Long Beach welcomed music and food lovers to a weekend of delight and discovery through its diverse line-up at the second year of Music Tastes Good. Despite the festival’s size, MTG proved to focus on the rooted nature of local music, vendors, and a love of bringing a community together, ultimately surpassing the containment of the actual festival. With two stages, delicately named Long Beach and the New Orleans Stage, 40 bands displayed their unwavering talent, ringing true to music lover’s ears, while Chefs bounced their own array of skills throughout the Taste Tent.
Taking everything into consideration, such as no delay from act to act, a revolving platform on the Long Beach main stage, and art installations strewn across the grassy field, MTG by far is a personal favorite this year, with a reassuring hope in music festivals and local talent.
Saturday kicked off the festival with show-goers getting their feet wet with the festival’s TAP system, eliminating the need of struggling for your cash or card at each tent. At first, the registration of the wristband seemed idiotic, yet by the second day the easy nature of simply uploading a certain amount (with cash or card) on one’s wristband eliminated the wait time from station to station and allowed for hands-free mobility when migrating quickly.
Favorites that seemed to captivate musically on the main stage were without a doubt TV Heads, Of Montreal, and BRONCHO. On the New Orleans stage, the soulful nature of Diane Coffee tugged on our hearts, U.K. duo, SLAVES immersed the audience by the throat with their gritty punk, and art-rap collective The Natives showcased bars and smooth productions.
Day 2 was equally as smooth and picked up the momentum of Saturday’s festivities. Focusing more so on energy for Sunday, the acts this time around had special quirks that seemingly flowed throughout the day.
Guadalajara group, Los Master Plus, brought modern electronics to their banda aesthetic and blew the crowd away with their take on Daft Punk’s “One More Time,” while Long Beach locals Furcast made their hometown proud. Dengue Fever and Rufrano carefully placed their sound on the Long Beach stage preparing for the twerkfest that Big Freedia was about to start. Digable Planets and Los Lobos were definitely acts that were worth the wait, and as expected, Sleater-Kinney closed the chapter of MTG beautifully.
Yet, the New Orleans stage held an impressive amount of energy. Brass seemed to be of importance with Jelly of the Month, Durand Jones & The Indications, and New Orleans natives, Hot 8 Brass Band, but as always rambunctious dance lords, !!! – aka Chk Chk Chk — stole the stage. Peaches continued through energetic drops and visual stimulation that would leave a smile on anyone’s face (hopefully), while Dr. Octagon showcased why they were always ahead of the times in the underground realm.
The line-up on this stage for Sunday was extremely powerful and may have been overlooked by the anticipation of Los Lobos and Sleater-Kinney, but the festival’s layout and well thought out timing made seeing multiple overlaying acts possible. MTG seemed to provide the aroma of larger music festivals, while maintaining a humbling homage to Long Beach and local artists that can only be found in a smaller scene.
Thank you Joshua Fischel and we wish you were there with us Charles Bradley.
Here’s to next year.