FYF Fest really does seem to have it all...
FYF Fest 2012

L.A. festival FYF really does seem to have it all, a central location, an intimate feel, despite the four stages set across the huge L.A. State Historic Park, one hell of a line-up which combines the best electronic, indie, rock and hardcore punk artists and bands, plus comedic acts, and a crowd that doesn’t feel the need to throw cups of piss from one side of a stage to the other.

Saturday presented a lineup of more relaxed, softer music including Warpaint and Pains of Being Pure at Heart, who both took the main stage with musically perfect performances. Sleigh Bells then woke things up with an energetic show and their guitars turned up as far as they could. This was the perfect opening for M83, whose strange entrance, that included a wolf’s head and laser beam gloves, enticed everyone into watching his incredibly powerful set. The combination of light shows and audience sing-along took over Saturday. That was, until Refused came on. A tribute to Pussy Riot, an apology about not reforming sooner, endless thanks for the crazed reaction they received and an overwhelming message to fuck the establishment, were the themes of their set. You couldn’t take your eyes off the stage as they performed, if you did, we guarantee you’d have missed something unexpected. It was as if Refused had never taken a step back. Festival perfection.

Day two kicked off with the same blistering heat and sand blasted front row hoarders, only lineup wise it seems Refused left the door open for more hardcore and punk infused acts to take the stages. This truly started when California natives Ceremony played. Vocalist Ross Farrar’s engaging attitude towards to the crowd always works at getting even the most uninvolved sucked into the performance. Choosing to fill their set with a majority of their newer, more melodic punk sound, ‘World Blue’ triumphed, as did their hardcore anthem ‘Kersed’, which closed the set.

HEALTH then relit the park as the sun went down with their eccentric performance. It was a crazed combination of flashing lights, energetic screams and a hair-windmilling guitarist. The crowd descended into the same madness as the stage during ‘Die Slow’. This set everyone up with the perfect energy for Twin Shadow’s set which was to follow.

The weekend buzzed around the set of recently Boston legends American Nightmare, who reformed for a selection of shows, and whose Hill St. stage performance drew in more people than some of the Main St. Stage acts. Mainly focusing on the tracks from ‘Background Music’, American Nightmare seem to have rekindled their relationship with their fans. People took no shame in doing whatever they could to get to the front of the crowd and near Wes Eisold, just for the opportunity to grab the mic and sing the lyrics that were imprinted in their youth. Opening with the atmospheric ‘(It’s Sometimes Like It Never Started)’, before going straight into ‘Love American’, the band seemed incredibly invested in this performance. It paid off. The songs came across stronger than ever and the crowd fed off A.N.’s energy, resulting in one of the most exciting performances of the weekend.

The weekend was seen off by electronic rockers The Faint. Choosing subdued hit ‘Posed to Death’ as their closing track, which echoed around Downtown L.A. for all to hear. Their set thus far had been the expected burst of dance energy the festival-goers had been anticipating, and this brought the entirety of the weekend to a great close. You only have a year to make sure you can attend FYF in 2013, which is definitely something worth saving yourself for; it really is like no festival that you will attend in the British Isles. That isn’t just a dig at the weather.

Words by Amanda Arber

Follow Clash: