FYF Fest, Day Two
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Los Angeles State Historic Park The 10th annual FYF Fest ended with My Bloody Valentine blowing out a monitor. While it was disappointing to hear the seminal shoegaze band's wall of sound come and go, it seemed like an appropriate ending to an epic weekend full of legendary bands making comebacks.
Before My Bloody Valentine performed, screens on the sides of the stage encouraged fans to pick up complimentary pairs of earplugs. It was not an idle warning: My Bloody Valentine was the loudest band I heard perform at the main stage all weekend, though a friend insists that The Melvins were louder.
Shortly after the band's eagerly awaited m b v was released this year, I recall reading that after blowing out a few amps and multiple bouts of tinnitus, My Bloody Valentine was never quite able to fully re-create the Loveless tones in concert. Most of last night's songs sounded a little different, notably "Only Shallow," but the variances in guitar tones kept things interesting. Bilinda Butcher's voice still sounds the same and Kevin Shields still creates the swirling guitar sounds by using countless effects pedals.
The band performed quite a few Loveless tracks, with "When You Sleep" being an early stand out track. m b v's "New You" followed, once again showing off the band's digital effect skills. Even though m b v was released over two decades after Loveless, the band's old and new material meshed together seamlessly.
The only issue with the set was the sound. Everything but the drums and vocals would occasionally cut out, which is a bummer during songs like "Only Shallow."
Given the technical difficulties, Solange would have otherwise been a great ending to the festival.
It's difficult not to compare Solange to her older sister, Beyonce. The siblings look and sound alike, and most of all, both have one hell of a stage presence. Solange's sound has much more of an R&B rooting with a retro vibe.
She encouraged fans to start a grind session, which was itself hilarious to watch thanks to plenty of folks who clearly lacked rhythm. Later on she told fans to put their cell phones down and enjoy the show since it was such a nice night, and they obliged.
MGMT was also a lot of fun, alternating tripped-out psychedelic rock songs with danceable cuts from 2007's Oracular Spectacular. While "Kids" and "Electric Feel" (not surprisingly) inspired most of the crowd to groove, "Weekend Wars" also merited a bit of a singalong.
Things got pretty wacky as singer/guitarist Andrew VanWyngarden introduced a guest drummer to play the giant cowbell -- revealing Henry Winkler wielding one gigantic drumstick. The band's visuals matched the drug-addled joi de vivre of songs like "Time to Pretend."
!!! was another fun band to watch. The band's electropop sound was enough to get the crowd going, but frontman Nic Offer made the ordeal memorable thanks to his dance moves. He didn't stay in one place long, climbing on amps and pointing to where he was planning on grooving on stage.
During instrumental breaks, he looked more like a Zumba instructor than a singer, but then again, group exercise would be a lot more fun if it were always led by a man sporting Rolling Stones underwear.
At the same time, one stage over, Baroness performed an incredible set. The band was slated to play at 2012's FYF Fest but had to cancel after its members were involved in a bus crash in England. A year later, the band appears to have made a full recovery -- frontman John Baizley was en pointe and thanked fans for their patience.
Guitarist Peter Adams was particularly entertaining to watch as he flailed his long blonde hair around and pointed his guitar toward the audience during guitar solos. Baroness' heavy set mostly focused on material from 2012's fantastic Yellow & Green, with "Take My Bones Away" creating one of the biggest dust clouds of moshing fans of the entire festival.
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