September 1, 2012
Better than: Any cookout ever.
Braving choking dust clouds, oppressive sunlight and the inevitable game of PortaJohn Roulette ought to deliver an earthshattering prize. With another ambitious line up, and all modern conveniences covered this year (mist-troopers?), FYF Fest day one helped close down the summer in style.An early afternoon of spectacularly energetic young acts like The Men and John Maus gave way to The Vaselines. Frankly, if you missed the Vaselines, you're kind of a poseur, even if you were dying to see Chairlift or whatever. Scottish act The Vaselines -- fronted by Frances McKee and Eugene Kelly -- jangled their way through their classic tunes "Sex Sux" and "Monsterpussy" before rocking some newer material.
More like watching your cool Glaswegian brogued aunt and uncle chaffing through Sunday dinner, McKee and Kelly killed with the witty reparte. "We're calling this one the 'Eugene Could Use a Shag' tour, so let's help him out, yeah?" requested McKee. And before playing "Jesus Don't Want Me For a Sunbeam," McKee blurted out, "Well, Jesus is a good shag."
"Bit of a dick though," Kelly quipped back.
Next came the great Warpaint / Hot Snakes / Chromatics dilemma of 2012. We love Hot Snakes, but with not-to-be missed hardcore Refused closing the evening, we needed something cerebral.
We picked Warpaint, and it made all the difference. The Angeleno quartet packed the main stage area to an earnestly mind-blowing set. No joke. Stella Mozgawa's metronomically perfect drumming is infused with the right amount of personality and swagger. To say nothing of the occasionally ethereal vocals and sonically interdimensional floating guitar licks. On top of the brain high, the all-lady act Warpaint drives a bit of a body-moving groove. If it weren't for the, er, gopher pockmarked ground, we might have just laid down and vibed out or whatever. Enough people did anyways.
After the set of '90s post hardcore heroes Qucksand, it was all calisthenics in preparation for Refused.