Bright blue skies dotted with tufts of white clouds warm, but slightly breezy. Excitement for the day’s activities buzzed in the air. It was a perfect day to enjoy a music festival chock-full of indie rock artists of yesteryear.
Names such as Phoenix, Beach House, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Neon Indian featured in Just Like Heaven’s lineup. The undercard, was filled with a range of genres from synthpop in STRFKR, post-punk with The Rapture, to general indie rock like Peter Bjorn and John. The lineup was absolutely stacked, which makes it difficult to name the notable acts without listing every band that played. The single-day festival quickly sold out once tickets went on sale; a second day was then promptly added with the same lineup to accommodate those who were not able to snag a ticket for the initial Saturday plan.
There were no issues getting to the Queen Mary venue via the shuttle system provided by Goldenvoice, and entering the venue was a quick and straightforward process. Navigating through the festival grounds, ordering food and drinks, and using the facilities was made easy through maintaining a streamlined crowd control system and having a plethora of refreshment and food tents and restrooms in easily accessible locations.
Utilizing the revolving platform at the Strange as Angels stage, RAC came on shortly after Miami Horror. Playing a medley of remixes and original songs, his electropop DJ set was a great way to get warmed up for a full day of dancing. Breakbot followed RAC, playing his funkadelic style to hype the crowd up to continue dancing. He had the crowd moving and grooving throughout his set, going from a cover of Daft Punk’s “One More Time,” progressing through a history of disco, and then finally ending with his hit song “Baby I’m Yours.”
Moving from the Strange as Angels stage to the Like a Dream stage was a covered walk from the pavement side of the venue to the grassy side that overlooks the harbor. Once on the Like a Dream stage grounds, it was back-to-back-to-back-to-back with great artists. Passion Pit came out with high energy, happy melodies, but depressing lyrical style, followed by Miike Snow who played more relaxed versions of their songs from the self-titled album. It was nice to take a break from dancing in-between sets to lay down on the shaded knoll towards the back of the stage and talk with other festival goers, who were also replenishing their energy stores to continue enjoying the rest of the day. MGMT then performed a psychedlia-infused sunset experience, with an effigy of the character on their Little Dark Age album cover inflated in the back of the stage. Phoenix finally took the stage with their headlining set, and even after a long day in the sun, their energy carried the crowd through their entire performance.
Exiting the festival grounds was a breeze. Shuttles were available, but the brisk walk to downtown Long Beach felt nice to help wind down the night after a day full of nostalgic excitement. Goldenvoice exercised the 5 P’s (Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance) and put on an amazing event. From the accessibility to the crowd vibes to the acts on the lineup, this one-day festival was the perfect way to kick off summer, and it really did feel just like heaven.