The FYF Fest hit double digits, turning 10 this past Saturday and creator, Sean Carlson celebrated with a lineup of TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Deerhunter and some of the best acts making music these days. Nearly 20,000 fans packed the Los Angeles Historic Park, just below Chinatown.
Looking at the names of the stages this year – Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha – you might initially think Carlson was paying homage to family members or past loves. But no, they are named after the Sex in the City characters and inside Samantha's Tent you could even find a shrub aptly titled Samantha's Bush.
TV on the Radio proved that they are still solid as ever. The vocals of lead singer, Tunde Adebimpe and multi-instrumentalist, Kyp Malone blended well as the two fed off of each other. They played crowd favorite, “Wolf Like Me” and closed a heavier, more rocking version of “Starring at the Sun.”
Deerhunter owned the Carrie stage with their guitars sounding like a car collision of Sonic Youth and Pavement. Frontman, Bradford Cox, dressed for the occasion sporting a snow leopard print dress and black wig. The Atlanta band played highlighted their set with some songs from their latest album, Momomania.
The day kicked off with a list of comedians in Samantha's tent, including stoner comic Doug Benson. Then the music came. Supporting her debut solo project, Katie Crutchfield, playing under the name, Waxahatchee took the Miranda stage playing with the backdrop of an occasional Gold Line train passing by.
Horse Meat Disco took the festival goers down memory lane with an untouchable dj set of 70s disco, 80s funk and early 90s deep house. The tent was packed with people letting loose, dancing the afternoon away. Another band going through a time-warp, STRFKR closed their colorful set with a cover of Cyndi Lauper's “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”
The Breeders are back and played their hit 90s album, Last Splash. The sisters Deal and company played to large crowd of die hard fans – some even sporting Pixies shirts. Compared to a performance earlier this year, they definitely have picked up the tempo to mirror the studio version. Kim Deal's
Samantha's Tent closed the night with huge dance party of Simian Mobile Disco and Bicep doing a dj set along with over 30-40 friends on stage, dancing the night away. Out side of the tent, the night wrapped up with Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Death Grips playing opposite ends of the festival grounds. It was the right move to position them so far away because both bands played super loud.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs kicked off with the song that share the title of their latest album, Moaquito and then toured through their catalog playing all of their hits. Karen O was in top form with her screeching yells as she maintained an eerie smile resembling the “Blue Meanie.” Nick Zinner and Brian Chase balanced out the threesome showing that they all have matured musically.
Death Grips gave a raw performance with a mix of electronic beats, live drums and loud rapping. Vocalist, MC Ride, shouted his rhymes trying to make sure he was heard through all of LA.
Compared to last year's FYF Fest, day one seemed a lot less dusty and more comfortable for all. The food selection was great ranging from vegan options to gourmet food trucks and steering away from common tired out fest-staples of beef-on-a-stick and cheese steak sandwiches. All in all, the crowd was peaceful and aside from super-long lines for the restroom, everyone seemed to be having a great time. The downtown LA skyline accented as the perfect backdrop to the festival, making for a memorable summer night.