September 15, 2009
Live Review: FYF Fest
Los Angeles State Historical Park
Los Angeles, CA
Sept. 5, 2009
These days it is difficult to come by independent events that combine both charity and entertainment into a beneficial, worthwhile experience. In its sixth running year, the FYF Fest (previously known as F Yeah Fest) has it down to a science by creating a locally famous music festival where proceeds go towards the funding of our state parks. The show started at 1 p.m., when the scalding sun shown directly overhead, bearing down on the long line of dedicated concertgoers. Fedoras and thick-rimmed ray bans galore, the fans depicted the epitome of our nation’s independent music scene. Located at the Los Angeles State Historical Park in Chinatown, the venue proved to be a blatant illustration for the cause: an overlooked, underrated plot of potentially green landscape, neglected through budget cuts and the indifferent eyes of those living amidst a concrete jungle.
There were three stages set up in the park: the oak, redwood and sequoia; each displaying a makeshift poster duct-taped to the stage bearing the names of the bands playing and their set times. There was something seemingly unique and comforting about a show without the glitz and glam of over-marketed concerts we see all too much these days. FYF Fest offered a more intimate environment that just got down to the bare essentials: great music and a great cause. The headlining acts such as No Age, The Dillinger Escape Plan and Black Lips gathered much fan support, but as much could be said for the smaller, but no lesser, names such as Dan Deacon, Peanut Butter Wolf and Japanther.
Highlights of the event included Crystal Antlers, newcomers to the music scene, who possessed a powerfully rough psychedelic sound comparable to The Mars Volta, yet set themselves apart by their hoarse, punk-like vocals. The Thermals embodied their seemingly contradicting sound with raw, distorted instrumentals and clear, defined vocals that resulted in absolute harmony. There were also comedic acts such as Tim and Eric, who brought a much needed sense of humor to the scene by exchanging witty banter with one another and belting out their popular songs from their television show.
Throughout the day you would hear the artists yelling, “F Yeah” amidst their sets with the enthusiasm and conviction only conjured by true elation; they weren’t here for the money or the fame, they were here to support their community and do what they do best: play music for true fans.
-Review and photos by Becky Moine