Words by Sam Nachbar || Photos by Joey Serxner

Speaking to a markedly young and trendy group of twenty-somethings during his late-afternoon set at (a.k.a. F*** Yeah Fest), Father John Misty used his time in between songs to relate to the crowd humor. By impersonating an old man a cane that was dragged to the by his granddaughter and turning to the audience to ask, “What time do the play?”, he catered to the alternative, intentionally unkempt crowd by poking fun of the elderly and more “mainstream” festivals. His quips were for ; which was fitting, because the had an of contemporary southern California style to it.

Festival goers who got to L.A. Historic Park before the sun went down took breaks to find shade intermittently, but the temperature was never oppressive, and the distance between stages (four in total) was minor enough to make the commute between acts enjoyable (the tents along the way didn’t hurt). As to be expected from an event held just outside of downtown L.A., the festival was a diverse gathering, and the was definitely not genre specific. It ranged from punk to electronic dance, yet differences in musical preference did not separate attendees, and even as the various groups blended for the headlining acts, there remained a certain calmness to the event.


@ 2012 – 9/1/12 || Photo by Joey Serxner

If the tank tops and songs about (“Wake, Bake, Skate”) and making fun of friends who can’t surf (“Max Can’t Surf”) weren’t evidence enough, the members of FIDLAR solidified their L.A. roots by hanging a gold Lakers banner on stage before their set. The group played a collection of short and to-the-point punk songs that everyone immediately appreciated (even those hearing them for the first time). Lyrically, is about as brilliantly lowbrow as can be. From the opening hook when all four members yelled, “I Drink Cheap , So What!” to the end of the set, FIDLAR won the crowd over with their youthful punk anthems.

Crowd @ FYF Fest 2012 || Photo by Joey Serxner

At the Spring St. Stage, ’s King Tuff kept the California theme rolling with their blend of indie/punk/garage songs. Playing a beautifully beat up and sea foam green , front-man Kyle Thomas told the crowd, “This next song is about my guitar, and me breaking it”. For me and other guitar appreciators in the crowd, the thought of his axe crashing to its death was an unfortunate and simultaneously awesome idea to entertain. Luckily, Thomas did not dismantle his instrument and instead channeled his energy into a charismatic set while donning a shirt that read, “Blow Me”.

’ latest release, Attack On Memory, is one of the biggest indie albums of the year. On their self-titled first , had more of a power pop punk feel, but their melodies have matured into a heavier, grunge-influenced sound. Listeners unfamiliar with the change in approach became visibly bored amidst a noise rock breakdown during “No Future/No Past”, but Cloud Nothings won the crowd back, by adding a riotous outro to the song. For of neo-grunge, the six song set, complete with untraditional solos and extended break downs, was a beautifully executed performance and a real highlight of the festival.

A.A. Bondy

After a series of up-tempo early afternoon shows, A.A. Bondy’s comparatively tame folk set at the Hill St. Stage was a welcome gift. The songwriting was on full display, and the Louisiana-born Bondy played an appropriately fuzzy guitar to accentuate his refined vocals. With a series of trees lining the right side of the stage, many enjoyed the slow-moving songs from the comfort of the shade. It’s not that the was too sleepy or uninteresting; it just had the sort of pitch that was best appreciated with your back against a tree.

@ FYF Fest 2012 – 9/1/12 || Photo by Joey Serxner

On the main stage, a gratuitous number of Marshall Amps were lining the back of the stage as people gathered for Sleigh Bells. As front-woman, Alexis Krauss took the stage the crunchy guitar riffs (that were seemingly loud enough to drown out all other performances at that hour) began to get the crowd jumpy. Wasting no time, she grabbed the microphone and hurled into her blend of dance-punk songs. The pace was frenetic, and as Krauss’s vocals neared screaming levels, the crowd responded by bouncing even more feverishly. The genre-defying set was a perfect cross-section of the different sounds (electronic, punk) represented at FYF 2012.

Continue on to page two for coverage from the final day of FYF 2012