Monday, September 3, 2012

Who Needs Coachella When You Have FYF

I am just blown away at how awesome the 2012 FYF Festival was this year. 2 days, 4 stages, under $100, tolerable heat, more bands I wanted to see, AND I got to go home in between. I mean, really, why go to the desert?

Let's just get it out there that I didn't arrive until 3 pm both days. The night prior to the festival's commencement, I saw Niki and the Dove at the Echo. The openers for that show (Devin) also opened up FYF and I was not impressed (NATD on the other hand were stellar).

I walked in as Two Gallants were finishing their Black Keys-ish brand of rock. I don't know them well but I liked their sound. The first act I really cared about was Chairlift. Even though I saw them in March at the Troubadour, I was eager to see them here. Their album "Something" is one of my favorites this year. Like the Troubadour show, they opened with Sidewalk Safari. Sadly, they seemed to be off from the start. As cute as the new keyboardist was in her barely-covering-panties t-shirt/dress, I don't think she had the songs quite down yet. Or the heat had gotten to her. Midway through the set, the computer broke down leaving the band without their pre-record. This left the keyboardist to pick up the slack - which she didn't seem able to. After several sloppy songs (I won't even upload "Take It Out On Me" to YouTube out of respect for the band), Caroline Polachek seemed visibly frustrated and disappointed. The other half of the duo, Patrick Wimberly, appeared to try to make lemonade out of...well, a broken macbook pro, by carrying on with the show but the mistakes coming from the keyboard made it impossible for Caroline to sing. She restarted "I Belong In Your Arms" but ultimately walked off stage at the end - leaving us without "Amanamenesia". It was unfortunate. I will see them again though. I just hope they have their act together for tomorrow's show at the Greek.

Chairlift - Frigid Spring

No matter how many times I see Warpaint, I continued to be mesmerized by their blend of psychadelic jams and gorgeousness. A group of barely-post-pubescent guys behind me were scoffing at the pretty girls with guitars on stage as having all those instruments "just for show". It only took one song for their jaws to drop and proceed to comment throughout the set "I'm having my mind blown right now" / "I want to marry all of them". IMHO, they stole the show on the main stage Day 1.

Also awesome on day 1, Purity Ring. I loved their light cocoon stage. M83 opened with a song I don't care for so...I left. I know, I know "HOW COULD YOU MISS REFUSED?????" - I already got my fix of hardcore bands reuniting this year with the At The Drive-In show in Austin. I didn't need to see a band like that at a festival. Sue me.

Purity Ring - Lofticries

The second day for me was all about Yeasayer. Their new album, Fragrant World, is perfect (as I've said in previous posts). The day began though with David Cross's comedy set. Despite being overpowered by the band playing one stage over, he was, well, David Cross. Who doesn't love David Cross and his colon cleansing jokes? I don't know if I needed to Cursive again having already said goodbye on their farewell tour in 2007. After they played, one of the coolest acts I saw hit the stage - Lightning Bolt. I was thoroughly unprepared for what was to come from this two-piece from Providence. The drummer/singer had a Frankenstein kit that neither needed nor had a hi-hat. His mic was attached to a homemade mask he wore. I wish I had known them better. And that I had worn shoes.

Lightning Bolt

After seeing a few more bands (Liars and Desperacido), it was time for Yeasayer. They opened with a reggae/dub version of Henrietta that served to set the tone for the remainder of their set. I'll let the videos speak for the rest.

Yeasayer - Henrietta

Yeasayer - Wait For The Summer

Yeasayer - Reagan's Skeleton

Beirut also delivered a knock-out set but the energy was a little less coming after Yeasayer. Still, that was one heck of a lineup.

Beirut - Nantes

There were a few other bands I couldn't see due to scheduling (i.e. Sleigh Bells - I heard someone lost a thumb in the barricade when the crowd surged) but hats off to FYF for truly making the best weekend of the summer (as they continued to remind us on the screens).