Within the mile walk from the bus stop to the east entrance of the festival in downtown Los Angeles, we were losing our buzz. Sweat began to trickle down my face and I kicked myself for opting out of flats. I already desperately longed to lay in the shade. And so the first of seven hours began.
I perked up within minutes of entering the grassy venue, partially due to the flask stashed down my shirt, but mostly I'll credit the music. At 3:30, drawn by the boom of the speakers, we walked up to the Hill St. Stage just in time to hear A.A. Bondy’s hypnotizing set. His raspy voice sung of death and parades as we swayed, allowing our euphoria to overshadow our heat rash.
We left the set a few minutes early, with enough time to battle the crowd and nab prime standing room for Chairlift. The blonde bombshell/lead singer, Caroline Polachek, donning ombre locks and black and white tights, bounced around the stage, twirling and moving to the ethereal melodies. Hours later, at 9:30, after countless port-a-potty pit stops due to a bit too much time in the beer garden, the lights dimmed on the Main St. Stage to present M83. Despite the diehard fan beside me thrashing his body about and nearly elbowing me to the ground, the show was undeniably epic.
The second day saw us armed with the proper equipment, having learned how to stealthily sneak in a PB&J and bottled water. We caught the likes of Atlas Sound, Liars, and Sleigh Bells, all of which gave impressive performances. But by the end of the day, hot and fatigued from our two-day music binge, Beirut was the perfect remedy. With an eclectic mix of instruments, Zach Condon’s smooth vocals were like the calm at the end of a storm. “Postcards from Italy” sung us out, as we snuck from the crowd to watch the last songs through the chainlink fence before setting out on our long journey home.
Written by Rachel Ellison