Live 105’s annual BFD pulled in some big names to the Shoreline Amphitheater on Sunday. Linkin Park, Snoop Dogg, The Strokes and 27 other bands put on a mini-festival which drew a crowd that was just as assorted.
From 11am to 11pm we were served talent from near and far. It was a busy day, with four stages each having their own theme: a jam packed dance tent, an alternative rock stage split right down the middle, a stage for local talent, and the main theater for the big leagues.
Here’s a rundown of some of the acts I saw:
Linkin Park: Definitely connected with the crowd. No matter what your feelings on the band, it’s impossible not to notice how hardcore their fans are, and there were a lot of them. LP has a knack for feeding off that genuine love and putting on a hell of a show.
Snoop Dogg: Just another performance that proves everyone loves uncle Snoop. The OG doesn’t have to move much to get the crowd going. All it takes is a gangster lean, a familiar nasally flow, and a few chants of “fuck that shit!” and “Snooooop Doooooogg” to bring out the G-funk in all of us. Playing classics like “The Next Episode,” and not-so-classics like “Sexual Seduction,” Snoop was easily the most crowd unifying act of the day.
The Strokes: Still seemingly drunk, slightly bored, and way too cool for a show like this. But that’s what we love them for, right? They opened with “Reptilia” and closed with “Is This It?” In between were a lot screaming female fans and awkward transitions into songs that were then overridden by sheer New York City cool.
Blaqk Audio: This band is half of what AFI is, literally. Davey and Jade hit the stage with dance beats and that signature singing style for an energetic, 80’s emo-electronic infusion. Very fashionable, very fun.
Cage the Elephant: The grungy crew from Kentucky opened the main stage for the evening. Ripped pants and dirty manes were a-plenty, and so were the hits. I didn’t realize how many songs they’ve snuck onto the radio and retail play lists. They’ve definitely matured as a band since last BFD, but people seem to like the songs off their original album best.
Bad Religion: The boy’s still got it. Bad Religion may have been on the older side as far as bands were concerned, but besides hair color there wasn’t much to suggest that. Mosh pits broke out to punk anthems like “Los Angeles is Burning” and “21st Century (Digital Boy)” as an electro tent bumped not too far away. Bad Religion still wears that pride and wit they’ve always shown in their music.
Innerpartysystem: Three words: Dude. Party. Rock. This trio of Warped Tour transplants is a little bit industrial and little bit rock and roll. Mix that with some mid-day yard long margaritas and you’ve got yourself a lot of people dancing.
Saint John: Officially turned the Subsonic tent into a sketchy, over packed nightclub. The entire area was an orgy of recognizable techno samples and grinding couples of all ages. I guess that’s the kind of popularity that comes with being a local radio legend.
Manchester Orchestra: A solid indie band that seemed a little down by the weather, crappy set time, and water that wouldn’t stop dripping on them from the light ballasts. They fought back, and ended with a impressive energy that showed their true potential.
As most festivals go, sacrifices were made. The Limousines or Cage the Elephant? K Flay or Neon Trees? Overpriced nachos or slowly starve?
The flip-side of that, however, is the ability to totally customize your day. It could have been a ravey dance party (“sponsored by Scion”), a head-banging marathon, or a healthy mixture of both. The talent was readily available, it was just up to the each person to put it all together.
After all, you can lead a music fan to a festival, but you can’t keep it from getting too drunk and passing out before Snoop plays “Gin and Juice.”