Tropicália’s second year marked a striking difference from last year’s first run of the new event. This year, Goldenvoice really took the reins and amped up the festival experience. With bigger headliners, and exciting last minute adjustments (we’re looking at you SZA), the fest really made its mark on the California music scene. Check below for our favorite acts of Day 1 of the event.

Jurassic Shark

Local favorites Jurassic Shark have been making waves in Southern California for years. Be it at house shows, backyards, or larger DIY venues, the band has really grown into themselves and their set at Tropicalia fest made for a stunning debut at a bigger festival. Their set marked their jump into a bigger world of success and we can’t wait to see them at more large scale events like this.

Kali Uchis

Kali’s set at Tropicalia fest last year was one of, if not the biggest highlight of the weekend, and it stayed true this year too. Her stunning performances at fests all year long, collabs with some of the best artists in the game, and sultry dance moves charmed us all over again. Booking Kali is a no brainer, and she really should be at more fests in the next few years. She slayed 2018, and we’re all for more.

Leo Dan

Leo Dan was a last minute add to the fest after some of the more prominent artists dropped out and we couldn’t be happier. The old school singer added a lot to the cultural landscape of the event and made for a lot of parents (and grandparents) happy for his inclusion to a fest where most attending either were new to his style, or were reliving a glorious dream. Acts like Leo really cemented the legacy of the California soundscape of yesteryear.


Sadgirl are a group that pleases just about everyone. Their garage rock and romantic 50s charm keeps locals happy. They’ve played huge fests and DIY shows for years, and they’re finally making it big playing events like Tropicalia. Their set was incredible, and they dripped cool all over the stage. Many left the event as new fans of the young group.


The Frights

The Frights are another local band that have blown up in the last few years and are starting to make it huge. Their events almost always sell out immediately, and they’re really striking gold on the fest circuit. Their rambunctious live sets show you exactly why too. Their daytime set at Tropicalia had fans jumping for more.


The always outrageous Morrissey left Tropicalia fest in beautiful tears. Some doubt his stay power as he’s famously cancelling events, delaying sets, or just saying something controversial that puts people off. Not so at Tropicalia fest, as many old school fans and first time revelers got an earful and a soulful set that really brought Saturday night to a stunning close. Sunday is looking up after an amazing night of hits from day 1.

And there’s your recap of Day 1! Tickets are still available, so make sure to grab them here, and don’t miss out on what’s to be a spectacular Sunday. We’ll have more coming up soon for our review of Day 2!

Photos by Joseph Baura. Words by James Sakert