There were a lot of people disappointed when Frank Ocean unexpectedly pulled out just a day before the first day of this year’s FYF Fest — myself included. Even when it was quickly followed up with the announcement that Kanye West would be the late substitute headliner, it wasn’t enough on its own to calm the disappointment of those who had bought tickets specifically to see the hermit Ocean.
I’d seen Kanye at a couple music festivals in the past year and was disappointed by the amount of time he spent lecturing the crowd or ranting in general. At FYF, Kanye instead delivered a hit-filled set that also saw Rihanna join the stage for a few brief seconds, as well as Travis Scott.
I have no idea what the hell Kanye was wearing, but only someone like him could pull off an outfit that would look ridiculous on 90% of the general population.
Say what you will about Kanye, but you can’t deny the guy has a deep catalog of bangers and they were on full display Saturday. Performing on a stage that looked like the surface of the moon, Kanye ran through favorites such as “Stronger” and “All Day” before bringing Travis Scott on stage for “Antidote.”
When it came time for “FourFive Seconds,” many were hopeful Rihanna would appear, yet they were still shocked into high-pitched shrieks when Kanye handed her a microphone. Though she only sang a little bit of the ditty before asking the crowd to “give it up” for her friend Kanye, it was enough to make the festival-headlining performance stand out among many others.
During the set, there was a near-fight that broke out right where I was standing. An intoxicated couple kept trying to start issues with people around them. Luckily, the people they were trying to ignite had cool heads and kept from firing back. The girl was especially rude, pointing her middle fingers at everyone around her with serious hate in her eyes. The funny part was there was this Asian dude who was REALLY into the Kanye set and was singing along and dancing like he was on a really big high, even getting in between the two people that were nearly getting physical, with a happy “zero f*cks given” personality. He might have been my favorite person at FYF Fest on the first day. After a couple songs, the annoyingly drunk couple walked out of the crowd, and a few of us sang a “Na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye” chant.
Kanye would have been justified in spending five minutes talking about how he saved Friday’s FYF Fest slate by coming in at the last minute to headline, but he didn’t. Instead, he stuck to the performance — as well as a hilarious short banter session about when you’re messed up and your friend isn’t quite on that same level as you. He ended his set with a 10-minute medley of some of his most famous tracks, including “Gold Digger,” “All of the Lights.” and “Can’t Tell Me Nothing.”
Kanye also shouted out LA’s own Kendrick Lamar in a way, dropping the chorus from “Alright” seamlessly into his performance. At one point, Kanye also asked the crowd to make the moshing section bigger and to also get rowdy, which they were very eager to oblige him on.
Saturday will be remembered by many as the day Kanye West was the hero FYF Fest needed and deserved and it certainly raised his stock with a lot of folks who may have previously grown tired of Yeezy’s antics.
Words: Mark E. Ortega
Photography: Wes Marsala
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