Live music, day drinking, perfect weather, and an attempt to squeeze in as much fun and frivolity out of the weekend is what SoCal summers are made of. Fuck Yeah Fest brought the promise of all these things, and LA put on its fanciest septum jewelry and highest-waisted pair of vintage Levi jorts to partake.
This year, the festival returned to the the grounds of USC’s campus, boasting another eclectic and alluring lineup that the FYF has come to be known for. Indie veterans like The Jesus and Mary Chain and Belle & Sebastian took shared stages with buzzy up-and-comers like Kaytranada and Savages.
Saturday got off to a late but awesome start with Melody’s Echo Chamber doing what the French do best: being unsettingly stylish and cool without even breaking a sweat. Cheers to the guitarist for matching his socks to his guitar. #sockgameonfleek
A mandatory stop at the fenced-off beer garden to guzzle overpriced IPAs made us feel like we were in a petting zoo for hipsters. We danced to The Drums’ melancholy surf pop before heading over to hometown boy Shlohmo’s grimy set at The Trees Stage.
As night fell, Chet Faker impressed on the Main Stage, wasting no time in delighting the masses with his lustrous cover of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity.” My fingers were crossed for a cameo from Flume when Chet performed a cut from their joint EP, but alas, my desires were not fulfilled. We closed out the night by reliving the early Aughts with Bloc Party, bouncing to “Hunting for Witches” and “Banquet.”
Sunday saw Unknown Mortal Orchestra wake the early afternoon crowd out of their collective hangover with their distorted funk. After a few frantic minutes searching for my friend's misplaced wallet (luckily returned to Lost & Found by some beautiful soul), we headed over to the Main Stage to watch chillwave princes Neon Indian and Toro Y Moi.
Solange was 20 minutes late due to sound issues *side eye* but redeemed herself when she brought up Blood Orange virtuoso Dev Hynes, Moses Sumney, and the lovely ladies of KING for an emotional cover of Nina Simone’s “To Be Young, Gifted and Black” that had fists in the air and the crowd hushed.
D’Angelo started his set early and proved to be an electrifying showman, channelling James Brown with multiple encores and performing with more zeal than acts half his age. It was an unforgettable sight that I felt pretty hashtag blessed to witness. We hopped over to Morrissey for a few songs before finishing off the fest with FKA Twigs, gawking at her mesmerizing choreography that, unfortunately by this point, we were too bleary-eyed and exhausted to stay standing for.
Then we came to the end, starting the long walk back to the car at the end of the night. With our feet sore and our lungs congested with dust and second-hand weed smoke, we couldn’t help feeling like we were getting too old for this shit. What always seems like a brilliant idea when lineups are announced and tickets are purchased quickly gives way to the realization that we’re not as young as we used to be. But we’ll still do it all again next summer.