The sun beat down on me relentlessly with a coy smile from the piercing blue skyline.
I was dripping sweat (a phenomenon that I thought that I had escaped when I left Virginia) and squinting (I would forget my sunglasses).
My eyes were bombarded with plaid, skinny jeans, RayBans, distressed tank tops, and random items that looked like they had been hiding go seek in a thrift store for years (aka the various FYF uniform varieties).
Hundreds of LAers surrounded me. In front of me. Behind me. Beside me.
Me and the rest of KXSC had been standing in line for near an hour...anxiously awaiting our time to get to the front of a never-ending line and pass through a chain link fence that separated us from LA Historical Park.
It was 12:53PM.
53 minutes down. 11 hours and 7 minutes to go.
Hell to the f@!king yeah. Bring it on.
As with any memorable experience, I have difficulty limiting my words. There just seems to be an overwhelming abundance of stories within the story to tell (luckily I had my handy-dandy iPhone to shamelessly tweet 140 characters throughout the day and sleek Canon PowerShot to capture every moment I remembered to).
But, I am afraid that it will be impossible to recreate my 12 hours at FYF.
Even with a blog, little birdy, and memory catcher on my side.
So, in a few words: My time at FYF was as close to heaven that my kind (music-fiends slash DJs slash radio staff members) can get.
You would think…
That the endless lines would deter me (1hr to get in, 1.5 hrs to get food, 45+min to refill my $4 bottle of water…there was only ONE water fountain in the ENTIRE park…but that is another rant all together).
That the heat would frustrate me.
That the dust filling my lungs (especially when moshing) would anger me.
Nope. None of the above.
Rather, they all added to the experience.
It was as if every line I stood in, every droplet of perspiration that ran down my neck, and every cough that jumped from my mouth were wars to be won. And as the day proceeded, my ears were constantly rewarded for braving the elements.
While the Fest was filled with incredible talent that is sadly (or luckily…depending on how you look at it) underrated, I must say that:
Titus Andronicus + Local Natives + Dead Man's Bones + Mountain Goats = a smile that is still glued to my face.
All bands that I had never listened to. All bands that I left craving their entire discography.
Titus Andronicus gave me my first mosh pit experience. I was blowing dirt out of my nose for the next 24 hours and couldn’t talk, but it didn’t matter. I am proud to say that my personal fitness regime served me well and I held my own with the rowdy boys.
Local Natives had me tapping my feet and closing my eyes. They provided an escape to someplace where the California sun never leaves the sky and worries are a waste of time.
Dead Man’s Bones, first and foremost equals Ryan Gosling. Delightful. In addition, they made me realize that a child choir CAN be a good thing. But, only if they are dressed up in quirky costumes of iconic actors/musicians/fictional characters, that is.
Mountain Goats nearly brought tears to my eyes. This was truly the highlight of FYF for me. I had lost of my friends and, consequently, was standing alone. But this was okay because I kind of lost myself during their set as well. Never in my life had such horribly depressing music made me so incredibly happy.
The energy of all four electrified me. Which, in my opinion, is what separates great music from good music. What distinguishes artists from groups/artists.
If music can make you feel, well then, it has served its purpose.
I expected to leave FYF Fest with a few new favorite bands, a sweet tan, and a greater appreciation for the LA music scene.
I left FYF Fest as an avid fan that was unable to talk because a pound of dirt was lodged in my throat, had a horrendous tan line, and could barely move from sheer exhaustion. But, more than anything, I left FYF in sheer awe...feeling more alive than I had in months. And, for that, I feel blessed to have been in attendance.
PS: For those in need of more awesomeness…here is the link to my shameless tweets. Tasty. September 4th is the date you are looking for.
PPS: Photos are rad too. Yes. You can download these. In full size.