Photos By: Rachel Frank

By: Dennis Moon and Connor Cox

The twelfth-annual FYF Festival kicked off this past weekend at the Los Angeles Exposition Park. And despite last minute cancellations from headliner Frank Ocean and indie rockers Deerhunter the festival was a huge success.

Day 1: Saturday

Alvvays kicked off the mainstage activity with one of the weekend’s best sets, sprinkling in new songs with familiar fare from their brilliant self-titled record (legitimately one of the best indie-pop albums I’ve heard). Though the band were committed to recreating the sound of their album, their distinct, melodic mix of spunk and musicianship came through in spades, and never felt stale. I was particularly impressed with Molly Rankin’s impeccable singing and guitarist Alec O’Hanley’s presence in their sound. He truly gives their songs muscle and does so effortlessly, more closely resembling a painter than an instrumentalist in his mannerisms. – Dennis

Runs the Jewels are a hip-hop group who rap about two things: socio-economic politics and how cool they are. And their live performance is no different. As the sun set behind their own billboard with the cover of the duo’s second album Run the Jewels 2 on Saturday evening, rap legends El-P and Killer Mike boastfully strolled out onto the mainstage to Queen’s “We are the Champions” blasting on the PA system. Their set featured guest appearances from artists like Rage Against the Machine’s Zach de la Rocha, Blink-182’s Travis Barker, and Gangsta Boo. – Connor

Later on day one, I caught Flying Lotus’ nearly impromptu DJ set in the Arena Stage. Sitting on the balcony level, I was enveloped by his detailed light show and transfixed by his mix, which was adaptable to the crowd’s reaction but far from thrown together. In addition to being a first-class producer and visionary, FlyLo has proved himself to be the consummate entertainer. Jawing with the crowd in between songs and even rapping as his alias, Captain Murphy, Lotus brings absolutely no ego into his epic shows. He maintains a heartfelt connection with his audience, and isn’t afraid to give them exactly what they want, even if that’s an epic remix of the Legend of Zelda theme. Twice. – Dennis

Bloc Party was a special act on the lineup considering it was only the band’s third show since 2013. It was also one of their first gigs performing with new members Justin Harris on bass and Louise Bartel on drums. Without introduction, the group performed a new song called “Eden”. Afterwards frontman Kele Okereke humorously greeted fans saying “Hello Fuck Yeah Fest! My name is Frank Ocean”. The performance included hits like “Banquet”, “Helicopter”, and “Hunting for Witches” along with other gems from throughout their discography. – Connor

I can’t possibly forget about Kanye. While I have loved and pored over every second of Frank Ocean’s modern-day masterpiece Channel Orange, the sheer shock factor of FYF’s surprise booking of Yeezus himself was enough to (at least partially) alleviate my pain. Kanye West is not someone you just sub in- the man’s reputation precedes him. Witnessing the person behind some of the best music of any genre to come out of the 21st Century in the flesh is something I won’t soon forget. The lights were blistering. The hits were relentless. The stage presence was dynamite. The crowd was bananas. We who had unknowingly purchased wristbands all the way back in May were treated to something truly special. I’m not going to brag any more, just go see him if you get the chance.  – Dennis