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FYF Fest Day 2 Part 1, Sunday August 24th 2014

Mac Demarco

Sunday at the FYF fest ran much more smoothly than the previous day, the line was as long as on Saturday but it began to move at 1:45, 15 minutes ahead of the schedule and it was moving fast!! At 2:11 I was inside… see, it was possible!!!! I am not sure what went wrong on Saturday, but it was a big improvement, and the FYF fest organizers had to do something fast as the festival’s reputation was in the balance.

I knew none of the acts that were opening the day so I decided to go for Twin Peaks, just because of the moniker and a conversation I had heard when I was in line. They were a kid punk band from Chicago, wearing oversized shirts and exulting lots of raw energy. It’s always good to open with people so excited to be there, when the sun is the hottest and sweat run along people’s legs. And Twin Peaks had plenty of enthusiasm with three alternating singers, a lot of confidence, and vocals going from poppy to raucous or wild and trashy. ‘You guys look happy and healthy, you look great!’ said one of them to the audience doing the usual crowd surfing and moshing. It was music for some crazy head-shaking and tongue hanging out.

On the main stage I caught a few songs from Pink Mountaintops and their psychedelic fuzzy rock, hard to define, with some 70s-feeling, female-male harmonies, long hair in the wind and tambourine, but also hard hitting at times with the type of jam played bent on a guitar which can last for an hour. When I left the stage to catch another act, they were playing something quite different, something far less San Francisco druggy style, so I am not sure I got their style.

Back at the Trees stage, Joanna Gruesome had some Belle & Sebastian harmonies, which would soon turn into punk rage flirting with hardcore. It was bipolar music if I had ever heard some, alternating between sweetness and aggression, harmonies and chaos, mellow and fast tempos,… and if you want to know, the girl of the band is named Alanna McArdle, not Joanna of course!

Walking to the main stage was still easy that early in the day, but it didn’t last for long…Kindness was playing there, a large ensemble playing funky music with a tall frontman in blue wearing an Amish-style hat (that he didn’t keep on his head for long). Two female singers were doing the back up vocals, but I didn’t watch them very long as the whole thing sounded very 80s and I had more toe see.

Back to the Trees stage, the post hardcore band Balance & Composure sounded really dark with that kind of monochord vocals that put your mood down to the drain. Their music inspired some hard hitting mosh pit, it was a very male, raucous, devilish rock showing its two horns with pride.

But everyone on Sunday was there for the Strokes, of course, and Mac Demarco! I had spotted lots of tee shirts with his ‘Salad Days’ and the crowd around the main stage had suddenly become very large, once again I could not get very close. ‘He is so sexy!’ said a girl during the sound check, whereas the guys were smoking as Demarco was doing the same on stage. Mac, a sex symbol? I don’t know, I was under his face at Burgerama and if it’s true that the girls went crazy, he looked like your average young guy who has just woken up, may be that’s the gap between the front teeth, may be it’s just because he looked so cool with his Simpsons shirt. He was announcing his songs (‘Salad Days’, ‘a song about dirty diapers’,… ) and people were pushing to get closer. His music is nice and laid back but I still don’t get the overwhelming love for this Canadian who seems to have been born on some lazy island. I had to run away from my spot where I was starting to feel packed like a sardine, smelling a bit too much weed that people were smoking… that’s beach music, it’s almost Hawaiian pop. ‘This song is about smoking cigarettes’ he said to all the smokers in the crowd and there were a lot of them… He always sings as if he is in vacation, yeah this is what this guy inspires me, endless vacation, careless summer, and fuck all the rest with that big smile and the gap between the teeth. There was one song for the ‘boys still free of testosterone’, one song for the girls, the super quiet and sexy ‘Let my Baby Stay’, and it was all good. Mac ended his set with a giant crowd surfing and he may be doing this each time (just like the guy from Phoenix), but it looked so natural for him and it sure was fun to see him crawling as if he were diving in a swimming pool despite some risk involved,.. this guy would be at ease in a slaughter house.

Just before sunset, Presidents of the USA was playing at the Trees stage, and there was some great ambiance there: frontman Chris Ballew was making everyone participate and interacting with the crowd like a pro – as you may know, they have been around since the 90s. I knew and didn’t know them, but some songs sounded like old classics with catchy tempos and some funk. ‘Raise your hand if you’re starting a Presidents cover band’, he said, ‘We’ve been doing it for so long that we feel like a Presidents cover band!’ he continued. They did a new song ‘She is a nurse’ which means they still get it, and their cover of ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’, they certainly put the fun in rock ‘n’ roll, and this did imply, lots of jumping, lots of clapping and many doo-oo doo-oo harmonies.

 More pictures of day 2 at the FYF fest here

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