Anarchy's fine to celebrate when you're a teenager and nothing of import is at stake. Just ask Laura Jane Grace, who delivered her band Against Me's "I Was a Teenage Anarchist" to an adrenaline-heavy crowd at the annual FYF Fest on Saturday evening. The moshing and crowd surfing were frantic as she bellowed on young idealism. A lot of pent-up frustration in the crowd? Perhaps.
But when tens of thousands of people are trying to get food, see music, grab a drink, go to the bathroom and browse around four stages to catch a bunch of renegade acts, anarchy's kind of a problem.
Such was the first day Saturday of the weekend FYF Fest at the Los Angeles Sports Arena and surrounding Exposition Park. Ten hours filled with often inspired rock, electronic pop, hip-hop and experimental music from artists including Little Dragon, Phoenix, Grimes and dozens of others was eclipsed by off-kilter planning, long lines and a labyrinthine festival layout. Want a beer? First you had to wait in a 20-minute line for the ID check. Then another half-hour for a Craftsman Heavenly Hef. That's in addition to the reported two-hour wait time for some to gain entry to the festival. I waited a half-hour for a terrible $10 hamburger.
A roster overflowing with inspiration served as an antidote: It's hard to be grumpy when Four Tet is filling the Sports Arena with deep, mesmerizing house music, or when the rap team of Run the Jewels is delivering a set every bit as hard and incendiary as Japanese experimental metal band Boris. The latter mixed deep, down-tuned riffs with crawling, post-Melvins sludge. The former, consisting of rappers Killer Mike and El-P, spewed righteous indignation while confirming a team making vital, furiously tight hip-hop.
The first night closed with headlining French rock gods Phoenix delivering all their singalong hits, while across the pitch and seemingly a million miles away garage-rock king Ty Segall force-fed fans music from his hot new album, "Manipulator."
Pop & Hiss will have more from the FYF throughout the day. If you're attending, here's some free advice: Get there early, and try and be zen about the whole thing. It might be a good idea to pick a stage and stick to it. If you're wanting to see anything in the Sports Arena, get there early and camp out. Be careful out there.
Follow Randall Roberts on Twitter: @lileditCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times