The National | First City Festival | 8/24/14 [PHOTOS]

Concerts

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At First City Festival, CLICK HERE.

THE ACT: The National | Facebook | Twitter

INSTAGRAM VIDEOS: CLICK HERE

SOUNDS LIKE: 

SETLIST:

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THOUGHTS: The National. What a great way to end a perfectly sublime music festival. I’ve only seen them perform live once before, and that was a short set for Jimmy Kimmel Live. This time, I got a chance to see them perform an entire set … something I’ve been dying to do for the longest time. It’s taken me about 7 years to see them in all their glory, but it was well worth the wait. Performing music that is beyond heartfelt, with fans singing along all throughout their set, with Matt jumping into the crowd during “Mr. November” singing with the crowd, it was as intimate as a large music festival could get … and I doubt that I’ll ever experience that kind of thing ever again. Amazing.

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At First City Festival, CLICK HERE.

Cults | First City Festival | 8/24/14 [PHOTOS]

Concerts

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At First City Festival, CLICK HERE.

THE ACT: Cults | Facebook | Twitter

INSTAGRAM VIDEOS: CLICK HERE

SOUNDS LIKE: 

THOUGHTS: I’m a big fan of Cults’ music. I saw them earlier this year at the Santa Monica Pier, and was excited to get the chance to shoot them again at First City Festival since I wasn’t completely satisfied with the pics that I had snapped on the pier. There were a few moments of decent lighting, but during the start of their set (the time photographers are allowed into the pit), the lights were heavy on blue, pink and purple … just like the last time I shot them! Oh well … them the breaks. Hopefully, I’ll get a third chance to shoot them. I need some keepers for my collection!

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At First City Festival, CLICK HERE.

The Naked And Famous | First City Festival | 8/24/14 [PHOTOS]

Concerts

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THE ACT: The Naked And Famous | Facebook | Twitter

INSTAGRAM VIDEOS: CLICK HERE

SOUNDS LIKE: 

THOUGHTS: The first time I saw The Naked and Famous perform live was at Coachella this year. I was curious to see how much their stage performance had evolved from the first time I saw them perform, and I’ll have to admit that there was something about their performance at First Festival that really impressed me. They seemed to perform more freely and had a more loose air about them. Maybe it was great stage lighting. Maybe it was the gentle breeze the made Alisa Xayalith’s garments flow in the wind. Maybe it was the crowd singing along with the choruses of the popular songs. Maybe it was the act of the crowd throwing flowers onto the stage for Alisa’s birthday. Whatever it was, it reflected in their performance, and they delivered a tremendous set.

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At First City Festival, CLICK HERE.

Geographer | First City Festival | 8/24/14 [PHOTOS]

Concerts

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At First City Festival, CLICK HERE.

THE ACT: Geographer | Facebook Twitter

INSTAGRAM VIDEOS: CLICK HERE

SOUNDS LIKE: 

THOUGHTS: The only scheduling conflict for the entire festival for me was between Geographer’s set and The Naked And Famous’ set. Geographer started at 7pm and TNAF started at 7:25, and being  approved for a photo pass, I was instructed to be at the media tent 15 minutes prior to main stage acts taking the stage to be led into the main stage photo pit. I decided to gamble a bit. After all, was I going to miss catching a band that I was into? They use a freakin’ upright, electric bass! How cool is that? <- Yes, I’m a music nerd. Luckily, Geographer’s set started on time, and they started their set with the songs that got me into them to begin with. I pushed the time limit, and left their set at 7:20, running across the fairgrounds to get to the media tent right when TNAF was supposed to start. Apparently, the photographers had already been led into the pit, but the production manager was cool enough to take me into the pit even though I had missed my deadline. Thanks, Joan!

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At First City Festival, CLICK HERE.

Lo-Fang | First City Festival | 8/24/14 [PHOTOS]

Concerts

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At First City Festival, CLICK HERE.

THE ACT: Lo-Fang | Facebook | Twitter

INSTAGRAM VIDEOS: CLICK HERE

SOUNDS LIKE: 

THOUGHTS: A few months ago, I was at a local record store, Origami Vinyl, shopping for new wax. On display were autographed copies of a new LP by an artist I hadn’t heard of before. It’s was Lo-Fang’s debut album “Blue Film” … and I opted not to purchase the disc. Noticing that he was scheduled to perform at First City, I decided to check his set out. After the first song, I regretted not purchasing the album. Matthew Hemeriein is Lo-Fang and his music is a soothing concoction of R&B and synth pop that is just about as seductive as music can get. A skilled multi-instrumentalist (violin and guitar) with a falsetto that that is steady and silky, in addition to the fact the the dude is, as one female photographer stated, “pretty damn good-looking” make his audience, largely female, swoon with every beat.

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At First City Festival, CLICK HERE.

Future Islands | First City Festival | 8/24/14 [PHOTOS]

Concerts

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At First City Festival, CLICK HERE.

THE ACT: Future Islands | Facebook | Twitter

INSTAGRAM VIDEOS: CLICK HERE

SOUNDS LIKE: 

THOUGHTS: To think that I almost missed out on seeing Future Islands perform at Coachella 2014. If it wasn’t for their lead singer, Sam Herring, convincing me to check them out, I would have missed out on music that I have perched high on my “best of the year” lists. When I found out they were performing at First City Festival, I urged all of my friends who were also attending to check them out. They, like me, were amazed by what they saw and heard. I think part of what makes Future Islands’ live performance so powerful to witness is the emotive stage presence of Mr. Herring. Every movement … every gesture … it all speaks to something, and it’s truly a revelation to witness. I suppose that why most of my shots of the band were of Sam. It really couldn’t be helped. I suppose that I should have bust out a wider angled lens to capture the entire band … hopefully, I’ll get a chance to do that in the future when they get back to Los Angeles for another gig.

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At First City Festival, CLICK HERE.

Lake Street Dive | First City Festival | 8/24/14 [PHOTOS]

Concerts

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THE ACT: Lake Street Dive | Facebook | Twitter Website

INSTAGRAM VIDEOS: CLICK HERE

SOUNDS LIKE: 

SETLIST (UNCONFIRMED):

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THOUGHTS: 

Love, love, love the sound of this band! Knew absolutely nothing about them before stepping into the photo pit, but decided stay for their entire set and forego trying to photograph another band because I was loving their sound. This quartet fuses jazz and soul in a way that is truly sonically pleasing to the ear. The lead singer, Rachael Price, has such a wonderfully soothing tone to her voice that I couldn’t help but fall instantly in love with it. Throw in highly skilled players on upright bass (Bridget Kearney), trumpet/guitar (Mike Olson) and drums (Mike Calabrese)- if my memory serves me right, they all graduated from the prestigious New England Conservatory- and you’ve got a band that sounds amazingly good live. My only regret? That I’m only now discovering their music.

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At First City Festival, CLICK HERE.

The Men | First City Festival | 8/24/14 [PHOTOS]

Concerts

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At First City Festival, CLICK HERE.

THE ACT: The Men | Website Record Label

INSTAGRAM VIDEOS: CLICK HERE

SOUNDS LIKE: 

THOUGHTS: Though I wasn’t able to stick around for their entire set, I was able to get a sense of what The Men were all about. Mixing elements of punk, psychadelic and classic rock into their music, the brief glimpse of them that I got made me think of a laid back The Stooges or Lou Reed. Now, take my impression with a grain of salt … I was only there for about 15-20 minutes. I really wish I could have stuck around to truly absorb their entire set … but thank god for the Internet. I’ll be logging on soon enough.

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At First City Festival, CLICK HERE.

Midi Matilda | First City Festival | 8/24/14 [PHOTOS]

Concerts

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At First City Festival, CLICK HERE.

THE ACT: Midi Matilda | Facebook | Twitter

INSTAGRAM VIDEOS: CLICK HERE

SOUNDS LIKE: 

THOUGHTS: Kicking the music off on the second day of the festival was a San Francisco based band named Midi Matilda. I went to check out their set music unheard, and I left a fan.  This duo, consisting of Skyler Kilborn and Logan Grimé play an infectious, indie, electro-pop music that really had me enjoying the fact that I got to the festival grounds early. I had a brief moment to catch up with both of the guys, separately, as they were hanging out on the fairgrounds after their set (even caught a cool candid of Logan hanging with Sam Herring of Future Islands), and each were modest and well natured demonstrating to me their music really matched their personalities. I plan on keeping up with their music to see where it takes them. Good stuff. Really, good stuff.

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At First City Festival, CLICK HERE.

Beck | First City Festival | 8/23/14 [PHOTOS]

Concerts

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At First City Festival, CLICK HERE.

THE ACT: Beck | Facebook | Website

INSTAGRAM VIDEOS: CLICK HERE

SOUNDS LIKE:  …. you know what Beck sounds like.

setlist-image-v1

THOUGHTS: Beck performed at Coachella this year, but only “approved” photographers were allowed in his photo pit. I wasn’t one of those approved photographers. I was pretty bummed about it, because I’m a big fan of Beck. My favorite Beck song? Earthquake Weather off of “Guero”. When I found out he was closing the first night of First City Festival, I kept my fingers crossed that there weren’t going to be the photographer restrictions like there were for Coachella. Thankfully, there weren’t! The only caveat was that we were only allowed to shoot for the first two songs. I was already getting nervous. A three song limit … at least for me … it tough enough. Two songs? The pressure mounts. What if one of those songs was “Motherfucker” (a two minute song)?!?!? Oi, my mind and nerves actually got a little rattled with the thought. Right before we were led into the photo pit, the production manager informed us that Beck had changed his rules to allow us to shoot for three songs. A reprieve! When the music started, I noticed that the lights were dim and red. Oi. Though we had the three songs, light was an issue. I don’t think I’ve ever edited so many photos, and converted so many photos to black and white, than for this set. I posted a lot of photos in this album, but only 3 or 4 of them are actually really usable. After we were led out of the photo pit, I joined my friends to enjoy the rest of Beck’s set, and it was glorious. With a catalog like Beck’s, it wasn’t surprising that his performance was like a greatest hits concert. People were singing along, dancing around, and just having a hell of a time. In the fairgrounds stadium, it really felt like a party, and the party was enjoyed by all.

To Check Out Other Acts that I Caught At First City Festival, CLICK HERE.