New festivals are popping up left and right all over the United States the last couple years. Kroq and The Hard Times decided to throw one themselves this summer and it was glorious. The festival went by the name of High & Low and took place in sunny San Bernadino at the Nos Events Center.

High & Low consisted of 2 stages and a comedy room with a stacked comedy line up. The main stage was outside in what normally would be a parking lot while the side stage was located in a dark cold hangar. The hangar was the desirable area to spend your time during the daytime due to the lingering summer heat. Also, if you were trying to escape the heat, you could make your way to the comedy room for some wonderful AC and good laughs. The lineup consisted of amazing artists such as Bad Suns, Best Coast, Brand New, COIN, Citizen, Cloud Nothings, Death Cab For Cutie, and Tegan and Sara.

Tegan and Sara by Taylor Wong

As soon as we entered the fest we made our way backstage for an interview with COIN. If you are in a band and thinking about playing High & Low I highly suggest it. The artist accommodations were some of the best I had ever seen. 2 food trucks during the day to feed the artists, one of them being an IN-N-OUT truck. They had an open bar for artists to test their limits before hitting the stage. To top it all of there was a clothing company handing out free merch for the artists and some select press. High & Low definitely takes care of their talent.

Now to talk about the actual reason we went all the way to San Bernadino for a music festival. The lineup was freakin ridiculous! After interviewing COIN we made sure to catch them as our first performance of the day. They absolutely killed it and lived up to the hype I’ve been hearing of them.

Coin by Taylor Wong

The majority of the artists we caught during the day were out on the main stage in a burning heat. We finally made our way to the hangar for Cloud Nothings. Drenched in sweat, I was ready for their set. Cloud Nothings has been on my must-see list for quite some time now and they killed it. We remained in the hangar for the duration of the lineup on that stage.

Cloud Nothings by Taylor Wong

Citizen by Taylor Wong

I was not familiar with the act to follow who went by the name Citizen. The rest of the photographers seemed pretty excited about them so I chose to hang around. I was not disappointed one bit. The singer moved around the stage like he owned it and that’s important to me as a photographer. Their sound was consistent with their ownership of said stage. I unfortunately had to take off 3 songs in to go check out Tegan and Sara and see if they still held up to 2007, and they did. I made sure to come back for the rest of Citizens set as I waited for my main pick for the day, PUP.

Pup by Taylor Wong

I waited all day to see PUP but due to delay on set times I only got to catch their first 3 songs and then had to run to the main stage for the headliners. PUP has a show coming up this Tuesday in Los Angeles and we highly suggest you catch them now before they get any bigger.

Brand New by Taylor Wong

Up next was the main talent of the night Death Cab For Cutie and Brand New. The two artists I feel most of the festival was here to see. Both artists have been influential for the last decade or so and it definitely showed in their sets. Death Cab is one of those bands I think everyone should take the opportunity to see at least once. Especially if you have a significant other to hold through their set. Brand New knows how influential they have been and it shows. They refused to play anything from their first album (which if you know Brand New that is no surprise). They played mostly their new album with a couple songs off Deja Entendu. Brand New also chose to have an LED display in front of them the first 5 songs which is why there are no featured photos. With Brand New I have a love hate relationship, as musicians they are super talented and put on a good show. I mean that’s only if you are there to see those albums played. When it comes to their ego, Brand New hasn’t hit the Kanye/Morrissey level yet but they definitely act like it.

Death Cab by Taylor Wong

All in all High & Low was a fantastic first year festival and we cannot wait to see what they do to improve next year.

Words and photos by Taylor Wong