FYF Fest ’15 Preview
For some alternative rock diehards, all you have to say is the name Morrissey and they’re present — festival or no festival. However, the 2015 FYF Fest, scheduled to take place August 22 and 23 at L.A. Memorial Sports Arena & Exposition Park, is Morrissey and so much more.
Granted, Morrissey is the biggest name (so far) to play this ever-expanding music festival. All his Mexican-American fans will be there in full, as will all the manic depressive young hipsters that never got to see The Smiths back in the day. And with his recent health issues, it’s questionable how often The Moz will be returning to Los Angeles, his former home.
For old school alternative rock fans, there will be plenty of other good reasons to secure tickets for this urban Coachella. On Saturday alone, the Mercury Prize-nominated Bloc Party, the notable noise of Jesus and Mary Chain and still vital Dinosaur Jr. will all be on display. Day two will sport Belle & Sebastian, who killed it at Coachella, space rockers Spiritualized, and the always acclaimed Laura Marling.
Much like Coachella, FYF is inclusive far beyond down-in-the-mouth guitar acts, with a loaded line-up for hip-hop and R&B fans. Frank Ocean serves as the soulful headliner on Saturday, as if Run The Jewels doesn’t bring enough credibility. The chilltronica of Chet Faker also helps round out the day’s laid-back vibe. On Sunday, D’Angelo & The Vanguard will have everyone talking as he continues to showcase why this is his year. In the run up to D’Angelo, fans will undoubtedly flock to and focus on sets from the Solange, the experimental hip-hop of Death Grips and, of course, last year’s critical darling FKA twigs.
Beyond the headliners, there’s plenty of promising acts to catch as well, including some of our own favorites. Unknown Mortal Orchestra has given us one of this year’s best albums, and Lower Denx could say the same. Alvvays, Girlpool, Tobias Jesso Jr., Health, Cold Cave… you get the picture. The full list of performers at FYF Fest isn’t some top-heavy line-up that depends more on reputation than actual goods. Instead, it’s almost deceptive for the amount of gems buried throughout the day.
Although it doesn’t have the international recognition of Coachella, FYF Fest is a far easier festival to attend. One big plus is the fact that it’s in downtown Los Angeles, rather than out in the desert. Locals won’t need to book hotel rooms months in advance, and can even take the train there, rather than put extra miles on the car.
Every year, FYF just gets better and better, with Morrissey giving it such a high profile this year. The last time Morrissey played Coachella, he sniffed burgers cooking and quipped that he hoped this was the smell of human flesh on the grill. Let’s hope he’s in a much better mood this time.