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July 12, 2014
Saturday marked the first full-day festival held by Lost Dog, a music collective that started up in March and is run by three (recently graduated) high schoolers.
Co-presented by Danger Collective Records, another Los Angeles, non-profit, youth-based music collective, Insidelands featured musicians on each groups' artist rosters (Hollows, Bobby T. and the Slackers) in addition to other bands making waves in the Los Angeles DIY scene (Girlpool, Sloppy Jane, Thee Rain Cats).
It was a sold-out show, and headliners included White Fang, The Audacity, The Garden, and Together Pangea. Impressive for a bunch of teenagers who took their first shot at booking shows less than 4 months ago.
Swarms of x-marked hands filtered in and out of the two-room venue. In the smoking sections, complaints could be overheard about moms not allowing their kids to drive because they only have provisional permits.
As the performers came off-stage to mingle, it appeared much of the audience were friends with the bands, or at least went to school with them. It was a bit like a high school party, minus the cheap beer bought by someone's older brother, but with all the angst and questionable fashion choices (fluffy pink hair and overalls were popular).
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While intriguing, the super-young crowd was inspirational, too. Looking around at what these kids managed to put together made you wonder why you weren't organizing festivals when you were, like, 15.
Highlights: Punk rockers No Parents opened the festival on the Big Stage. Clothes came off and the singer (who goes by "Cat Shit" on the band's Facebook) shared some wisdom, albeit slurred: "This song is all about the times you have that lead up to death...because all the things you do lead up to that... so you better make it the best one."
Sloppy Jane's front-woman Haley Dahl brought strong stage presence as she sang (i.e. screamed) at the crowd in a velvet leotard. Bassist Phoebe Bridgers kept the tempo while Imogen Teasley-Vlautin ripped away on drums. It was the perfect, mosh-pit provoking mix of heaviness and fun.
With a self-described genre of "Too Tan for Surf-Psych," Vaguess injected some real rock into their set as guitarist Vinny Vaguess simultaneously played and crowd-surfed.
On the Small Stage, Girlpool's characteristically stripped-down set of bass, guitar, and vocals emphasized the duo's striking songwriting. It was well worth almost tripping up the roughly 10,000 black-painted stairs leading from Los Globos' back patio.
The Audacity and Together Pangea both delivered some incredible shredding, despite sound issues (vocals tended to overpower instruments throughout the day).
Also, Together Pangea sold hand made shirts that were only available that day at Insidelands. So, that was cool.
Overall, it was a successful first-time festival. While a few acts were obviously unseasoned, one can't knock them for dipping their toes into the local music scene. Everyone's gotta start somewhere, and Insidelands was a pretty good place to do so.