The second annual Music Tastes Good Festival in Long Beach, California, was the perfect way to celebrate the transition of September to Rocktober with an impressive two-day lineup of renowned artists and chefs. The mixture of music, food, and art is a classic combination for any successful festival, but the lay out for Music Tastes Good demonstrated a unique emphasis on the special tastings offered throughout the weekend. The sophisticated outdoor VIP tasting room was placed in the middle of the festival, drawing in everyone for a delicious meal while still able to enjoy the music from the comfort of their seat. With both stages on opposing ends of the grounds, it was easy for anyone to grab a bite to eat on the way to the next set or peruse the various artists’ tents, filled with hand made items such as wine bottle candles and vintage inspired bathing suits. Overall, the festival itself proved to be one to look out for in the future for Southern Californian residents with their impressive rock lineup and enjoyable amenities.
The following is a review of the artists experienced by the author in chronological order:
Saturday, September 30th:
The Toronto based band Alvvays brought their powerful indie pop sound to the beginning of the festival weekend. The quartet fronted by female vocalist Molly Rankin knew exactly how to get the party started with new hits such as “Not My Baby” from their recent September second album release, but still played the classics everyone loves like “Atop My Cake” and “Plimsoll Punks.”
Broncho got the crowd going, playing fan favorites and putting on a truly rock and roll show. They gave long time listeners the pleasure of playing from all three of their albums and introduced new listeners to their refined indie rock sound not common in Southern California.
Built to Spill:
Long time rock enthusiasts knew when Built to Spill was on the lineup that this was going to be a festival to remember. With Ride on the opposing stage, electric guitar fans were truly in heaven. They gave a rousing performance, leaving everyone in the audience hyped for the Saturday headliner that was about to grace the stage.
With a full rendition of their celebrated album “Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?,” of Montreal put on a truly special performance at the festival. Dressed in his famous flamboyant garb, frontman Kevin Barnes gave a colorful performance that highlighted their blend of psychedelic rock and glam perfectly.
As a tribute to the late festival founder Josh Fischel, Ween proved to be the perfect first rock headliner and a long time favorite of many in attendance of this new festival. Fans screamed their name as soon as it seemed they were near performance time, and the shouting of song requests continued long throughout their set. The duo of Gene and Dean Ween, Aaron Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo, gave a rousing performance and got everyone on their feet with crowd favorites and a heavy emphasis on their standout album “Chocolate and Cheese.”
Sunday, October 1st:
Peaches aka Merill Nisker gave everyone in the audience exactly what they wanted: electropunk and a taste of her famous crowd walking. Her contagious onstage energy got everyone hyped, making it a special moment for all on the last day of the festival.
Alternative R&B group Rhye performed an intimate set for all in attendance. They performed fan favorites such as “Last Dance” and “Open,” and also revealed some new tracks that will be released in the coming weeks. While the constant helicopter presence overhead became a slight bother to the audience during the set, frontman Milosh kept his composure and made light of the distractions to the delight of those in the audience. His pristine vocals proved as beautiful as ever, and the accompaniment of a full band and electric strings made for a memorable set.
The ultimate rock and roll girl band Sleater-Kinney was by far the best way to end a festival created to celebrate noise. The entire set was filled with the sounds of wailing electric guitars and strong female vocals, making everyone head bang and dance in attendance. One of the special highlights of this band in particular is that one of the founding members is a celebrity in her own right: Carrie Brownstein, star of the famous satire series Portlandia. Her performance Sunday night proved she could really do anything. The entire female powered band had a loud and powerful sound, ending the festival on a high note.
Photos by: @rhivanz