Wearing a tightly strapped Fender Stratocaster, 60’s sunglasses, and a tucked in shirt, Tim Presley and the members of White Fence hearkened back to an earlier period in rock history. The band is grounded in throwback rock ‘n’ roll, but they incorporate modern elements of folk and garage into their music. The San Francisco four-piece does not shy away from experimentation either, and the vocals are often distorted to create intentionally lo-fi fuzziness. Despite being an early set on Sunday, the crowd was involved and by the end of the set Presley and co. had a considerable amount of people nodding to the psychedelic tunes.
Father John Misty
Fleet Foxes may want to begin looking for another drummer. Seattle transplant, J. Tillman has backed the wildly popular folk outfit for years but he is a charismatic lead singer, and as Father John Misty he seems to be truly enjoying himself onstage. Flailing about on-stage in a sexually ambiguous manner reminiscent of glam rockers, Tillman captivated his audience with a variety of songs from his newest album, Fear Fun. From the softer, love song, “Every Man Needs a Companion”, to the unlikely hit about death and sex, “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings”, Tillman and co. played to a range of emotions during their triumphant mid-afternoon set.
Playing to a subdued late-afternoon crowd at the smaller Hill St. Stage, Atlas Sound delicately layered guitars and drum machines to create ambient, shoegazing medleys. At this point in his career, Bradford Cox has become a figure in the indie scene, and those in attendance respectfully swayed as the Deerhunter front-man commanded the stage. As a solo act, Cox relies on looping his guitar and voice to build elegantly fuzzy tunes for his audience. Often starting with a drone noise or a simple drum machine, as the song progresses and people begin to recognize the track, Cox begins to play slightly louder and projects his reverbed vocals. Filtering in Deerhunter hits like “Walkabout” during his set, Cox gave the crowd a perfect mixture of recognizable songs and less apparent, hazy interludes.
Formed in 1984 (before the majority of the FYF crowd was born), indie rock forefathers, Dinosaur Jr. have been playing their distinctive, feedback heavy three piece rock off and on for nearly 30 years. Lead guitarist and vocalist, J Mascis is undoubtedly one of the most influential musicians in the indie rock genre, and is often credited by other musicians as having a major impact on their sound. Showing their support for the iconic group, numerous members of other bands were amidst the crowd to catch the performance. As a crowd member yelled for the band to “play your early stuff”, Mascis cleverly responded by saying, “that’s all we can play now because we’re old”, and then proceeded to nail a four minute solo with his trademark silver tinted hair.
As the number of people at the festival began to swell for the Sunday night headliners, Yeasayer took the stage to a sizeable and antsy crowd. The psychedelic pop outfit from Brooklyn has no shortage of hits, and came out with the roaring chorus of “2080”. From there it was downhill for the band, as the crowd was fully behind them and mesmerized by their hexagon shaped light display. As the geometric stage design kept the crowd visually entertained, Yeasayer went through the catchiest set of the weekend closing with an extended version of the infectious “Ambling Alp”.