‘FYF Fest’ 2015 delivers stellar performances and surprises

FYF Fest really outdid themselves this year having little to no problems during the two-day event surprising many people and exceeding their expectations as the crowd left the festival excited and ready to wait another 365 days for the next installment of FYF.

Surprises, improvements, and headlining performances from superstars Kanye West and Morrisey sum up the weekend festivities that made this year’s edition of FYF Fest one for the books.

Teens, “yippies”, Los Angeles locals, and festival-goers from different states and countries roamed the festival grounds all dressed in different fashion styles that made the festival seem like a wonderland for an eHarmony “hipster” edition type of atmosphere as people socialized with one another in line for food and between acts at all five stages.

Each stage had it’s own unique atmospheric vibe as well as constructed to fit the scenery (e.g. Lawn Stage on the lawn, Tree Stage surrounded by trees), while both the Arena and Woods stages housed primarily electronic dance music, bringing a club esque environment and dance-party binging.

Following a variety of issues and negative comments surrounding last year’s festival relocating to the Exposition Park grounds near USC, FYF founder Sean Carlson and Goldenvoice made up for it with a stellar lineup, fast entry, easier access between stages, and gourmet food tents at every corner this past weekend.

While FYF began as a DIY community festival in the heart of Los Angeles, the festival has gained notoriety since teaming up with Goldenvoice back in 2011 and has gradually booked big time headliners over the lat few years ranging from M83, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, MGMT, Interpol, and The Strokes.

This year, R&B singer Frank Ocean was scheduled to headline the first night of the festival, however cancelled two days before the festival resulting in Kanye West taking his spot.

While many fans praised the move, some bashed Ocean as he continues to let fans down this year with the promise of releasing his new album in July which never happened leading fans to question his motives.

West did not let the people of Los Angeles down as he gave a stellar “A 1” performance on the main stage saturday night for roughly an hour and a half.

West began his set with “No Church in the Wild” (which ironically features Ocean on the beginning hook), leading the audience to speculate Ocean was going to show or perhaps it was a tribute to the singer.

Yeezy continued his set with fan favorites such as “Stronger”, “Power”, “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”, and his latest single “All Day” off his upcoming unreleased album “SWISH”.

After performing material off 2012’s GOOD Music compilation “Cruel Summer”, West announced he needed the help of his “family” for the next part which would lead the rapper to bringing out his “protege” Travi$ Scott, who asked the crowd to rage, mosh, and crowd-surf as he performed “Upper Echelon” and “Antidote”.

The surprises didn’t stop as West proceeded to bring out Rhianna to sing both “FourFiveSeconds” and “All of the Lights” with him on stage as the crowd went crazy cheering for the Barbadian singer.

West’s performance was a great headlining choice as he ignited the crowd to unite with one another as everyone sang along to the rapper’s five straight “hit songs” that were performed in a 10 minute time frame.

“We’ve got ten years of hits to get through in ten minutes!”, said West as the crowd roared.

Not only did West ignite the crowd’s energy, he also did not interrupt anybody or rant about himself and corporations.

Besides West, the first day of the festival provided great acts throughout the day ranging from electronic producers such as Shlohmo, Kaytranada, and Flying Lotus; rap group Run the Jewels (who brought out Rage Against the Machine lead singer Zach De La Rocha and Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker); as well as well known bands from the last 10-15 years such as The Jesus and Mary Chain, Dinosaur Jr, and Bloc Party.

Other notable acts throughout the day were French indie-electronic act La Femme who had the crowd moving throughout their set at the Trees stage, and instrumental trio BadBadNotGood who performed a variety of original songs and covers and caused the crowd to start a huge mosh pit in the Arena stage.

The second day of the festival followed up with yet another eventful day filled with notable acts such as EDM producer Flume who played a sensational live DJ set on the main stage, turning up the crowd and bringing out special guests including Miike Snow lead vocalist Andrew Wyatt, and pop singer Lorde who did not perform but danced on stage and had the crowd go crazy seeing her presence live.

Other acts throughout the day worth mentioning were the back to back sets of “chillwave” pioneers Neon Indian and Toro y Moi, as well as fan favorite Mac Demarco who drew a crowd that consisted mostly of young cigarette smoking teenagers singing along word for word throughout his vibrant set of new songs and well known hits from the young Canadian weirdo.

While Morrisey may have been the headlining act and the “royal King” of the night, his set was quite disappointing as many people grew tired and restless from standing and the crowd was nowhere as big as it was the previous night for Kanye’s set.

Morrisey did perform a variety of popular songs from his solo career such as “Suedehead” and “Every Day is Like Sunday” (ironically it was Sunday), as well as songs from his tenure as lead-vocalist of The Smiths including “The Queen is Dead”, “Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before”, and “What She Said”.

The singer’s set mostly included him ranting about why there were so many security in front of the stage and political talk urging Americans not to vote for Donald Trump.

It was also an eerie sight when Morrisey performed “Meat is Murder” as a gruesome video of animal slaughter showcased on the screens of the stage, resulting in many people leaving his set looking ill and some even passed out.

The message on the screen after the video read “What is Your Excuse Now?” urging the crowd to go Vegan, however many probably decided to opt for a late night meal at In-n-Out instead of listening to the man.

Death Grips and FKA Twigs were two acts who were far better than Morrisey’s set and had their own unique vibe and crowd interaction during their sets.

Death Grips brought loud punk meets rap meets electronic resulting in an array of mosh pits, dust flying everywhere painting a picture of a sandstorm, and police offers on site at the festival looked confused out of their minds in regards to the music Death Grips perform.

The trio blasted their way through a lot of fan favorite hits and old material such as “Get Got”, “Guillotine”, “Come Up and Get Me”, and “I’ve Seen Footage”.

It was a set definitely dedicated to their fans after claiming they disbanded last year and cancelled their scheduled performance at last year’s FYF.

FKA Twigs on the other hand brought a mixture of soothing ambient-electronic vibes as she had backup dancers with her making her set look like a performance straight out of Cirque du Soleil.

The British singer had the crowd mesmerized gazing in awe as she performed songs such as “Water Me”, “Two Weeks”, and “Pendulum”, drawing a large crowd that mostly flocked from Morrisey’s set as she closed out the festival on the Lawn Stage, thus ending the proclaimed slogan of FYF – “Best Weekend of the Summer”.

FYF Fest really outdid themselves this year having little to no problems during the two-day event surprising many people and exceeding their expectations as the crowd left the festival excited and ready to wait another 365 days for the next installment of FYF.

Maybe next year politics and music won’t mix at the festival and hopefully it does not become an urbanized Coachella staying closer to it’s DIY roots.

*Writers Note*

Photos will be posted shortly. Thank you Motormouth Media for giving us the opportunity to photograph the festival for our coverage.