FYF 2013: Bonus Pics w/ No Age, METZ, Charles Bradley, Baroness, The Locust, Melvins, FLAG, Les Savy Fav

One of the raddest things about FYF is that the fest doesn’t just give up-and-coming or outsider bands a chance to rip it up in front of huge, curious crowds. They also promote indie and DIY culture in general, with the presence of craft tables and zine and mixtape contests. I think the fact that they give a photo pass to someone like me is part of that. There I was in the photo pit with my little GX1 and pancake lens, surrounded by professional shooters with thousands of dollars worth of bazooka-like gear… Somehow, I got some pretty good shots that I didn’t use in the FYF recap blogs (parts 1 and 2) but still want to share–like the one of No Age, above. The L.A. duo is known for weirdo ripping, but I was going to cry during “I Won’t Be Your Generator” because it sounded so gorgeous when given the fuzzed-out Replacements’ “Answering Machine” treatment. You can tell this outtake was from early in the set because drummer Dean Spunt is still wearing a hat.

I was grateful for the three songs that we were allowed to stand in front and take photos during. But, especially with a band like METZ, I knew certain musicians were just getting warmed up and that the real rocking out would happen toward the end of the set. In the outtake above, the Sub Pop rockers aren’t even covered in sweat yet. I considered setting up shop in the front row for certain bands’ entire sets but never followed through for hygiene reasons.

Since I’m not one of those guys with a hefty lens trying to get a close-up of the singer’s face, I like to stay on the side where it’s uncrowded and try to get the entire band in the frame. Actually, Charles Bradley was on the fest’s biggest stage so I didn’t get the drummer for this particular shot, but I like how you can see the remaining members admiring the former James Brown impersonator’s dance move.

This was the first time for me to see Baroness, and the metal band from Savannah, GA totally ripped! In this outtake, you can’t see the other members or even guitarist Peter Adams’ face but he is nicely captured mid shred.

The Locust are interesting because they are as efficient as they are powerful–flexing their musical brains more than giving typical rock poses. Not the most photogenic posturing but the costumes and perfect lighting at dusk made for striking images. They looked as alien as their music sounds.

With his trademark hair and cape, King Buzzo of the Melvins looks cool even when he’s just tuning his guitar. Much, much more heavy than Robert Smith on the “Boys Don’t Cry” 12″ single…

FLAG had the set that I was most excited about seeing. I had seen all of the members many times in different bands but to see them playing the songs of Black Flag was something else. And it’s one thing for angry young guys to sing about being pissed-off; there’s an entirely different level of anger and threat coming from old ass kickers. Actually, I think the shots with the slam pit and dust cloud might better communicate the moment…

But the band that really blew me away was Les Savy Fav. Singer Tim Harrington not only kept adding layers of clothing (from a dashiki to a silver bodysuit) and stripping down like a homeless person but he climbed the barricade on multiple occasions to sing from the crowd, climb a tree, or get passed around on a ladder. A couple of the times when he worked his way back, I was able to get some nice shots with his face illuminated by the stage lights. Rad music, rad imagery!

I go to a ton of shows but FYF is the only festival I’ve ever attended more than one day of. See you at the next one–or maybe Rocket From The Crypt tomorrow night at Del Mar…