Freakout Fest Day 1 Recap
Updated: Nov 29, 2018
The FLUX family mingled with the Freaks at Freakout Fest on November 16-17th. We came, we drank, we danced, we giggled. The fine folks at Freakout Records put on one hell of a fest!
There were so many incredible performances and too few of us so we've compiled our standouts. Tune in Thursday for Day 2! Read on for our Day 1 picks!
Kelly Fleek - Death Valley Girls
Goddess yes. Death Valley Girls have my heart wrapped around all of their pinky fingers, so much so, that I travelled to Bellingham the night before their set at Freakout to get a preliminary dose of their hedonistic doom core. Their set the following night at the Tractor did not disappoint despite having had my musical appetizer the previous eve. Frontwoman Bonnie Bloomgarden has to be one of the grooviest, happiest and powerfully relaxed performers I've witnessed in ages. When she locks eyes with you in the crowd, you belong to her entirely. She smiles, howls and dances with the rest of the band. It's the sound and excellence of stumbling onto a party of merry witches on a blustery night. Don't miss them next time they roll through town from L.A. and if you can gather the funds, fly to L.A. and catch their release party at the Echo on November 30. Or just buy their album or give them your first born. Just do something that includes them.
**Photos by John Theroux
Kelly Fleek - Flaural
Flaural opened the main stage at the Salmon Bay Eagles Club —a place I firmly feel the entire music scene should be booking shows. Half way through the bands first song and I stepped out of my spot in the massive line at the bar to join the crowd and smash up against the stage —my drink could wait. The band hails from some delicious corner of Colorado but has a decidedly West Coast take on psych-pop that bathed my neurons in a melodic storm of reverb and gentle vocal hooks, setting the tone for the main stage for the rest of the weekend and quickly becoming one of my top 3 highlights of the entire festival.
** Photos by John Theroux
Kelly Fleek - [brackets]
Local indie-wave rockers [brackets] took over Cafe Umbria and I must admit I wondered how in the hell their dreamy-fuzz would translate in the brick and glass cafe. Frontman Michael Gill eased my worries 30 seconds into the bands first song, whipping up the reverb and delay into a swirl that had me forgetting entirely that I wasn't in a typical venue. The rest of the band joined him in the frenzy, even setting the chandelier swinging with a swift tap of a guitar. Keep an eye on these guys, they play hard, have fun and bring a unique sound to local music.
**Video by Kelly Fleek
Kelly Fleek - Los Honey Rockets
Whoodathunk I'd walk into the Sunset to the throbbing sounds of a punk band from Mexico —at a local festival no less?? Rumor has it that the Mexican consulate paved the way for Los Honey Rockets getting here to play, even helping with the bands expenses. What an amazing amount of support to grant a touring band. Viva Mexico! Freakout Festival has officially gone international and I dig it. The visuals by Kblanq were a perfectly controlled chaos behind the band, performing a wicked dance with the yowling B52's era keyboard jams, smashing vocals and ripping guitars. I'm smitten and pissed that I didn't pick up some merch.
**Video by Kelly Fleek
Kelly Fleek - Fruit & Flowers
Fruit & Flowers was my first 'discovery' of the festival. Having just returned home from a west coast tour with my own band, I really hadn't had time to delve into all of the Freakout offerings so I trundled over to the Tractor truly based on the bands name. What came next had all of my left over 90's neurons tingling —rad women on stage bringing my ears sounds that recall Belly, Hole and my beloved Redd Kross. Women. Women rocking my ears so hard this way and with a re-upped, modernized take on the psych-garage-pop-rock of my college days. My heart was pounding, my eyes dilated and I was in love. Suddenly, I was squeezing up against a railing on the stairs near the stage, holding on, smashed between two huge dudes that gave zero shits that I was squished there. "Fuck it!" I said out loud and I started to Pogo, purse on my wrist, a drink in a death grip with one hand, talons of the other on the railing for support —I spilled more whiskey than I drank, completely overcome by the perfectly blended harmonies, excellent song structure and the deep fuzz and hammer of the show. And yes, my nostalgia for this sound, a blissful bias I know, but I'm good with that. Freakout gets more big love from this babe right here for a festival that put the spotlight on women in music. Thank you.
**Video by Kelly Fleek