While Exposition Park held some logistical limitations throughout FYF’s three days (narrow thoroughfares and passageways, lack of cut-through routes, no trash diversion program, etc.) the stellar lineup and consistently memorable performances made these challenges an afterthought. Sunday came to a close with Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor performing “Hurt” on the same Main Stage that just an hour before had seen Solange deliver a riveting and stunningly choreographed set. The Lawn Stage had just been graced by performances from Run The Jewels and Iggy Pop and it just felt like every musical checklist item had been crossed off at FYF. Most importantly, the diverse set of acts gave rise to a diverse crowd that paid homage to Los Angeles’s rich cultural make-up.
On the newcomers front, Chicago rapper Joey Purp delivered like a veteran to a packed Club Stage crowd. “This is our first festival so you know we’re hyped!” he said.
But the most notable revelation act of the day and perhaps of the entire festival, was LA singer & multi-instrumentalist Moses Sumney. Sumney’s jaw-dropping falsetto made for incredible hymnals that reach the deepest depths of the soul. There was gorgeous humanity that artists can only hope to achieve, in the emotionally-charged “Plastic,” the devastating yet empowering “Worth It” and the glorious cover of Björk’s “Come To Me”. Sumney has an album due out in September and he’s 1,000% one to watch.
No matter where you were on Sunday, FYF had something different, engaging and refreshing to offer: Canadian singer-songwriter Andy Shauf’s masterful late afternoon performance on the Club Stage, complete with not one, but two clarinet players to enact songs from Shauf’s brilliant The Party. Little Dragon’s Yukimi Nagano giving Björk a run for her money in the wardrobe department. Black Madonna and Tiga’s B2B disco house set on the Outer Space Stage that played out like a refuge for club kids. Iggy Pop blowing snot rockets while rocking harder than basically every artist half his age. Run The Jewels summoning Three Six Mafia’s Gangsta Boo to spit her bars from the delightfully crude gender role reversal of “Love Again [Akinyele Back]” You get the idea, right?
And it kept on going. Solange gave an unforgettable performance that elicited more sheer elation from the crowd than any other set this weekend. These people were here for her and she gave gripping performances of tracks like “Cranes In The Sky” and “F.U.B.U,” each with distinct dance moves and musical arrangements, choreographed and composed entirely by Solange. There was clearly much thought and intent behind everything that happened on stage and Solange, dressed entirely in red, to match the stage lighting and her fiery scarlet hair, is nothing short of a creative force.
Finally, Reznor and Nine Inch Nails closed out the weekend with excellent renditions of “Head Like a Hole,” “Closer” and “March Of The Pigs.” “This is our first real show in three years or so, Reznor said to the crowd. “We’ve been in the studio…watching the world go crazy, and its been nice to come out here and play.”
Indeed, to see NIN on the same stage as Solange is a testament to the power of the music festival in unifying people from all walks of life. FYF never fit into one niche and it was truly the definition of a safe space at that. While layout improvements could take the fest to the next level, in the end, FYF is an awesome place to come to and have a good time. No matter who you are or where you come from.
Check out out Day 1 recap and photos here along with our day 2 recap and photos here .
Black Madonna & Tiga