FYF Fest 2013 Day One: Death Grips Show Up, Deerhunter Wig Out + More – Exclusive Photos
FYF Fest has come a long way in 10 years. From the small venues of Echo Park to its current Chinatown home in Los Angeles, the fest is known for its commitment to fans and music, and for experiencing its share growing pains. But 10 appears to be the magic number in terms of getting things right and maintaining the spirit on which the event was founded.
Hardcore and punk are still well represented, virtually everything on the bill would fall under the indie category in some sense of the word and fans -- everyone from high schools kids that paid $100 for a two-day pass just to dance to agings hipster that still doesn't understand why hipster has become a pejorative -- have been satisfied.
Saturday's day-one (Aug. 25) lineup featured some of music's mot talked-about rising artists, including Death Grips, who made waves a few weeks back by not showing up to a scheduled gig and revealing that their idea of a show didn't require them to show up. Well, this time they showed up, and it felt a little anticlimactic, as the the noise-rap trio certainly brought the aggression but none of the sense of importance that their recent headline-grabbing moves have. Here are a few other highlights.
Best Hair: Toro Y Moi
Chaz Bundick has always had a pleasant afro, but he has taken it to new heights, literally, as the hair poofed high above his head is a glorious display of what the human body can produce if left to its own devices. His late-afternoon full-band set also was particularly strong, with the electronic musician turning the field into a huge dance party. Bundick smiled frequently, realizing his music was being appreciated as intended, and in mass.
Best Dressed: Bradford Cox of Deerhunter
Cox can do little to surprise, as he is one of rock 'n' roll's great eccentrics, but he can still successfully draw attention to his fringe aesthetics. On Saturday at FYF, he appeared hooded and in women's attire, only to remove the covering dramatically a few songs into his band's set. With its mixture of tunes from this year's under-appreciated 'Monomania' and older Deerhunter tracks, the set was unapologetically muscular and loud. 'Nothing Ever Happened' and 'Desire Lines' came across as the modern classics they are.
Best Crowd: Devendra Banhart
While it may seem like Devendra's star is fading, at least among music critics, he can still rile up the ladies. With his cleaned-up look and band of trans-continental studs, he received a reaction the Beatles would have found over-the-top. Banhart isn't an obvious festival standout, but his outdoor set -- scheduled right at sunset -- paved the way for Banhart 2.0 to redefine "freak folk." A little maturity suits him well, and his new songs seemed to draw bigger responses than his older work. Festivals are always good for showing how the public truly feels about an artist, and Devendra Banhart is adored more than most people would expect.
Check Out More Photos from FYF Fest 2013 Day 1