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Why Pasadena Daydream is Actually Good

Pasadena Daydream boasts a "celebratory vibe" that will see the end of August with dreamy and post-punk soundscapes.

When Goldenvoice unveiled Just Like Heaven the obvious was commented on, as The Cure seemed to be missing from the bill despite the fest pulling from their track bearing the same name. Yet, it seemed as though everything was according to plan for the festival giants upon announcement of Pasadena Daydream, which will be held at the Brookside at the Rose Bowl on Saturday, August 31st with general admission and VIP passes set at $150 and $300, respectively (not including fees), with $1 of every pass sold being donated to music and arts organizations.

Curated by The Cure, who according to Rolling Stone took inspiration from their 40th anniversary show at London’s Hyde Park, Pasadena Daydream is aimed to capture a similar feeling. “Hyde Park was a fabulous experience, the whole day was really magical,” frontman Robert Smith said in a statement. “And we wanted to create something with a celebratory vibe for the summer.”

The 10-band bill is one that aims for the nostalgic factor, specifically to the older millennial — who have been a target for the majority of shows and festivals for the past several years — while introducing new and similar darkwave goths, such as Iceland’s Kælan Mikla. Objectively, solely on the line-up, Pasadena Daydream is a solid curation.

It’s heavy, it’s dreamy; light and ethereal. More importantly, every artist’s sound can bleed into each other’s set, yet can still standout. There’s a well balanced discretion between vocal tones, leading women, the past and the future — showcasing the evolution of dark, synthwave throughout the decades.

Also appealing to the trend of a one-day fest, Pasadena Daydream will isolate the amenities of a festival, including vegetarian/vegan food options, the chill out zone experience (which we are not really certain what this is, but sounds great), water refill stations, and the option to bring lowback chairs or blankets (in designated areas). It is also an all ages show, much like its past sister fest, Arroyo Seco, as children 10 and younger will receive free admission when accompanied by a pass-holding adult.

With the only peeve of parking — which is advertised under the prepaid parking for GA starting at a steep $40 (but certain other lots will appear decreasing in price the further they are from the fest) — that hints at the encouragement of public transportation, Pasadena Daydream is a must attend fest for post-punk and synthwave lovers to close out the summer haze.

The Line-Up


The Cure headlining will fulfill many fans and music aficionado’s dreams. Starting their 30th anniversary celebrations of Disintegration in Sydney this week — and set to live stream their final Vivid LIVE show on May 30th, 8pm (AEST), on Sydney’s Opera House’s Facebook page and YouTube channel for fans all around the world — it could allude to something similar performed at the festival.

Pixies are yet another group that classify as a show fulfillment need. No explanation really needed, just as The Deftones, who round up the key acts of the festival. Throwing Muses comes as a true welcoming act. The ’80s college rock band, who went through many changes and silence, will bring their signature array of tempo changes, raw, alt-rock to the limelight. Throwing Muses have also returned with their first studio album in 10 years – published as a book and a CD, and stories and essays penned by frontwoman Kristin Hersh.

The Joy Formidable is another great change of pace on the bill that stems from alternative rock. Ritzy Bryan’s vocals mold to experimental electronic layers to robust, alt-rock licks for an expansive performance. Then we have Chelsea Wolfe’s doom that isn’t just heavy but crawls under you skin willingly; haunting but enjoyable. The LA’s artist 2017 album, Hiss Spun, sums up the best of the artist’s songwriting and dismantled scuzz that is perfect for the transitioning seasons.

Emma Ruth Rundle continues the heavy, folk twangs with a beautiful dish of doom. One of the anticipated acts because if you haven’t seen Rundle yet, hang tight. Ambient, post-rock allusions that you will carry way into fall.

It’s no surprise that Scottish ensemble, The Twilight Sad, are on the bill. They have been a group that we stumbled upon last year that instantly gravitated towards the vibes of The Cure, and even saw a tour alongside the ’80s darkwave group. Their post-punk ballad, “I/m Not Here [missing face]” is the right amount of instrumentation and electronics.

Yet another act from Scotland, Mogwai invokes a cold solitude that is the epitome of a goth’s summer. Styled more from a film score stance, Mogwai are the atmospheric weavers that could easily be placed between heavier acts as a reset.

Pasadena Daydream is on sale now. General admission and VIP passes set at $150 and $300, respectively, and $1 of every pass sold will be donated to music and arts organizations and Los Angeles-area charities like the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, Little Kids Rock, Free Arts for Abused Children, Inner-City Arts and The Painted Turtle. 

Cover photo: Emma Ruth Rundle, by Geert Braekers

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