Tyler The Creator had an incredible 2017. In addition to his sold out Camp Flog Gnaw festival, he dropped the most surprisingly raw, mature and seriously infections album that landed on just about everyone’s top 10 lists. Tyler successfully has been curating amazing rising talent, local favorites, and can be seen at Southern Californian shows often, scouting new up and comers and having a great time checking out his favorite DIY acts at venues like The Smell. After a semi-surprise announcement at Observatory resulted in some quick squad favorites like Taco playing a soon to be sold out show, we got some great adds like Bane’s World, Clairo, and a rounded out lineup with Inner Wave, Steve Lacy, Brockhampton, Michael Seyer, Katzu Oso and Jasper Bones. Expect these names to be all over festivals in 2018, particularly Camp Flog Gnaw, Goldenvoice, and Viva events. Here’s our recap of what went down.
Long Beach native Shane Blanchard has also had quite an exciting year. From playing small shows at colleges back in May, to ending the year with a bang by being one of the acts to take the stage before Tyler, The Creator. With his bluesy dream-like tunes, he pulled the 7000-strong crowd in and made the space feel that much closer. His dedicated fan base continues to grow as the band performs more live shows and festivals. Their recent addition to Coachella shows the band will have quite an amazing 2018 It will be pretty surreal knowing the band will be playing the same weekend as heavy-hitters like Haim, Beyoncé, and Fleet Foxes.
While taking the Internet by storm, bedroom pop princess Clairo, graced the main stage in an oversized cheetah print coat after only being added to the bill 10 days prior. Being her first West Coast show, she was met with many eager admirers. During songs like ‘Flaming Hot Cheetos’, she was showered with bags of the snack in a hilariously appropriate scene. Her catchy tunes, like ‘Pretty Girl’ continue to wow local fans and new international audiences.
Los Angeles band Inner Wave are no strangers to playing LA and OC venues. However, playing a set inside The Observatory alongside Tyler’s lineup was perhaps one of their biggest highlights of 2017. The quintet has been quickly making a name for themselves and gaining a dedicated group of fans with their latest release of their 3rd studio album ‘Underwater Pipe Dreams.’ If you didn’t get the chance to catch their stellar set last Saturday, the Inner Wave boys are heading out on tour soon, so keep your eyes peeled for an announcement.
Dreamy lo-fi up and coming artist, Michael Seyer closed out the inside stage on Saturday. His brooding lyrics and wistful chords swooned the audience. Seyer’s effortlessly cool presence and soft vocals made him an act that stood out among the already stacked lineup.
One of the most anticipated acts of the night was 19-year-old musician and producer, Steve Lacy. With Saturday’s show being only one of the few shows Steve has performed, he brought an energetic stage presence unique to his set that kept the crowd entertained and grasping for more. Although he is new on the scene, that did not hold back the crowd from singing back some of Steve’s bigger songs like ‘Ryd’ and ‘Dark Red.’ Lacy’s R&B driven tunes are spear-heading a resurgence of funk and soul, reminiscent of Prince, also cited as one of his idols.
Tyler the Creator:
Tyler the Creator is the mastermind behind many projects who have created a loyal following over the years. Best way to describe Tyler the Creator’s set is simply raw, intense and explosive. The crowd’s chants and screams overpowered his voice. There was nothing too flashy about his stage production and presence. His style of clothing and lighting tied in together with the style of his music. Tyler brings together the most diverse crowd at his shows and does a great job creating a sense of unity live at his festivals or concerts. The Grammy nominee knows how to please a audience and gives them exactly what they want. Can’t wait to see him again!
Each band has quite an action packed 2018 already, with appearances at large festivals like Coachella. Stay tuned for more on your favorite artists because if this lineup is a hint at things to come, Camp Flog Gnaw 2018 is going to be pretty happening.
Photos and words by Kayla Fernandez