LIVE 105’s Big Fucking Day is the South Bay’s one-day music festival. It’s that one festival that’s kind of like a knock-off version of Coachella, but surprisingly not so hard on your wallet. That last part probably has something to do with BFD’s venue: everybody’s least-preferred Shoreline Amphitheater. Despite its affordability, BFD always has an amazing line-up, and this year definitely did not disappoint.
The festival was split up into four stages. While LIVE 105 primarily plays alternative rock, there was the Subsonic Tent that featured EDM artists like Whethan and Opia, while the Local Stage showcased local artists, which I think is pretty darn cool. More well-known artists performed on the Festival Stage that had varying genres from Mondo Cozmo’s folk rock to LP’s indie pop.
The energy of the Festival Stage was immense; there was even crowd surfing and break dancing from New Politics’ vocalist, David Boyd. We also got to see Adam Lazarra, Taking Back Sunday’s singer, famously swing his mic all over the stage. To say the least, the Festival Stage was the place to be, and the perfect prelude to the Main Stage’s line-up.
Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness kicked off the evening on the Main Stage with his poppy, smiley attitude and cool Wayfarer shades. McMahon walked through the crowd, stopping for selfies and hugs, all while singing his warm, upbeat set. As if that wasn’t fun enough, he got on top of a piano and belted out his summer anthem, “Fire Escape.”
Next up was German duo Milky Chance. Their catchy, viral song, “Stolen Dance,” is probably how you first heard of them, but they just released a new album, Blossom (2017). Their new music is uber cool — cool like wearing a turtleneck sweater/sunglasses combo casually nodding at strangers cool.
It was no surprise at all that Cold War Kids energized and mesmerized the entire crowd with their grungy, soulful hits, “Hang Me Up To Dry” and “First.” I love it when bands cover a song, and Cold War Kids finished off their set with their soft rock version of Rihanna’s “Love On the Brain.”
Franz Ferdinand, the rock quartet from Glasgow, might not be on everybody’s radar, but they should be. Their sound is very unique and has an almost artsy, avant-garde vibe to it. The older crowd at BFD this year definitely appreciated the return of Franz Ferdinand to the stage, while others happily danced along to their post-punk hits.
Phoenix, Phoenix, Phoenix. How can I describe the intense joy and happiness I felt shooting for one of my all-time, favorite bands? There are just no words. The members of this French alternative rock band are quite possibly the cutest artists I have ever witnessed. Frontman Thomas Mars said word-for-word, “We had the most scariest night in East Palo Alto last night!” Oh Phoenix! You and your suburbs of Paris! What makes me think back in awe of last weekend is the fact that Phoenix headlined for BFD since Phoenix is one of those bands that could easily headline for Outside Lands; in fact, they did in 2013. Despite their fame, their willingness to play on a smaller stage was very much appreciated by everyone in the crowd. Their performance was everything I thought it would be and more. With all of the complicated set-up I saw going on, I knew we would be in for a crazy night. We’re talking a massive angled mirror, a light-up floor, electric keyboards everywhere, and laser beams. The works. I guess maybe the intricate set should’ve clued me into possible technical difficulties lying ahead. Unfortunately, the electronic keyboards weren’t completely ready for the band. However, this obstacle didn’t faze Phoenix. For their second song, Thomas Mars just ran up to the crowd, stood up on a piece of railing, and serenaded the venue with a slow and stripped rendition of “Countdown.” Phoenix was the highlight of BFD. That is a fact.
Article and Photos by Annie Nguyen