festival recap

The kids are in school and football has started. That means festival season is over right?  Not for Long Beach residents it isn’t.

SoCal is known for its endless summers so why not throw a festival in late September? In fact, why not add some famous chefs to the mix and make it a perfect weekend? Numerous chefs from the west coast from as far north as Vancouver all the down to Tijuana brought their best dishes and bands from much further abroad brought their best tunes to Music Tastes Good. Long Beach natives, The Black Noise kicked things off with their unique sound.  What started as an empty field ended with a gathering crowd and without a doubt some newfound fans.

With two stages going there was never any downtime and like many festivals it was difficult to see it all. It was even harder to taste all the delicious food spread throughout the show.  From tasting tents to vendor stalls there was something for everyone. In addition to the two stages, the tasting tent had programming as well with chefs and musicians teaming up for talks with Anthony Bozza, host of the podcast Winyl. Some highlights from the two days in the sun:

Quintron and Miss Pussycat’s delightfully strange puppet show which came off as a punk rock Pee Wee Herman’s playhouse followed by some very out there tunes. U.K. punks Shame delivered a powerhouse set ending with lead vocalist Charlie Steen diving into the crowd with a confrontational performance. Cherry Glazer’s guitar-drenched set drew an impressive crowd. Princess Nokia’s take-no-prisoners set ending with an emotional tribute to her late brother. Santigold inviting the entire crowd onstage with her and the audience obliging. Emily Haines with Broken Social Scene performing their album You Forgot It In People in full. New Order somehow convincing a field of sunburned, overfed festival-goers to dance their asses off from start to finish. Bill Callahan’s breezy set in the midday sun. Lizzo’s performance from start to finish. Parquet Courts tearing through their set which segued into the most electrifying performance of the weekend which was Janelle Monae.

Monae brought everything from her backup dancers to her throne and had the crowd in the palm of her hand from the first notes of Dirty Computer. Her message of positivity, inclusion and empowerment hit the spot after a long week.  At one point she asked if anyone in the crowd had “the juice” to which many who responded found themselves onstage with Monae showing off their skills.  She was a hard act to follow but James Blake was up for the challenge.  His slightly more mellow set was a perfect ending to the weekend and for those of us who had to get up for work bright and early the next morning.

Check out the highlights below: 

photo by: David Iskra