The Descendents, Ty Segall, Kid Dynamite
Los Angeles State Historic Park
September 3, 2011
Rebounding after last year's lack of food and water, this year FYF did what it does best — showcase the best and brightest up and comers, while also giving the spotlight to some more historic names.
As soon as you walked in the door you could feel the anticipation in the air. Pennsylvania pop punkers Title Fight gave a special thank you to The Descendents and Kid Dynamite, saying, “If it wasn't for those bands we wouldn't be here today. I stayed home sick in the fourth grade just so I could learn how to play [Kid Dynamite's] “Shorter, Faster, Louder.”
The award for break-out younger act of the day goes to Ty Segall. Any preconceived notion of the man doesn't apply to his live shows. Though most reviewers describe him as lo-fi, sleepy, dark, and creepy, he came off during his set as energetic, funny, and quite entertaining.
Most punk bands today employ something of a “Yo Gabba Gabba Hey” style, but Ty has serious songwriting ability. I'm a sucker for acts that can play loud, play well, and look like they're having fun at the same time. Segall's stage banter consisted partly of non-sequiturs like: “Love is alright, love is ok. You can take drugs, you can not… I don't give a a fuck anymore okay? Okay man?” and “This song is about eating weed rice. [Crowd cheers.] No, no, not cool…It's about eating weed rice and locking yourself in your room and listening to Black Sabbath all night because you think you're gonna die.”
Maybe you had to be there, but his delivery is excellent. His set had a refreshing light-heartedness and honesty.
Descendents and Kid Dynamite reviews below.
The big show of the night was The Descendents, who had a larger turnout than headliners Death From Above 1979. The crowd was filled with eager young faces who weren't even born when the band started, as well as old punks looking forward to a nostalgic night.
The group raced through a fairly long and satisfying set of memorable favorites, including “Bikeage,” “Suburban Home,” and “I Like Food,” and they finished with “I'm Not A Loser.” Although it was strange to see them next to two giant projection screens — instead of on a smaller stage with kids diving off left and right — the vibe was still good. Attendees bounced, crowd surfed, and pitted to their favorite songs.
The cloud of dust reached higher than the main stage itself — which, at FYF, is a sure sign of a great set. Alongside the stages were friends and family, and even the bands who played earlier, fans just like everyone else. At one point the Descendents brought out their kids to read their version of the ten commandments from All-O-Gistics, making the stage look like some sort of punk rock Chuck E Cheese. It all made for a beautiful irony, as the gray-haired band sang about not wanting to grow up.
Kid Dynamite played “Raphael's” stage, the smaller one tucked away in the back, which worked great for these Philadelphia legends. It was the band's first show in California since 1999, but the twelve year gap washed right away. They played a 22 song set, which for hardcore bands is quite epic.
The crowd, meanwhile, was the most energetic I saw all day. They never quit. Kids were head-walking and crawling their way to front. It was nice to see someone actually stage dive here as well, which made it seem more like a hardcore show and less like a festival. (Though, that was a brave man who dove over the gap and the barricade.) It was all a perfect combination of energy, nostalgia, sound and execution.
Critical Bias: Ever since I started listening to punk rock I've wanted to see these bands. Little did I know I'd get to see two of my favorites in one day.
Descendents and Kid Dynamite set lists below.
My Dad Sucks
I'm the One
I Wanna Be a Bear
When I Get Old
I Like Food
Nothing With You
I Dont Wanna Grow Up
Get the Time
I'm Not a Loser