FYF Fest took place over Labor Day weekend in Los Angeles. It was two days of eclectic music in the sun in one of the most musically gifted cities in the country. Despite ironic clothing choices (i.e. Hawaiian shirts) paired with equally ironic dance moves (i.e. The Running Man) from some hipsters, the audience was diverse and as warm as the weather. The DYI spirit of the festival, which has been running since 2004, did not go unnoticed as the line-up reflected how non-mainstream bands are still capable of forming interest for their music and creating legitimate fanbases. There was something for everybody and room for discovery as the following shows a sampling of what the weekend had to offer.
(photo credit: Marcello Ambriz)
Playing on one of the smaller stages at the festival, Cleveland-based Cloud Nothings gave the audience a dose of grunge-infused punk. Main singer, Dylan Baldi’s vocals draw on a lazy and dark tone that is reminiscent of Black Francis of the legendary Pixies. Perhaps that is too much of an accolade. As the set continues, the band does little to inspire any real interest from the audience and the band’s track “No Future/No Past” seems all too telling.
(photo credit: Marcello Ambriz)
The stage seemed too small for Future Islands as the crowd swelled before their set even began. The buzz in the air was palpable and before long it wasn’t difficult to understand why. The band’s catchy beats had the audience bouncing, but Samuel Herring’s stage presence left all there entranced. An immediate comparison to Henry Rollins is expected as Herring’s intensity, at times, made it seem as if he was about to rip his (or somebody else’s) skin off.
Although his words can escape as a growl at times, during “Before the Bridge” the roughness in Herring’s voice contained a sensitivity so sincere that I found myself with a knot in my throat as he sang the refrain “Do you believe in love?” It doesn’t seem too farfetched to imagine that Herring may be in communication with some “spirits” when he looks up to the sky as he sings. The passion he pours into the performance is so true that as Future Islands were on stage, magic filled the air over Los Angeles.
(photo credit: Marcello Ambriz)
Marshall-stacked and making no apologies for it, Sleigh Bells is what happens when you turn up the volume to 11. Looking like a heavy metal Joan Jett, Alexis Krauss took the main stage at the FYF Fest like a true front woman. Decked in tattoos, jet black hair, heavy eye make-up, and a leather jacket with studs, she is the epitome of rock ‘n’ roll. A rock star is supposed to inspire people to want to be like them. Krauss is doing that just fine with her cool, sexy rocker chick persona.
Unfortunately, looking cool and sexy isn’t going to do much for a live show if all of your songs sound the same. Maybe Sleigh Bells is an acquired taste, but a live show has the power of making a non-fan at least appreciate a band’s hard work and possibly be swayed to want to see them again. Krauss was doing all she could to sell the songs she was singing – dancing, head banging, crowd surfing. It just wasn’t going to work. The lulls in the audience when they played songs from their most recent album (Reign of Terror) were made apparent when paired next to songs like “Infinity Guitars” from their debut album (Treats), which incited a crazy amount of excitement. Maybe the audience is tired of more of the same and even an energetic live show couldn’t sway them. It’s a shame considering the true talent in Krauss as a front woman.
(photo credit: Marcello Ambriz)
In many ways, M83’s set on Saturday night was an ode to Los Angeles. As the city skyline twinkled in the near distance, it provided an ideal backdrop to the band’s electronic infused tracks. The unique blend of synth-driven beats mixed with guitar and saxophone riffs inspire a vision of driving through the city’s empty streets at night. Anthony Gonzalez, leader of M83 lives in Los Angeles, so perhaps that image as inspiration is not too far off.
Of course, the audience didn’t have enough time to contemplate these possibilities as the band was ceaseless in their showering of hit after hit. With a stage set-up reminiscent of Tron, Gonzalez and company performed such tracks as “We Own the Sky”, “Reunion”, and “Steve McQueen”. The crowd embraced more ambient and instrumental tracks just as energetically as bigger, crowd pleasers. This is a true testament to the talent of the band and their ability to maintain a high level of energy without having to resort to unleashing the singles straight away.
The night came to its climax as “Midnight City” and its distinctive intro filled the beautiful, summer night. The already-dancing crowd seemed to double in size as a giant dance/sing-along party ensued. Elation hit the audience once more as Gonzalez sang the line “City is my church” and pointed to the gorgeous L.A. skyline. As he finished the verse he screamed Los Angeles! and the crowd cheered with euphoria. It didn’t matter where you traveled from to be at FYF Fest, at that moment, everybody was an Angeleno.
(photo credit: Marcello Ambriz)
Closing the first day of FYF Fest were headliners Refused. The Swedish punk band, formed and disbanded in the 1990s, had not performed in Los Angeles for 20 years, for which main singer Dennis Lyxzén apologized in his nearly unaccented English, and then suggested that the audience were the ones who kept the music alive. After having taken the stage in an explosion that sent the crowd into a wild frenzy of moshing and crowd surfing, an apology from these Swedes would immediately garner forgiveness. The audience was under the spell of Refused and Lyxzén made sure of that with his energetic performance.
In acrobatic, Mick Jagger fashion, Lyxzén strutted onto the stage wielding and swinging the microphone before abusing it with his powerful voice on songs such as “The Refused Party Program” and a slew of others, primarily from the band’s seminal album, The Shape of Punk to Come. Despite the bravado, Lyxzén offered heartfelt insight throughout the set as he repeated the theme of “Music means something”. Connecting his insight, he gave the obligatory “Free Pussy Riot” speech that many musicians have been giving in support of the fellow artists. Refused went one up as the kick drum shows “Free Pussy Riot” in large writing and Lyxzén goes on to dedicate the explosive and poignant “Rather Be Dead” to the Russian band as a sign of camaraderie.
By the time of the encore, as “New Noise” and its distinctive intro began, the crowd seemed to be following Lyxzén’s insights as the music took over the crowd. Several bodies floated above a sea of arms and clouds of dirt were kicked up into the air. Before the last song, Lyxzén offered his last inspirational thoughts of the day as he advised the attentive audience to “Never let anyone tell you how to live your life! Live f***ing wild! Stay hungry!” The crowd cheered in agreement and Lynxzén didn’t seem too want to let go of the night as he suggested that the audience should go back to his house and play awesome records. He further enticed by offering to whisper dirty secrets in Swedish and quickly added “It could happen!” as the crowd giggled at his joke. After realizing the limited amount of time left in the set, Lynxzén exclaimed “30 seconds!” and as a last energy booster to the audience, the band did a 30 second reworking of “Tannhäuser / Derivè” before bowing out to an audience that will definitely stay hungry.
Today the lineup for the 2012 Virgin Mobile FreeFest presented by LG was announced by select fans who took part in a contest to guess the lineup on Virgin Mobile’s Twitter page (@virginmlive). The Billboard award-winning festival, known for the inventive and unexpected experience in addition to unforgettable performances, will be hosted again for free. The festival will feature some of the most talked about, most appreciated, most relevant and most eclectic artists – filling two Main Stages and the Dance Forest.
Virgin Mobile FreeFest presented by LG will be held Saturday, Oct. 6, at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md. The lineup on the Main Stages includes Jack White, Skrillex, M83, NAS, ZZ Top, Santigold, Alabama Shakes, Ben Folds Five, The Dismemberment Plan, Allen Stone, Trampled by Turtles, Portugal. The Man, Das Racist, Future Islands and Justin Jones. The Dance Forest will feature Above & Beyond, Porter & Zedd (Back to Back), Thomas Gold, Nervo, Alvin Risk and Penguin Prison, plus others to be announced. You can view the photo gallery of fans announcing the lineup on Virgin Mobile Live.
“After three years of crazy press and feedback, bands start to line up early to be on the ‘It-List,’” said Seth Hurwitz, chairman of I.M.P. and Virgin Mobile FreeFest producer. “Fortunately, since the tickets go in minutes, we can wait until much later than most festivals to book the absolute best stories of the moment.”
How to get tickets to FreeFest
Tickets to the 2012 Virgin Mobile FreeFest presented by LG will go “On Free” to the public at noon (EDT) Friday, Aug. 24, via ticketfly.com. Fans who choose to follow Virgin Mobile Live on Twitter (@virginmlive) will see a link to participate in the private presale, which will be held Thursday, Aug. 23. Virgin Mobile customers and prior Virgin Mobile Festival ticket buyers will get special notification of the presale in advance as well.
“We’ve had a really big year at Virgin,” said Ron Faris, head of brand marketing, Virgin Mobile USA. “Now it’s time to celebrate. FreeFest is back – bigger than ever. We can’t wait to share this free day of music with all our fans, especially the ones who helped us announce it.”
As always, fans will be encouraged to make a donation to The RE*Generation, Virgin Mobile’s initiative to end youth homelessness. Proceeds raised to date built Virgin Mobile’s new “RE*Generation House,” a homeless youth shelterÂ developed by Sasha Bruce Youthwork. This year’s donations will open the house and provide support to a community of homeless youth.Â More details about this will follow shortly.
Last year Virgin Mobile FreeFest’s free tickets were scooped up in just minutes, and 50,000 people attended. In keeping with the “free” mantra, Ticketfly is waiving all service charges on free tickets when fans pick them up at Merriweather or the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., or print their tickets at home.
There will be a limited number of FreeFest “FREEMIUM PACKAGES,” which include admission to the festival, a charitable donation to Virgin Mobile USA’s youth homelessness initiatives, a FreeFest T-shirt, a souvenir cup that comes with free fountain drinks throughout the festival, and early admission to the grounds. FREEMIUM tickets are available via Ticketfly or at the 9:30 Club and Merriweather Post Pavilion box offices.
“Virgin Mobile FreeFest is one of the biggest, most talked about music festivals of the year, and LG is thrilled to be part of this cultural phenomenon,” said Tim O’Brien, vice president of mobile phone brand marketing for LG Electronics USA.
FYF Fest is proud to announce its return to the Los Angeles State Historic Park in downtown Los Angeles. Taking place on Sept. 1st and 2nd and will include performances by Refused, M83, Beirut, James Blake, Yeasayer, Sleigh Bells, Desaparecidos, Dinosaur Jr, Against Me!, Hot Snakes, Twin Shadow, Chromatics, DJ Harvey, Liars, Paul Banks from Interpol, the return of Quicksand and many more. Full lineup is listed alphabetically below.
Tickets go on sale Friday, June 22nd via Ticketfly.com and start at $77 for a weekend pass. The festival is all ages and will run from noon until midnight each day. Tickets will also be available at local Los Angeles record stores and select Chilli Beans store locations, for more information visit www.fyffest.com
Full Lineup – Alphabetical
Paul Banks (Interpol)
DJ Coco (Primavera Sound)
Father John Misty
I Break Horses
King Khan & the Shrines
Simian Mobile Disco (Live)
The Allah La’s
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
The Soft Pack
The Suicide of Western Culture
Tiger & Woods
For the past 4 years, FYF Fest has taken place at the Los Angeles State Historic Park located at 1245 N Spring St, Los Angeles, CA. Previous to this location the event was held across multiple venues in Echo Park.
FYF Fest hosts many different healthy food vendors specializing in Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Organic and Local Foods.
FYF Fest has been made possible by it’s generous support from it’s partners and sponsors. A huge thank you goes out to Chilli Beans, Adult Swim, The Hundreds, Incase, and Goldenvoice.
M83 has released the official video for “Reunion” the second single from
Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming.
Directed by Fleur & Manu and Produced by DIVISION, “Reunion” is part two of the story that commenced with “Midnight City.” Together, these two tracks are the soundtrack for a pack of gifted kids with telekinetic powers who escape from an institution and run wild through a desolate cityscape. In the first video we witness their liberation, with “Reunion” we experience their defiance.
Having recently relocated to Los Angeles, the video reflects Anthony’s ongoing love affair with the magical escapism of film and the city itself.
“Reunion” is now available in a remix package of six re-works of the track, by Mylo, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., Sei A, The Naked And Famous, Polly Scattergood, and White Sea.
Reunion EP tracklisting:
1. Reunion (Album Version)
2. Reunion (The Naked And Famous Remix)
3. Reunion (Sei A Remix)
4. Reunion (Polly Scattergood Mix)
5. Reunion (Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr Remix)
6. Reunion (Mylo Remix)
7. Reunion (White Sea Remix)
This Fall, M83 will be performing at Bumbershoot and Austin City Limits Music Festival. Tickets are on sale now with stage and set times to follow. Anthony Gonzalez and band recently just wrapped up their second SOLD OUT North American tour and are headed to Europe for several weeks of shows. For a full list of upcoming tour dates, including Hammerstein Ballroom show in NYC on October 2nd, visit ilovem83.com.
SUMMER/FALL 2012 NORTH AMERICAN TOUR DATES:
Aug 1 – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory
Aug 2 – Munhall, PA – Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead
Aug 3-5 – Chicago, IL– Lollapalooza-Grant Park
Aug 7 – Portland, ME – State Theatre
Aug. 8 – NYC – SummerStage (Sold Out)
Sept. 1-3 – Seattle, WA – Bumbershoot Festival
Sep. 5 – Edmonton, AB, Canada – Edmonton Event Centre
Sep. 6 – Calgary, AB, Canada – Mac Ewan Ballroom
Sep. 27 – Lake Buena Vista, FL – House of Blues Orlando
Sep. 30 – Norfolk, VA – NorVa
Oct. 2 –NYC– Hammerstein Ballroom
Oct. 9 – New Orleans, LA – House of Blues New Orleans
Oct. 10 – Houston, TX – Bayou Music Center
Oct. 11 – Dallas, TX – Palladium Ballroom
Oct. 12-14 – Austin, TX – Austin City Limits Music Festival
Nov. 1-3 – Paris, France – Pitchfork Music Festival Paris
Austin City Limits Music Festival has announced its lineup for the 2012 edition of the festival. Set to headline this year’s lineup: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, The Black Keys and Jack White. Three day tickets and single day passes are still on-sale for the festival for the festival set for October 12th through the 14th. Pick them up here while they last.
Check out the full lineup below:
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, The Black Keys
Jack White, Florence + The Machine, The Avett Brothers, Iggy & The Stooges, AVICII, BASSNECTAR, The Roots, The Shins, Weezer, Gotye, The Civil Wars, M83, Tegan and Sara, Childish Gambino Two Door Cinema Club, Thievery Corporation, The Afghan Whigs, Crystal Castles, Andrew Bird, Gary Clark Jr., Metric, Band of Skulls, Esperanza Spalding, Alabama Shakes, Delta Spirit, M. Ward, Randy Rogers Band, Die Antwoord, Rufus Wainwright, NEEDTOBREATHE, Big Gigantic, Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, Steve Earle, The War On Drugs, Umphrey’s McGee, Barrington Levy, Old 97′s Punch Brothers, Bombay Bicycle Club, A-Trak, Trampled by Turtles Patterson Hood, Michael Kiwanuka, Big K.R.I.T., Oberhofer, POLICA, Tennis, Zola Jesus, Stars, Kimbra, Black Lips, Los Campesinos!, Jovanotti, Ben Howard, Ruthie Foster, Freelance Whales, Civil Twilight, The Whigs, Dev, The Lumineers, Bad Books, The Devil Makes Three, Asleep at the Wheel, First Aid Kit Patrick Watson, LP, Caveman, Lee Fields & The Expressions, Father John Misty The Wombats, Dry the River, The Boxer Rebellion, Soul Rebels Brass Band Thundercat, Willis Earl Beal, He’s My Brother She’s My Sister, Kishi Bashi, Deep Dark Woods, Moon Duo, Kopecky Family Band, River City Extension Quiet Corral, Wheeler Brothers, The Relatives, Space Capone, The Staves Native Run, Nikki Lane, Quiet Company, Infantree, Wild Child, La Vida Bohème The Eastern Sea, The Dunwells, Kenny Vaughan Trio, Justin Jones, Sonámbulo Royal Teeth, Noah Gunderson, The Aaron Ivey Band, The Mighty Sincere Voices G.S.T., Colorfeels, Lera Lynn, Megan McCormick, Shields of Faith, Stapletones, The Baylor Choir, Disciples of Joy, Ralph’s World, Orange Sherbet, Big Don Rocknoceros, Hullabaloo, Jambo, Peter DiStefano & Tor, The School of Rock, The Q Brothers
By Michael Zonenashvili
I realized I’ll never see M83 in a small venue. Something I would normally complain about, for M83, is a good thing. The shows revolving around “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming” deserve to be seen in rooms with enough people dancing to cause a small earthquake. I said the show I saw on the first leg of the tour was the best I’ve seen in 2011, and Antony Gonzales and crew have already made an important dent in 2012.
“Intro” is perhaps the only song that won’t get people dancing, but at the start of the show it riles people up. The drumfill after the second first sent the audience into a chanting frenzy as the four piece created an enormous amount of sound before launching into a chunk of older tunes. The one-two punch of “Teen Angst” and “Kim and Jessie” were thunderous, Antony’s voice combined with the amazing pipes on Morgan Kibby(Keys) sounded quite perfect.
One thing that makes the M83 live show so interesting is how certain songs are arranged in the live setting. Many of them have extended electronic-based jam sessions, and many are just made unrecognizable unless you read the setlist. Set closer “Guitar and a Heart” was a building bassline-jam before launching into a complete EDM song complete with lazer sounds. “Teen Angst” had an arpeggio sequence riff that Gonzales manipulated into melodies on his massive analog synth rig, and the ending of “We Own The Sky” wasn’t slow an sensual but rather a hard-hitting explosive outro.
It’s hard to describe the M83 show as anything but sexy. “Skin of The Night” was the only slow jam of the night, but Kibby nailed every note while red and pink lights poured over the venue. We were treated to a real saxophone player for “Midnight City” and the audience ate it up. The slap-bass line of “Claudia Lewis” was evocative of the funkiest and sexiest music that was before most of the audience’s time.
The last song, “Coleurs” was definitely the highlight of the show yet again. The nine minute instrumental had started as only a washed out bassline before evolving into a full fledged electronic powerhouse with light show to match. For just about thirty seconds there was a pause before the grand finale where Gonzales and the bassist got on guitar and bass to double the volume and intensity of the song, and the crowd just erupted in jumping and chanting to a song that had no words.
M83 has a good thing going with this tour. They were able to match the hype of one of the most critically acclaimed albums of 2011 with a live show that more people can see. It may in-fact be the perfect bridge between electronic music and indie-rock, and who doesn’t want that?
M83 performed “Steve McQueen” and “Intro” (with Zola Jesus) on Last Call with Carson Daly. The performances are from a show at the Music Box in November (read our review here).
M83 are confirmed to play two massive festivals this year including Coachella and Ultra Music Festival, plus a special show in New York City’s Central Park on August 8th during the 2012 NY Summerstage Season.
Tickets for Summerstage go on sale January 20th.
Coachella’s 2012 lineup was officially announced last week. You can catch M83 on both Friday April 13th and April 20th, the first days of the double-weekend 3-day festival, which has introduced a second festival weekend for the first time.
M83 will also play Ultra Music Festival in Miami this year on Saturday March 24th, alongside electronic music’s brightest stars.
M83 has added a second show in Washington D.C. at the 9:30 Club on May 12th. And due to high demand, the venue for Chicago’s show on May 4th is being moved from The Vic to The Riviera, a larger space.
Several markets are already sold out including New York, Chicago, two shows in San Francisco, Philadelphia, Vancouver, Austin, and Dallas.
For a full list of upcoming tour dates visit ilovem83.com.
Mar. 24 – Miami, FL – Ultra Fest
Apr. 13 – Indio, CA – Coachella
Apr. 20 – Indio, CA – Coachella
Apr. 22 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore Auditorium (Sold Out)
Apr. 23 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore Auditorium (Sold Out)
Apr. 25 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theatre
Apr. 26 – Seattle, WA – The Neptune
Apr. 27 – Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre (Sold Out)
Apr. 29 – Salt Lake City, UT – In The Venue
Apr. 30 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre
May 1 – Lawrence, KS – The Granada Theatre
May 2 – Saint Louis, MO – The Pageant
May 4 – Chicago, IL – The Riviera (Sold Out)
May 5 – Detroit, MI – The Majestic Theatre (Sold Out)
May 6 – Toronto, ON – Sound Academy
May 7 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom
May 9 – Boston, MA – House of Blues
May 10 – New York, NY – Terminal 5 (Sold Out)
May 11 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer (Sold Out)
May 12 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club (Sold Out)
May 12 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club (LATE SHOW) NEW!
May 14 – Atlanta, GA – Buckhead Theatre
May 15 – Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works
May 17 – Houston, TX – House of Blues
May 18 – Austin, TX – Stubbs Waller Creek Amphitheater (Sold Out)
May 19 – Dallas, TX – Granada Theater (Sold Out)
Aug. 8 – NYC – SummerStage
Jonathan Bates aka Big Black Delta, former touring guitarist for M83, has been asked to open for the group at Club Nokia this week. Anthony Gonzalez and Bates have collaborated together since Bates began his solo project Big Black Delta in 2010. Bates contributed vocals to M83′s highly praised album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming and produced an official remix of M83′s stellar single “Midnight City.” Together Bates and Gonzalez also produced a remix of Daft Punk’s “Fall” on the TRON: LEGACY R3CONFIGUR3D soundtrack.
Although Big Black Delta’s soundscapes are composed single-handedly in the modest confines of Bate’s home studio on a laptop, the live show is an experience unto itself. Live vocals, dancing, orchestrated light show, and dueling female drummers (Mahsa Zargaran and Amy Wood) make Big Black Delta’s set electrifying.
Big Big Black Delta and M83 will share the stage at Club Nokia on January 12th and 13th for two nights you won’t want to miss!
M83 & Big Black Delta
Thursday, January 12 & Friday, January 13
Doors: 8 pm / Show: 9 pm
$25-30 / All Ages
800 West Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Big Black Delta
Wednesday, February 22
Doors: 8 pm / Show: 9 pm / BBD Set: 11 pm
$8-10 / 21+
2220 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90057