F Yeah Fest V

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Set 1 2008, 18h36

Sat 30 Aug – Fuck Yeah Fest V

If last week's Sunset Junction Festival and this week's F Yeah festival were siblings, the former would be the older, more sexually experienced sibling. The latter festival would the younger, more precocious and wide-eyed sibling. Although the younger sibling may want to grow up as soon as possible, there is a certain charm to its youth. Only at F Yeah can one watch Austin, Texas’ Best Fwends in a tiny annex while standing next to cheery Matt Johnson of Brooklyn’s Matt and Kim, and later, moshing with Jonathan Gray of L.A.’s The Mae Shi. This would not be happening on Sunset Junction’s watch. Welcome to the fifth year of F Yeah Fest, curated by Sean Carlson and Keith Morris. Although this year’s festival suffered a huge setback when a financial backer pulled out at the last minute (they are over $15,000 in debt), Carlson and the crew decided to just make it a one-day event instead of canceling it altogether. Nevertheless, the spirit of the fest was very much alive and energetic—just like a younger sibling would be.

The Echo, in addition to the "F Yeah Fest Annex" and Echoplex, played host to a myriad of musical acts including Philadelphia hardcore punk band Paint it Black. At the first chord of Josh Agran’s guitar, the crowd instantly split like the Red Sea. The audience had a choice to make: mosh and slam into each other or stand to the side and avoid being kicked in the face. With old songs like “Election Day” mixed in with some new tracks off this year’s “New Lexicon,” the crowd grew into frenzied circle pits. Bassist Andy Nelson encouraged it—even joining in by attempting to crowd surf.

Canada’s Fucked Up, another hardcore punk band, played below at the Echoplex. Imagine a chap scaling the scaffolding on the side of the stage. More than halfway up, he jumps—headfirst—into the crowd. Now imagine the lead singer of Fucked Up—who revealed to the audience that he was around 300 pounds—jump from the stage into the crowd. Lastly, imagine that multiple people are crowd surfing, pushing, and jumping off the stage…at the same time. This is what a Fucked Up show is like (no pun intended). It only lasted 30 minutes—each set that night was about that long—but being unprepared in the thick of it made it seem like forever.

This year’s affair saw a string of punk bands, including L.A. darlings No Age, Mika Miko, and Abe Vigoda. However, there was also a cornucopia of comedians at the Rec Center, including Jonah Ray, Bob Odenkirk, and Jeff Garlin. Bands like High Places were also an exception to the punk rock world. Ethereal and dreamy, this Brooklyn band was a welcome respite. Songs off their upcoming self-titled debut conquered the majority of the duo’s set. Unfortunately, the drum machines, samplers, and music shakers overtook Mary Pearson’s vocals. Frustrated patrons continuously yelled to “Turn up the vocals!” but to no avail. The set therefore ended up being pretty beats with no substance to hold.

Synthy keyboard plays the introduction to Europe’s “Final Countdown.” The crowd unabashedly starts dancing. This is the start of a Matt and Kim show. With energetic onstage banter and audience favorites (“Yea Yeah,” “No More Long Years”), the show quickly became an enjoyable dance party. Yes, there was crowd surfing and moshing—a running theme of the night, but with keyboard interludes of Top 40 covers and just the overall adorableness of this Brooklyn duo, the fun became infectious. This, of course, is the appeal of a younger sibling. Although they may sometimes be annoying (really guys, I do not appreciate your fist to my face), at the end of the night all you can do is appreciate them and dance along. May F Yeah never grow old.

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