Tropicalia Fest was a triumphant first for combining an all you can eat taco event with amazing local greats, cultural legends from Los Angeles and the Latin community, and up and coming favorites destined for greatness. The event was a tremendous sold out hit, and if you were unlucky enough to miss it, we’ve got some highlights for you so you don’t get too weepy. Observatory continues booking amazing fests, and we keep getting ridiculously cool sets and performances from some of the hottest bands around. Check out our favorite sets from the event.


Cuco is blowing up the scene. A local favorite and huge teen heart throb, Cuco has his finger on the pulse of popularity, beautiful touching songs, huge hype and mellow beats. One of our favorite sets of the entire festival since it’ll be very hard to see him perform live in 2018 outside the music fest circuit. His sold out shows are a must, if you’re quick enough to get a ticket.

Chicano Batman

Chicano Batman were one of the most perfect bands for Tropicalia. Throwback nostalgia, perfect style and class, and some of the best sounds this side of history. Culture, panache, and always a good time. Chicano Batman are one of our festival favorites of 2017 and we hope they continue their live excellence into 2018.

Slow Hollows

Every time we see Slow Hollows it’s an evolution. A lineup change, a height change, new members and new music. We welcome such exciting growth in artists and bands. Seeing these fashionable locals change from being part of the scene to such a mainstay and crucial part of current music in the Los Angeles landscape is heartwarming. The perfect booking for a perfect lineup.


Sadgirl represent more perfectly manufactured raw nostalgia. The sound of hearthbreak, sadness and love resonated well with a soulful and hip young audience full of beer and tacos. Have we mentioned how well curated this fest was? Sadgirl was the perfect get, and had the perfect sound for such a fest.


Madlib is one of the most prolific and critically acclaimed hip hop producers around. Working with underground and mainstream greats such as MF Doom, the late J Dilla and Talib Kweli, has earned him esteem, and marked a guaranteed stunning set list. The dude has a lot of classics to pull from. A great dose of hip to an already poppin fest.

Yellow Days

Yellow Days is 18 and already placing high up there on trendy fests. His sound is timeless, hypnotic, soulful and beautiful. Also, very haunting to the point that we’re pretty much now convinced reincarnation is a thing. Such wisdom and style for someone so young marks an interesting potential for a new artists. We’re excited we got to catch the set and hope his continual rise will be a great one.

Bane’s World

Bane’s World is another breakout youngster with style and grooves for days. He’s already opening up for (spoilers) Tyler the Creator at Observatory, playing sets at Viva Pomona, and yeah, playing pretty high up there at Tropicalia. He’s hip as fuck. Go see him play live ASAP.

Kali Uchis

Kali Uchis is on fire. In addition to being nominated for a Latin Grammy Award, the singer, songwriter, producer, music video director and fashion designer has inspired so much style and grace that we cant help but notice she’s ushered in a new wave of super stardom. If she continues this level of excellence in trendsetting, music and style, expect her to reach icon level very shortly, if she hasn’t already. Such an unforgettable set.

King Krule

Another “Good luck seeing him outside of a festival setting performance” from the already legendary tastemaker known as King Krule. Everything about Archy and his band oozes sophistication and amazing artistry, which is fitting because his new album is titled The Ooz and is phenomenal. This was one of, if not THE best sets from the festival.

Los Tigres del Norte

Los Tigres del Norte, or, the Tigers of the North for us gringos, were the most on point booking and perfect headliners for the fest. We’ll let the pictures do the talking but pretty much everyone got down to this set. Straight from Mexico to SoCal, these hit makers are popular on both sides of the border and have gained legendary status.

Photos by James Sakert