I’m a Floridian… I always will be (sans the addiction to pills and guns). That said, I’d like to call myself a New Yorker now. I know the subway system pretty well, I’m friendly with my Hasidic landlords and don’t flinch at an $12 cocktail. This past weekend however, I was in California for work and was pleasantly surprised that it coincided with FYF Fest.
I bought tickets and looked forward to the opportunity to give LA a biased positive review. I snuck 15 minutes of random sets in here and there to say I did, but I’ll walk you through 4:
Real Estate: “Best set to talk to strangers” Everyone has a friend that loves Real Estate, but it was difficult for me to fall in love. That said there’s a perfect live performance for every setting, and a Real Estate show in some beautiful LA sun made all the sense in the world. The breeze kicked in as “Had to Hear” began and everyone seemed to shut up and appreciate.
Grimes: “Best Female Canadian Act” What is Grimes? IDK. I know I bob around to her angelic voice and weird ass production. It was no different this time (except I wasn’t waiting for the L train while people gave me looks). In a day of auto tune, obnoxious electronic production, fakers, and apathetic performers, it was great to see Grimes doing her thing up there obviously putting in work. Something about her dancers on stage with those infomercial-esque blue ballet ribbons took me back to the best part of the 90s.
Mac Demarco: “Chillest …. man” Nothing quite encapsulates what I liked more about Cali than Mac Demarco. On another beautiful LA day he took to main stage and began singing his seemingly careless “Salad Days”.
“Oh mama, actin’ like my life’s already over… Oh dear, act your age and try another year”
As a relatively unemployed newish grad chasing my goals, I love Mac because he sings such a fun, careless story. You could tell the crowd eased into a truly unique sense of content and understanding.
“You’re no better off Living your life And dreaming at night”
Don’t let the goof fool you, he’s got some important things to say.
Darkside: “The one act worth two days admission”
I could blabber on about Nicolas Jaar (50% of Darkside). Despite my healthy obsession and obvious bias, there wasn’t an empty seat in the massive arena. As a huge fan of their first (and only) album “Psychic”, I was beyond excited to see them live.
As they began, you could tell things weren’t business as usual. If you haven’t listened to Darkside before… NVM you’re going to now: It’s something beautiful, but yet incredibly violent. You don’t wince at the screech of Dave Harrington on the guitar, rather somehow embrace it with a sense of calm.
I’ll set the scene: The arena is pitch black. An unusually small amount of people are on their phone. A single light circulates slowly seemingly hypnotizing a usually rambunctious crowd. Fans of Darkside knew this was one of their last few performances (We will be at their LAST performance in BK next month). That said, I can’t help but applaud the duo for not only producing fantastic music, but opening countless doors for other musicians to explore (and hopefully for us to enjoy).
Flying Lotus: “You have to see it to Instagram it”
I’ve seen Flying Lotus about 5 times now. You don’t miss him when you have the opportunity and with his lack of self control and new LP looming (set to drop Oct 3rd), you CERTAINLY don’t miss him.
As expected he dropped new tracks featuring Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg. I’ll admit I was expecting some sort of surprise appearances from this West coast crew, but satisfied nonetheless. With his un replicated visuals and unique jazz infused sounds, I often describe a Fly Lo show as a performance.
While you INEVITABLY dance, you above all, study, analyze and admire his creativity. Please don’t make the mistake of missing him when he tours this fall.
All in all FYF Fest was a good use of time. Granted logistical issues that disabled me from seeing Chet Faker and geting and overpriced beer challenging were quite frustrating, I’d recommend everyone check this little get together out. At the end of the day, the crowd was far from obnoxious, the #CaliVibes were strong, and there was some damn good music.
GLAD TO BE BACK IN NYC though.