Long Beach’s Marina Green Park was transformed once again for Music Tastes Good as Josh added one more notch on his infamous mix. The two day local fest welcomed a flock of new-wave aficionados for New Order‘s set on Saturday as James Blake and Janelle Monáe made us feel some type of way on Sunday night. Seeing slightly warmer temperatures the second day, MTG was blessed with an expansive set-up and Long Beach’s sea breeze, allowing a festival go-er to enjoy the interactive art pieces strewn across the field. Accessibility between stages didn’t wear down on one’s knees — noting the rotating main stage that added to the fluidity of the festival — and the vast amount of food choices, restrooms, and water stations provided comfort in between. Eclectic in their curation, hailing primarily to locals and indie artists, MTG continues its notoriety as a shot of concentrated arts; straight to the point without the excess fluff or crowds of larger festivals.
Haunted Summer kicked things off without delay and brought their disillusioned dreaminess to the Gold Stage. Each member was dressed in their own witchy attire, followed by a heavy reverb that fitted their mystical aroma. While BLCKNOISE demonstrated an amazing, soulful composition, rich in each line. When asked the audience if they’d like to hear a Radiohead or White Stripes cover, majority took over for their equally soulful version of “Seven Nation Army.” Yet, one can’t help but imagine how their Radiohead rendition would’ve sounded like. LA’s FEELS and Cherry Glazerr brought a fierce amount of scuzz to the main stage, prepping for the hype of Princess Nokia.
Big Thief changed the pace with their wistful and slight somber tales, weaved upon melodic folk draws. The Brooklyn-based indie quartet was quite memorizing to watch and may have been a gem that slipped through the cracks for many. Adrianne Lenker shyed on the mic between tunings as each track brought her to life. Lenker’s raw and self-destructive vocals quivered over pop fusions making them one of the more enjoyable indie acts of Day one. Blake Mills followed suit on the Gold Stage with a stripped down and intimate set perfectly timed against Long Beach’s setting sun.
Hana Vu opened up day two and did not disappoint. The 17-year old singer/songwriter belted out thick compositions, rich in maturity and tone that trembled onto the parking lot as you neared the front gates. Long Beach’s Asi Fui dazzled with a delicate nature and quickly added them to the list of local acts you must check out. Equally impressive, The Fling melted hearts with their rustic musings, notably the sweet sliver titled “27.” Backed by 3 guitars, the local’s set-up was filled with melodic layers. At times The Fling’s portrayal was tender between vocalists that quickly switched to high paced furry, crossing lines into the remains of psych-rock without the excessive dream-pop abrasiveness.
Super duo, B.A.G., featuring Bay Area’s Blimes and Seattle’s Gifted Gab took the vibes to the next level. The two displayed a flawless set of witty lines, confident bars, and a classic hip-hop production. Blimes and G.G. did not hesitate to interact with the crowd, diving onto the grassy field and replicating cypher days, feeding off the crowd’s energy.
Ezra Furman, as always, captivated in sight and sound as nearby LADAMA stole the show with their beautiful world compositions. Sung in Spanish, English, and Portuguese, the all female group provided lost sounds that ironically connected us all. Lizzo‘s energy was insane and acted a perfect pick-me-up after a well deserved food coma. Soul, pop, and hip-hop were no stranger to her set as well as a shimmering amount of body positivity that she encouraged all to partake in, equal to that of Janelle Monáe who truly made us a believer. The Dirty Computer artist took to various costume changes, flew from guitar to mic with ease, and provided all the moves with an effortless touch.
Dive into all photos from this weekend: Martin Santacruz Jr., GUM