FYF 2014

In order for a music festival to be successful on the most basic level - much less reach the heights that will make it a truly magical experience - two fundamentals need to be solidly in place: logistics and safety. That's it. Attendees can take it from there, because it doesn't take much to satisfy several thousand primed-to-party fans.

Unfortunately, FYF Fest failed on those fronts. I don't know if the blame lies in poor planning or straight up growing pains (this was the first year it was held at LA Exposition Park), but FYF 2014 was a clusterfuck. Laughably long entrance lines, one of four stages repeatedly closed due to capacity issues (because they didn't know how many tickets they sold??), terrible flow, no communication from onsite staff about stage closures and show delays, no posting of the schedule anywhere, an app map that was incorrect and wouldn't even load anyway, and insultingly overpriced food. We saw stretchers being wheeled in, an arrest, at least one girl in a wheelchair being taken out, and if The Arena stage closures had nothing to do with trampling concerns (they kept it PITCH BLACK in there), I will eat my hat.

It was so bad that Terence and I joked that the inflatable poop emoji in the center of the park was the fest's spirit animal.

But a weekend in the sun listening to great music with your love is not an awful way to pass the time, and after we'd adjusted our expectations, we made the most of it. Unfortunately there's no point in doing festival bingo on this one - there really wasn't that much going on. But I've got some notes on the best acts we saw and a slew of pics which are not at all indistinguishable from all the other festival pics I post.

The Strokes

Well, they were everything I could have wished for, and I had some pretty damn high expectations. You know that band you were into Back In The Day that no one else was, and it was special to you largely for that reason? It was your band, and you didn't play their CDs around anyone else? Maybe they soundtracked a special or formative time in your life, when you were going through big changes or just figuring stuff out? That's what The Strokes was, for me. And until I met Terence (himself a huge fan) I'd never even dated anyone who'd been remotely into them - which was how I liked it. Finally seeing them live was pretty emotional for me, and it brought me back to a time in my life when I felt fiercely independent, confident, and sure of who I was. I kept my eyes closed for most of the show (but sang every word I knew).

Phoenix

It's funny, but I sort of shot myself in the foot with Phoenix. I've always really liked their music but didn't know the words to most songs, so in the days leading up to the festival, I decided to finally learn the lyrics to the hits. Which...are kind of weird and nonsensical, I guess? Maybe because they're French? I have no idea, but it kind of killed them a little bit for me. Dumb perhaps but there you go. They gave a great show and Terence loved them, but I kinda felt silly singing along with lyrics I just do not get. Call it the Coldplay effect.

Tycho

Love love loved. They're an instrumental band, no lyrics, just really dreamy, atmospheric background music that you can float away on. Explosions In The Sky Lite. We saw them Saturday night, laying on the vinyl sheet (best festival accessory ever), cozy and cuddly.

Todd Terje

All of the electronic acts were held in an indoor arena that had amazing potential...which wasn't maximized on. Apparently organizers didn't do their homework, or didn't anticipate that so many people would want to attend certain DJs, because twice the space had to be closed due to overcrowding. And when it was, staff didn't tell anyone what the hell was going on. So we just clustered up around the entrance and waited. And waited. And waited. Todd Terje was my most anticipated show after The Strokes and Daniel Avery, so I wouldn't budge. When he finally went on, it took a while to shake the weird vibes from earlier, but he put on a great show. His remix of Inspector Norse went on and on and was a freakin' blast.

Albert Hammond, Jr.

The guy's a badass, and the beating heart (if not the soul) of The Strokes. The end.


Presidents of the United States of America

I only caught two songs before I took off (I refused to miss a minute of Daniel Avery), but Terence said they were a hoot. I believe it; he bounced into The Arena after watching them, crazy pumped up and giddy and ready to dance.

Daniel Avery

Ugh, mixed feelings on Daniel Avery. I could have sworn someone gave him a valium before he went on; it just seemed like he was slowing all of his tracks way, way down. In fact I made Terence test the bpm so I could be sure. But nope. It was just me, or it was something about the remixes that I wasn't into. Kind of a let down, but I'm not pinning it on him. I was pretty pooped come Sunday night so maybe I just had had enough.

Aviator? I hardly know her!
Not much park to Exposition Park, but sunset did what it could to pretty things up.
Saw these flowers in front of the museum and thought, Oh cool! A tribute to Robin Williams! Derp, no. Just a background for pics.
Phoenix confetti bombed the crowd with fake money, but vouchers for next year's fest would have been better.
And there in the middle we have FYF 2014's saving grace. 
Unfazed by FYF's failings, my date remained ever cheerful. 
The Arena, AKA "Oh did you want to get in to see that DJ? LOL we're at capacity. You mad?"
I don't know why I expected an older crowd, but man was FYF young. 
Darkside's dramatic final show (they recently announced they're disbanding) in The Arena had everyone riveted. 
Albert Hammond, Jr. (who looks like neither an Albert nor a junior) sure plays a mean guitar.
Haha whoa there, crazies. Put the flash away before you hurt yourselves.
Cheek meat: cheaper than a seven dollar slice of pizza and just as cheesy.
Waiting for Caribou (which was a lil' sleepy for my taste).
Last fest of the year coming up in October, when I will be seeing my favorite of favorites again - Explosions in the Sky - and will very probably die of happiness.