Major music festivals generally strive to offer something for everyone as they book an assortment of artists across genres and styles, and mix together the acts everyone expects to see with some more unique ones. The inaugural Stockholm, CA, however, went a different path. Instead, the festival offered everything for someone, and that someone is the connoisseur of all things Swedish.
With a mantra of “music by Sweden, weather by California,” Stockholm, CA was less of a festival and more of a cultural experience. In addition to the array of music, Swedish brewery Pripps provided beer, blue and gold shone all over, and sponsors Swedish Airlines sought audience attention as the crowd went between the two alternating stages.
More than a half million of California’s residents are reportedly of Swedish descent, so Los Angeles was the perfect location for such an event. A true testament to the power of music to unite, attendees of all ages and various backgrounds comprised Stockholm, CA’s crowd. The languages onstage may have been English and Swedish, but plenty more were heard in the crowd throughout the day.
It’s been a minute since we last heard from Little Dragon, and the night definitely belonged to the electro-soul quartet. Although singer Yukimi Nagano revealed between songs that they’d been working on new material in recent times, no new songs made their debut at Stockholm, CA.
Little Dragon’s headlining set did, however, shock everyone with a tribute to Prince. Following their soulful rendition of His Royal Purpleness’ “I Would Die 4 U,” Little Dragon concluded their set with older favorites “Feather” and Twice,” both of which remain two of their finest.
“Twice” came as a somber breath of fresh air following an hour of enthusiastic bumping and singing along from the crowd, some of whom camped at the rail for more than 8 hours. Naturally, the crowd screamed “one more song!” as the band departed the stage, but lamentably, an encore never came, even with 15 minutes remaining of their set time.
Earlier in the night, Icona Pop delivered a masterful set that epitomized Sweden’s mastery of pop music. The duo dropped cathartic, blissful, energizing and impossibly catchy tunes one after another for an hour, culminating with the smash single “I Love It.”
Other highlights included strong early in the day showings from Veronica Maggio, Mapei and Elliphant. The festival’s best discovery just might have been its shortest set. For 10 minutes, Ledinsky rocked the rare acoustic guitar for ditties such as “DonaldTrumpMakesMeWannaSmokeCrack.” In response, the crowd waved their middle fingers in the air. Sometimes there truly is truth in song titles.
Check out more photos below.
Rebecca & Fiona
Words and photos by Frank Mojica