Kanye, Twigs, + D'Angelo Make Our FYF Dreams Come True
It’s hard to believe eleven years ago Sean Carlson founded FYF in Echo Park. Now housed in the massive LA Sports Arena & Exposition Park it has grown to house some of the biggest acts in existence. With its roots in punk rock, the current electronic music-heavy lineup was a cause for criticism from FYF’s early supporters, but there did seem to be an effort to include diverse, exciting acts across many genres.
Saturday’s last minute addition of Kanye West’s headlining set made the lineup instantly more exciting with. It was one of my personal favorite performances. A visibly happy Kanye has an infectious effect—the crowd went extra wild for the hits from Watch The Throne, surprise appearances by Travis $cott and Rihanna, and a nonstop hit-generating final 10 minutes, where he kept urging Mike Dean to hurry and play the next song for him because there were “12 years of hits” that he needed to get through, and he wanted to do “a hit a minute”. He closed out the night with a touching performance of “Only One,” rounding out his set with a reminder of where he’s currently at in life. On the way out of the festival, I caught the tail end of Purity Ring, who happened to be one of my favorite acts from FYF’s line up two years ago. Their stage setup always is a unique and mesmerizing array of lights—this year with strings of colorful lights as the perfect accompaniment to the electro pop duo’s sound.
Sunday daytime was programmed perfectly with Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Neon Indian, and Toro Y Moi delivering performances that were appropriately matched for a chill and easy sunny afternoon. DJ Harvey delivered an epic 3 hour sunset set at The Woods stage, complete with gender-neutral dancing stripping trees. FYF favorite punk band Death Grips, created their usual semi-violent angry dance mob crowd, and Flume showed us why he doesn’t sing on his tracks when he launched into a loud “Happy Birthday” for one of his guest vocalists, Marcus, who’d joined him on stage. Nicolas Jaar made the best use of the dark and cavernous Arena, with minimalistic but striking lighting– although his 30-minute intro was a bit difficult to get through. The slow build was well worth it in the end, with the anticipation eventually gave way to a satisfying and lasting climax. D’Angelo was conveniently located on the way out of the festival, although disappointed by the majority of his set (and interesting outfit choices), his performance of “Sugah Daddy” made it well worth it.