Opinion: FYF 2017

You survived FYF and now you’re arrested in development with post-festival withdrawal. Trust me; my feet are still sore from foot racing in-between sets to catch acts that I’ve been dying to see since the line-up dropped.
If you’re like me and need something substantial to fill in that void after seeing Frank’s highly anticipated performance on Saturday, search no more friends because here are my thoughts on my experience and biggest takeaway from each act (Saturday only).

FYF has matured since the days of white guys with guitars, considering people from deep-cut genres like Arca, Princess Nokia and Perfume Genius. This significant shift in tone felt refreshing not only echoing the diversity among concert-goers but enthusiastically stretching the idea of genre-neutrality.

Not to say I don’t appreciate the usual suspects like Erykah Badu, The Drums and of course the whirlwind crooner -Frank Ocean. But seeing the young darker complexion denim overalls wearing, clout goggles sporting and snapchatting attendees made me feel belonged and for that touché FYF.

So overall you already know this is my favorite lineup, just by sheer diversity, just look at the top bill for evidence: Bjork, Missy Elliot and Solange. But I didn’t see any of them unfortunately but the people I did see are still as ridiculously as good as the next act.

Starting with “Thundercat,” I loved his off the cuff persona that transitions into his neo-soul and soft rock-esque music so seamlessly. Incorporating synth and keyboards, the pink haired big cat did his thing which was fully realized on his latest album “Drunk.”

Next on the hit parade was Noname, which I was late on arrival but nonetheless caught a glimpse of her soul lifting lyrics, reminiscent of her contemporary stateswoman, Erykah Badu. Touching base on being black in America by the sound of the crowd surrounding me, her message for black empowerment was resonating.

Channeling the raspy punk tone with charming aesthetics like Edwyn Collins, King Krule the self-proclaimed brit youth was someone I was excited to see ever since the release of his debut album “6 feet beneath the moon.” Great performance aside from the off-kilter MPC maker echoing the strums of the guitar inevitably dulling some of the edge the songs had but nevertheless made an interesting dynamic to listen to. Also hearing “easy, easy” and “out getting ribs” took me back to fond memories when I was in my first year of college.

Faced with an unbearable decision, I had to miss out on Arca and Jesse Kanda’s performance in exchange for the last performance in L.A. of the now defunct super rap group and my personal favorite, A Tribe Called Quest. So, without being too schmaltzy I loved ATCQ’s performance from Q-tips heartfelt message reflecting on the late-member, Phife Dawg, and giving proper tribute his legacy.

Q-tip went all out literally like it was his last performance, sweat pouring from his temple as he spit a slew of highlights off their latest LP “We got it from here… Thank you 4 your service,” and also the classics including the iconic jazzy sample from “Award tour” and closing with the dynamic duo’s magnum opus check the rhyme before they came out for a last hooray, an encore performance of “ Can I kick it?”

And last but not least, waiting tirelessly to see Frank Ocean, the myth appears right before my eyes blessing everyone in attendance a cinematic, ethereal and meticulous performance I’ve ever seen. Sorry if I sound a little hyperbolic with my description but if you were there you’d know what I’m talking about. Following his cancellation in at FYF 2015, Frank’s expectations were high after going ghost for over 4 years since his last album “Channel Orange.” Fast forward to now, the cult-like obsession for Frank seemed to have never skipped a beat as Frank surfs through his newer tracks with ease such as “Chanel,” “Lens” and “Biking.” But nothing could prepare us for the brief cameo made by Brad Pritt as he holds a phone over his ear while Frank presumably singing to Pitt his version of “Close to you” by Stevie Wonder. If this doesn’t convince you how great Frank is then I pity you.

In turn, I can’t wait to see what else FYF has in store for the future. I definitely look forward to seeing how they will live up to their possibly best line-up to date, in my opinion. Recognizing the confidence in booking more diversity in genres will set a trend for U.S. festivals foreseeable future and it’s better for it.

All photos courtesy of staff photographer Jorge Villa.

Leave a Reply