F--k Yeah Fest was overcrowded but enjoyable
Published: Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Updated: Sunday, September 9, 2012 23:09
How much woodchip dust can a festival-goer chug? In the case of the F--k Yeah Fest at LA State Historic Park, the answer is copious amounts.
More than 80 musicians and comedians brought an extra large crowd to kick up dirt at the festival’s first two-day event this Labor Day weekend.
FYF Fest had its share of attendees, who popped pills and other intoxicants, but there were also plenty of music fans searching for spiritually and physically moving music no matter how loud it was.
It didn’t hurt that the downtown LA helipad-installed skyscrapers lit the way to the four stages, food trucks, tent shops, beer gardens and more.
Despite the fact that the music lineup was less impressive than the last four years, there were still some acts that that made FYF Fest memorable.
Graphic designer-musician Scott Hansen neurologically shattered the Broadway Street tent Saturday night with depth-defying downtempo and electronic beats. Less is more with minimal sounds, a silhouette stage presence and three-piece band. For an electronic artist, Tycho is something unique.
Not to be confused with the tennis player of the same name, this lanky singer-songwriter-producer sounds a lot like 80s legend Rick Astley. The British musician is an electronic crooner who loves to sing about heartaches, as heard in his song “Limit To Your Love.” He’s among the league of British soulful voices such as the late Amy Winehouse and Jamie Woon, and he manages to make “dubstep” bearable.
Zach Condon and his band played melodic tunes, which sounded like a lullaby with an accordion and ukulele. As Beirut started to play their hits, the claustrophobia of the large crowd became easy to ignore.
The 22-year-old KCRW favorite played slow, heavy basslines on his laptop alongside his saxophonist, guitarist and drummer. The tent was vibrating to the Chilean-American’s “Space Is Only Noise” tune alongside glaring red, green and blue stage lights.
Even for fans of Anthony Gonzales and his crew, the band of French nationals was a disappointment. M83’s stage presence was no better than their sub-par set at Coachella — it was nearly identical. Highlights included “Reunion,” “We Own The Sky” and “Midnight City” which was popularized in a Victoria’s Secret Commercial.
Bradford Cox, among Beirut, Cass McCombs and other 4AD artists, is a sight for sore eyes with his harmonica stand, acoustic and electric guitar and Marfan syndrome. The Deerhunter member played five minutes early, playing “Te Amo,” “Walkabout” and “Mona Lisa.”
Overall, despite the dust clouds kicked up by the dancing crowd, FYF Fest was a success. It is definitely worth checking out next Labor Day weekend.