In the world of music festivals, FYF Fest is a unique blend; part old-school punk, part blossoming indie bands, part established electronic acts.
Nesting in a less than lush Los Angeles state park between a county jail and a distant, hazy skyline, the 2011 Fuck Yeah Fest stayed true to its city, bringing out punks and hipsters in unison for the all day event.
Soon after dark, YACHT dedicated the apocalyptic anthem “Dystopia” to the City of Angels. It wasn’t an insult to their favorite place on earth, vocalist Claire Evans added, just based on scientific evidence.
YACHT’s set, the most energetic and entertaining of the day, was a much-needed musical bathing after the sun burnt afternoon.
Most people came out early, as must-see acts were scattered throughout the day.Cold War Kids, Cults and Four Tet each brought solace from the heat with diverse sets that carried the energy to rouse the crowd from their heat-fatigue.
Other acts like Broken Social Scene, No Age, Japandroids and San Francisco’s own Ty Segall were around while the sun was, as were large dust clouds and festival staples like overpriced lemonade and Spicy Pie pizza.
Towards the end, Descendants greeted a loving, moshing hometown crowd. Lyrics to songs like “In My Van,” “Silly Girl” and “My Age” were all fired back to the stage as a steady stream of crowd surfers flopped in the same direction. By the number of Descendants shirts seen throughout the day, it was easy to see who people were excited for.
Death From Above 1979 closed out the night on the main stage. The dance-punk two-piece may sound carelessly cool, but they proved very particular about their sound, taking the time to argue with the soundboard after each of the first few songs. Levels kept getting turned up, and it turned into the day’s loudest show.
FYF Fest is a small festival compared to much of its competition, but that’s becoming more rare and even more sought after in the days where Burning Man tickets sell out and Coachella is extended to two consecutive weekends.
Of course, that massive, crazy festival experience isn’t really there for FYF. But neither is getting trampled while walking to the bathroom or getting stuck so far back at a stage that it’s hardly worth sticking around.
Besides, seeing a favorite band from decades ago alongside a favorite band from today? It’s hard to not have a good time in that situation.