Mr. West was not performing to a crowd of hippity hoppity Power 106 fans, this audience was way more diverse in musical tastes, therefore it felt as if he gave it all he got to impress the swarm of festival goers. As upset as I was about Frank's cancellation, no one could deny that catching Kanye here was an amazing treat that FYF delivered.


FYF 2015

Chris Carrasquillo for FYF Fest

The next day was met with even more acts as we decided to head in early for King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard which lead us to Tobias Jesso Jr. and Lower Dens. During the peak heat of the festival nothing felt better than grabbing a Stella Artois or Sierra Nevada inside the stands of the magical Arena stage. As much as we wanted to chill there forever we knew it was time for Unknown Mortal Orchestra. They already impressed us big time at Outside Lands a few weeks ago and the only difference now was that I've been listening to their record Multi-Love nonstop and hearing these danceable jams along with their older psych-rock tracks gave us exactly what we needed to make it through the day.

Neon Indian was just as groovy with his performance on the main stage. It's been awhile since we've heard from him and it seems like he's got a new record that'll be dropping soon. He performed some of this including the new single Slumlord.

FYF 2015

Kelsey Heng for FYF Fest

After getting down to Toro Y Moi's main stage performance we hit Battles for a freakishly experimental instrumental set. This trio hit the world hard when they released Gloss Drop in 2011 but kept everyone waiting a long long time for their return. They apologized for their absence on stage and made it up to us by performing a load of new tracks from their upcoming LP that will be out next month entitled La Di Da Di.

FYF 2015

Chris Carrasquillo for FYF Fest

Flume stole our souls once again as he dominated the main stage for his sunset performance. The place was packed for the return of the Australian mastermind behind the future beat movement. He played to a much smaller crowd in 2013 and his success dramatically skyrocketed since then, for most festivals he's easily headliner material. This was the case for the past two times I've seen him, at Snowglobe and Lightning In A Bottle, and although those were both great, Flume impressed me the most here at FYF. Every festival has its "best song of the festival," and I'd have to say that Flume's opening track was just this. I've been waiting all Summer to hear his track Some Minds and not only did he begin with this but he also brought out Andrew Wyatt from Miike Snow to perform it with him. From there on out it was over I could not help but dance the the entirety of the show and it easily became one of my favorite sets of the festival.

FYF 2015

Kelsey Heng for FYF Fest

For some reason it always happens to be the case that my favorite festival set is followed by another favorite, and they almost always tie up in enjoyment. After Flume I enjoyed a tasty Okonomi Dog, a Japanese inspired hot dog, and ventured down to the underground to hit the floor for Nicolas Jaar.

Last year Darkside was hands down the best set I witnessed at FYF and possibly the best set I had seen at any 2014 festival period... Bold statement I know, but now that they're done for we were lucky enough to have Mr. Jaar back for a solo set, his original musical focus. This was easily the coolest audience we had seen at FYF. Everyone here was on a great level with smiles shining across the arena. We had found our home for the next hour.

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Get Tiny Photography

Nicolas Jaar went extremely dark and ridiculously deep with minimal house beats that could impress any techno fanatic. The show was consistent as he showcased a great amount of mixing abilities in what we assume was a live Ableton performance. The most energetic parts came towards the end where he toyed around with old school soul samples to bring in some early garage house influence to what would have otherwise seemed like a minimal future set. The production on the stage seemed even more vivid with this set as it showcased the different themes of the lighting setup including a ridiculous amount of fog. We really couldn't have asked for more.


 

For most of us college students, school was soon to begin following the epic headlining performances by Morrisey and FKA Twigs. Although the heat killed us, its Los Angeles and everyone knew what was to be expected. The great selection of food trucks and cocktails took off the edge from our experience and the best part is there weren't many long lines. Same goes for the bathroom situation which totally smoked Outside Lands in that category.

The upside to this festival versus those with bigger headliners is a better audience. Even though FYF was not much of a dancing crowd, people here were on a chill vibe, enjoying music and enjoying life. Those who bought tickets could appreciate the different genres of music while staying open to those that they were less familiar with. So much was going on at one time yet everything ran smooth and efficiently throughout the weekend. Overall we enjoyed the good vibes and we look forward to returning back next year!

FYF 2015

Carl Pocket for FYF Fest

Cover photo by Nobody Photography

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