Expanding a music festival to two days can be a lofty, even risky task. It's twice the work, twice the amount of bands to keep happy and a gamble if fans will pay the significantly higher price tag. FYF Fest, the annual celebration of hip underground music old and new,expanded this year, and we gotta tip our hats to them. There were more high points than low points (and we're not talking about drugs here). Here's a list of some of the best and not-so-best moments of Sunday.
FYF was fucking hot. At Coachella the heat is inescapable. Not so at FYF. They had cool-off stations with six giant fans spraying out water offering temporary, wet, relief of the high heat. Chilli Beans sunglasses had hot women spraying passers by. Mother Nature did her part and offered a few gusts of breeze and tree shade. Best part: FREE WATER! Attendees had the opportunity to fill up water bottles with free H20 and avoid the cost of a $3 water bottle (but they couldn't escape the long line to fill up). –Taylor Hamby
It's classic music festival food. Spicy Pie pizza stand may not look like much but it has a cult following and consistently has the longest line of the food stands. They offer a few varieties of toppings but we gotta recommend the Hot Lips with jalapeño and pineapple. It's the perfect combo of spicy and sweet, cheese and grease. The slices are generously sized and at $6, relatively cheap. –Taylor Hamby
“How can you take a nap at a music festival?” you may ask. Simple: find grassy shade and close your eyes. Seriously though, if you're at FYF from the first band to last, you're there for a good 11 hours.That's a long time on your feet, in sweltering heat, and after a few frosties in the beer garden, it's easy to fatigue.
It's 9 p.m. and the band you came to see doesn't play until 10:30, but you're beat. What are you supposed to do? Curl up out of a walkway on the grass and nap. You'll feel refreshed and be ready to get up and dance (and stay awake for the drive home) in no time. Don't worry about all the noise–if I can sleep through the screeching ear assault of Sleigh Bells, you can too.
Zach Condon of Beirut took off his blazer a few songs into the set and he was met with cries of approval from the crowd. “If you want to see the rest, you'll have to stalk my hotel room,” he teased. No one made the trumpet and ukelele sound sexier on Sunday. While his Balkans-inspired, trumpet and accordion heavy sound has little variation, it has deep emotion. It's a perfect performance to see with a significant other: it lends itself to cuddling, waltzing and a few glasses of wine (though Condon was drinking straight whiskey the whole set). –Taylor Hamby
Though this band has at times been saddled with the emo moniker, their cohesion and musical competence belied the categorization. Their set was every bit as tight as it was impassioned. Known for complex arrangements, it was thrilling to hear multi-instrumentalist Patrick Newbery inject punk songs about love and concepts of a flawed God with rousing trumpet solos and keyboards programmed to sound at various times like a Hammond organ and a Fender Rhodes. Singer Tim Kasher's woeful moan sounded exactly as imperfect live as it does on record. The song “From the Hips” actually inspired chills when Kasher screamed the lyric “I wish we had never talked, our hips said it all.” Side note: Rilo Kiley front woman Jenny Lewis was spotted in the crowd during the set. She told the Weekly she was there showing support for her “Omaha bros.” –Brandon Ferguson
As the six members of Desaparecidos (including Bright Eyes auteur Connor Oberst) lined the stage, It felt as if lightning had been captured in a bottle. and that they were going to do their damnedest to transfer that energy into the crowd. Oberst, whose hair was shoulder length, whipped his mane like a hessian and shouted angrily on such songs as “The Happiest Place on Earth.” The set featured snippets of audio samples including a Mickey Mouse voice which referred to Nazi America. Several times during the set Oberst took the opportunity to get political, demanding that President Obama throw Bradley Manning, who funneled classified government to Wikileaks, a parade. Oberst also referred to Arizona's recent struggles with SB 1070, which he blasted as patently racist. The harsh truths spouted from the stage seemed to collide with the festive atmosphere, but hey, truth is truth, and it's not always convenient to hear. –Brandon Ferguson
Sorry if it's been said before, but lead singer/guitarist J. Mascis looks like Gandalf the Gray shredding an ax. Yet despite their advanced years and past inter-band turmoil, the band played with a ferocity that seemed to increase as the set went on. When the band performed their cover of the Cure's “Just Like Heaven,” Mascis's guitar hummed with swirly vibrato as he worked the neck. Other songs, such as “Out There,” featured bassist Lou Barlow's chunky rhythms met with Mascis's caustic acid-washed guitar crunch. The band even dipped into the vault for a song born of a hardcore project called Deep Wound featuring featuring Mascis and Barlow before Dinosaur Jr.'s formation. –Brandon Ferguson
Ceremony Blowing Out David Cross's Comedy Set >:(
I had nothing against Ceremony until Sunday. Now, I'll always hear their name and music with disdain. It's not their fault, but they were scheduled at the same time as actor David Cross' (Arrested Development, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) stand up comedy set. Usually, there's minimal cross-feed between the stages but spoken word was no match for this:
Cross was a good sport but made a few comments about how when he's asked to play a festival he asks if it's outside. “They say 'Yes, but it's tented!' Well guess what, this is outside.” Also: “It's not like comedy requires timing or subtlety or anything.”
It took a bit of straining to hear Cross' jokes and the ear assault to the right never let up. His set included a play-by-play of a couple's colonoscopy he experienced (“It's a war. It's a genocide.”). He analyzed congressman Todd Akin's infamous opinion on “legitimate rape.” “That means the Virgin Mary loved it!”
He had some sort of presentation planned, but the stage's screen blew out and they were unable to fix it by the time his set was up. David Cross, you deserve better. –Taylor Hamby
The PETA Booth
Again, it drags at the festive environment when a person's bombarded with images of live dolphins being shanked by various implements or dragged still breathing across asphalt. Sometimes I don't want to think about how bad I feel for loving the taste of meat. But looking at the grotesque images and hearing the slogan, “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian,” it made a person think. –Brandon Ferguson
It happened multiple times. Some total stranger wandering through the throng would suddenly thrust his hand out expecting a high five or a hand shake. Not quite sure what was going on there, but it was exceedingly irritating. –Brandon Ferguson