Photo: Jesse Fulton
After three days of firsthand experience, we can confidently agree that FYF's claim of being the best weekend of the summer feels more than well-deserved. Bjork's firework display, Missy Elliot's first show in Los Angeles in over a decade, A Tribe Called Quest's final time playing Los Angeles, Flying Lotus' captivating live 3D show, and Frank Ocean featuring a guest spot from Brad Pitt were only a few of the numerous highlights that cemented this year's FYF as possibly one of the best years of the festival to date. Beyond the once in a lifetime moments the festival has showcased in its recent years, there remains another element of FYF that has kept it a fan favorite since its inception: its reputation for showcasing some of the most interesting and promising new talent in the music scene.
FYF opened its gates Friday evening to a mass of eager fans who had waited months for this weekend to finally arrive. We were no exception, as we rushed in to secure a spot for Beach Fossils. One of the first acts of the festival, the Brooklyn indie rock band was tasked with setting the tone for the weekend ahead, and they certainly did not disappoint. Beach Fossils' lush brand of atmospheric lo-fi indie rock felt like the perfect accompaniment to the start of what was bound to be an amazing weekend. Not missing a beat, we found ourselves running from stage to stage to try and catch even a passing glimpse of some of the incredible talent on display. From Australian punk rock band Royal Headache's absolutely electrifying performance to BadBadNotGood's subdued modern jazz set, FYF had only just begun and we could hardly get enough. To top off what already felt like a perfect day, Majid Jordan managed to surpass expectations with an impeccably crisp sounding performance that was only matched by their stunning visual display.
Photo: Majid Jordan by Miranda McDonald
Saturday rolled around with a renewed sense of anticipation as we made our way to catch the first act of the day–Homeshake. The psychedelic band is the brainchild of Peter Sagar, former guitarist for FYF staple Mac DeMarco. As Peter crooned, the audience was entranced under the spell of his unique blend of electronic and R&B infused indie rock. Continuing with the strong start to the day was Noname, who blended upbeat rap style vocals with freestyle poetry. Abound with energy, the Chicago-based rapper jumped around the stage leading the crowd along with her for a performance that had us moving start to finish and smiling ear to ear. Jumping from Chicago to the UK, the man of many names, King Krule, made a rare appearance–his first in Los Angeles in over three years. A rare performance indeed, as King Krule delved deep into his catalogue to play a number of B-sides, as well as debuting new material from his long awaited sophomore album. Saturday left us with an air of mysticism as newcomers and cult icons dominated the day.
Photo: King Krule by Oliver Walker
The third and final day, Sunday had us exhausted but raring to push forward and soak up every last remaining moment of the festival. Wasting no time, we found ourselves mesmerized by Andy Shauf, who primarily performed songs off the stunning The Party. The album comprised entirely of a series of vignettes during a single night out at a party managed to transport us from the heart of downtown Los Angeles to an intimate party wherein we saw each passing moment like a fly on the wall. We made our way out of the intimate party Andy Shauf had so meticulously crafted only to find ourselves amidst another party brought about by the stunning producer Mura Masa. Water bottles flying, the crowd surging in waves, a series of guests from NAO to Desiigner, and a phenomenal debut album played nearly in full that encapsulated the sounds of a multifaceted London, easily established Mura Masa's set as the standout dance party of the weekend. The end of the night left us feeling bittersweet, as we finished the festival with R&B artist 6LACK. Coming off a tour with The Weeknd, 6LACK had clearly come into his own, as he took to the stage with an evident sense of confidence to deliver a performance that was equal parts moving and entertaining. Aside from showcasing his music, 6LACK introduced himself as an artist and the vision behind his FREE 6LACK project that saw him breaking free from his past relationships and creative restraints.
Photo: Desiigner by Julien Bajsel
It's a tried-and-true sentiment, but time truly does seem to move all the faster when one is having fun, so it is no wonder that FYF felt like it ended all too quickly. While FYF is unfortunately over, this year left us with memories of some of the best performances we had seen in years. FYF delivered on its promise as the best weekend of the summer, and has us eagerly counting down the days until the festival makes its return next summer.