My Bloody Valentine is headlining -- of course you should buy FYF Fest tickets; this is a no brainer. Okay, the decision isn't necessarily that simple. Backing up: FYF Fest is a two-day festival that takes place in downtown Los Angeles, featuring a variety of indie, electronic, punk, and comedy acts. Previous years have included surprising reunions from bands like The Faint, Desaparecidos, Descendents, Death From Above 1979, and Kid Dynamite.
We'll assess the lineup to determine if it's worth the drive and ticket price after the jump.
The first few performances of each day are pretty great. Yeah Yeah Yeahs are solid performers; the band was joined by a gospel choir at Coachella. TV on the Radio, Deerhunter, Devendra Banhart (recently at the Crescent for Du Hot Club De Bizarre) and Toro Y Moi are all touring on new albums. We assessed the various Black Flag reunions, and while we still wonder if the idea of Black Flag is better than the band itself, FLAG is performing at the festival. This is the lineup featuring Keith Morris, Chuck Dukowski, Bill Stevenson, Dez Cadena, and Stephen Egerton, which has already proven itself to be better than Greg Ginn's version of Black Flag and its atrocious new material.
If Flag isn't your thing, The Breeders will perform Last Splash in its entirety. That's right, the Deal sisters will be on stage together to play "Cannonball."
The top-billed bands on Sunday include My Bloody Valentine, Beach House, Yo La Tengo, and Washed Out, making it a bit of a chill-out fest. MGMT and Holy Ghost! could inspire some dancing, and Les Savy Fav is a fairly random addition to the bill.
As for the rest of the lineup, both days lose momentum in a hurry after the third line. Ty Segall has played FYF before and put on one hell of a set. Dan Deacon is weird in the best possible way. Foxygen, Metz, and Waxahatchee all recently performed in Arizona and will probably receive a higher billing in the next couple years.
Sunday includes Glass Candy, who has also performed at the festival quite a few times in the past. Lemuria and Classixx are buried in the line up, but are worth checking out. Both days have a solid mix of punk and dance music, even though the list of comedians remains to be seen.
Plus, you'll probably get to hear this live. And it will be beautiful.
You'll also be able to hear this live.
The festival itself has a great set up, with four stages set up in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. The location is a bit smaller than the standard festival, meaning that you can still actually see the performers from a reasonable distance. In previous years, FYF has invited food trucks to the festival, providing tons of options. McDowell Mountain Music Festival did this this year, and it worked out great.
FYF beats out Coachella in at least one way: There are plenty of things to do in Los Angeles. Unlike Indio, the city doesn't shut down at 9 p.m.. There are actually decent 24-hour restaurants like LA Café, which is a mile or two away from the venue. Los Angeles State Historic park is right by the Metro, making transportation a lot more convenient than Coachella as well.
According to Google Maps, downtown Phoenix and Los Angeles State Historic Park are 372 miles away, making it a five-and-a-half hour drive if you go with minimal traffic and don't speed. You could probably get there in five hours, but please don't blame your speeding tickets on us.
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If you have a decent car, you'll probably go through two tanks of gas. It's old news, but gas is super-expensive in California -- but it won't be too bad if you gas up somewhere in the Inland Empire. If you ride with three friends, the gas and hotel costs will be negligible.
That brings us back to the first question--should you buy a ticket? Two day passes are $99; if I recall correctly, with service charges last year it came to $117 or so. I think My Bloody Valentine, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Breeders, and Beach House alone are worth $100, and a bunch of the other bands are just icing on the cake. Plus, aren't you curious to see if MGMT still sucks live?
If you do end up going, tickets go on sale at noon PST on Thursday, May 16 on FYF Fest's website.