A couple Sunday’s ago, I attended Pacific Festival 2012: The Dunes, featuring Mayer Hawthorne, Poolside, Bag Raiders, Capital Cities and much much more vibe out at the Newport Beach Marina. This was my 2nd time attending Pacific Festival and this year they toned it down on worldwide acts (last year Snoop Dogg, Cut Copy, Steve Aoki and Calvin Harris were some notable favorites) but they moved the location away from an isolated area (from Oak Canyon Ranch to Newport Beach) and really created this unique festival vibe on a beach.
While E-Wish’s review was straight to the point, it only covered half the acts we saw and is very simple. Read my full review below.
We got there a little after 2pm, received our media passes and proceeded to the first stage upon where music was playing, Camm Stage. I noticed that the most recent band had just finished so we decided to move onto the next stage, which was across the Newport Marina on the beach side. I briefly saw Tijuana Panthers rock out and then moved onto the Identity Village, which was a dance party on the sand that DJ Metric was getting started. I don’t remember much of DJ Metric’s set as we snuck into the VIP area (last year VIP and Media were combined so we thought we were allowed in) and after getting as many free drinks before security told us to leave, we were on to the next act.
After that we went back to the Camm Stage on the other end of the festival grounds to catch up-and-coming indie/alternative pop band Wildcat! Wildcat!. I had seen them just a week before and was quite impressed then. However when we got there, we found that the acts from the Camm Stage were running behind schedule so we went to the Main stage to see American Royalty.
I had heard of Los Angeles alternative electronic indie rock band American Royalty many times, as Filter Magazine has used the lead singer to DJ many of their parties and they just finished a residency at The Echo earlier this year. However I’d never seen the band live and was kind of on the fence because I wasn’t feeling their song releases much. Their mp3′s do not give their live music justice as they straight up jam out with various sounds that are easy to get down and dance to. I didn’t leave their set remembering any of their songs but left feeling satisfied with how they just jammed out, with the lead singer switching from keyboard to guitar and all three members of the band singing and having so much feeling behind their songs.
My favorite song because of it’s more electronic mixed with rock appeal is “Lately”. Stream that below.
After American Royalty we went to the Camm Stage and caught the last three songs from Wildcat! Wildcat!. I love how they have two vocalists, the most interesting instrumentals and they continue to remind me of MGMT before they became mainstream acts. They were one of my favorites during the day and really set off some great music that I heard from the Camm Stage. Stream and download “Mr. Quiche” and “The Chief”.
Next we went back to the Identity Village although we felt kind of out of place not wearing swimsuits and sandals like everybody else there. We briefly caught the beginning of Moon Boots set although being there only 5 minutes does not give me enough to do a review. The Identity village quickly became our least favorite area of the event as it was just djs spinning on the beach and tons of people trying to get into the VIP section, which was fairly empty every time we swung by it.
We walked by Fool’s Gold‘s set a couple times and I enjoyed the chill alternative beach pop vibes. I didn’t get the best chance to take in their music but after listening to their songs afterwards, the song I most remember enjoying from the festival was “Surprise Hotel”, which has such soothing chill pop instrumentals. Watch the video for it below.
Next I saw Mr. Little Jeans perform. This was the only act I was disappointed in as the Swedish pop artist performs mostly slow pop songs that generally don’t get people dancing and leave you wanting something more upbeat. After hearing two songs including her hit “Runaway”, I left to grab a bite to eat. Watch the video to “Runaway” below.
We went back to the Camm Stage after Mr. Little Jeans was done, sat down and waited until Capital Cities was ready. During this time, we heard the tropical disco vibes of Tropicool DJing. Although there was only about 25-50 people in the area, people were still dancing or bobbing their head while finding a place in the shade to lay down. Stream Tropicool’s latest mix below.
Since Poolside started before Capital Cities, we went over there and caught the greatest daytime disco act jam out. On record, Poolside is composed of the duo of Filip Nikolic and Jeffrey Paradise. In a live setting, however, the band is a four piece. With Nikolic on lead vocals and bass and Paradise on electronics, the duo is joined by drummer and percussionist Jason Pipkin and multi-instrumentalist Michael Gold.
I first heard of Poolside from last year’s Pacific Festival, in which they DJed before Fred Falke on one of the smaller stages. This year Poolside performed with their full band on the main stage and I couldn’t be more happier. There wasn’t a single song I didn’t love from them and seeing them as a full band just enhanced the whole experience by creating this groovy dance vibe that anybody can enjoy. They were one of the three best acts I saw at Pacific Festival and can’t wait to see them perform next! Since I love all the music from Poolside, here’s 9 tracks to stream and mostly download from them. Sit back and relax.
We left Poolside’s set early so we could catch the last couple songs from Capital Cities, one of our favorite genre-blending dual vocal bands ever. While I didn’t get to catch “Kangaroo Court” one of my favorite’s from them, we did hear “Safe and Sound” and had the pleasure of hearing a horn solo that we didn’t hear last time I saw Capital Cities perform. Everybody was dancing and singing along and they were one of my favorites of the day with their electro pop rock dance vibes. Stream “Safe and Sound” below.
On the way to Bag Raiders DJ set, we briefly heard Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. I wasn’t the biggest fan from the mp3s I heard but hearing them live was great. Although it was brief, I enjoyed everything I heard and recommend catching them live as they sound a little more natural and than listening to their song releases. Watch their latest video, “Simple Girl” below.
We arrived to Bag Raiders set and immediately we noticed it was overcrowded with cigarette-smoking bros and couples that were complaining at a music festival on a beach! I had seen Bag Raiders perform as a band at last year’s Pacific Festival and was blown away. This year with them DJing, I was still pumped to see them but completely turned off by the Newport Beach locals, who all smoke cigarette’s and are distracted by their phones or significant other to enjoy the music. Stream the latest mix from Bag Raiders below.
After Bag Raiders we caught several songs from Steed Lord. Before Pacific Festival, I thought Steed Lord was a couple DJs who created electro house vibes and didn’t know it was Steed Lord until after the festival. Upon hearing this synth pop trio (which won my award for best dressed), I’ve become a huge fan! Steed Lord consists of two DJs (Demo and Mega) and one beautiful lead vocalist (Cali, pictured above). I loved the mix of electro pop instrumentals with vocals from Cali. If you like Empire of the Sun but want a female vocalist, Steed Lord has that kind of vibe but less rock and more dance. Listen to “B4 U Walk Out Of My Life (Steed Lord Diva Edit)” and “Hear Me Now” below.
After Steed Lord, we then caught Sneaky Sound System. I thought Steed Lord was amazing and then once I heard Sneaky Sound System, I knew I had heard some amazing music from the Camm Stage! While Steed Lord has a great vibe, Sneaky Sound System has just as great a vibe but also very catchy and easy to sing along to. My favorite was “We Love” which will be on commercials and anywhere else it can get placed if it hasn’t already. Watch “We Love” below.
After the catchy vibes from Sneaky Sound System it was time from the neo-soul crooning of headliner Mayer Hawthorne and The County. He has such a clean-cut act with the band choreographed dancing and a great set-up with the lighting experience as well. Mayer Hawthorne has this cool personality that reminds me of Justin Timberlake when he does on-air interviews. Overall Mayer Hawthorne didn’t disappoint but if you are going to see him, go with somebody you want to hook up with as he has some sweet baby-making vibes that is perfect if your on a date. Watch the video to my favorite song below.
Overall I saw almost every act I wanted to see and the ones I didn’t see performed at an area I hated because it was an overcrowded sausage fest.
Follow @BeforeBigs on twitter and instagram to view some more photos from Pacific Festival.