The Best and Worst of Arroyo Seco Weekend
So Cal’s newest music festival, Arroyo Seco, boasted a line-up for all ages, from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers to Weezer and it didn’t disappoint. This festival was great because of it’s dynamic age range. Children 10 and under were allowed entry for free, which meant this festival was the best mix of a concert in the park and a fair. While it was predicted to be a hipster-fest, let me assure you, this festival had a place for everyone. Here are the best and worst of the Arroyo Seco Festival:
This alternative rock band from New Orleans stole the show this weekend. They were dynamic and engaging and seriously, the pipes on lead singer David Shaw were impressive to say the least. He may have even sold me on the skinny jean look on men (and BELIEVE ME that’s a hard sell). I’ve been binge listening to their newest album, Men Amongst Mountains, for the last few weeks to prepare and they didn’t disappoint. They’re a band that is meant to be seen live. They bring the album to life on stage and you can feel their New Orleans roots throughout their set. Everyone in the crowd was dancing and singing along, which is saying something, as it was 95 degrees outside and there was absolutely no shade. But hey, at least we were burning the excess calories from our alcohol and food binging right? #festivalcardio
While my festival-companions were a little nervous about eating Poke at a festival on a day rivaling the sixth circle of hell, I couldn’t stop myself from giving it a try. So worth it. It was the perfect light and fresh meal to compliment the heat and overall vibe of the festival. Next time you’re in the LA area, stop by and pick up a bowl.
Alcohol is a staple to any successful music festival. Mules and Lavender infused drinks were a popular choice this weekend. And for a mere $16 per drink, it was a total steal *eyes roll permanently to back of head*. They did a great job of creating drinks that were refreshing and boujie enough to be posted on any social media platform. My only complaint, there were not enough craft beer stands. The ones I saw were overcrowded and most likely overpriced anyways but as this was supposed to be a beer and wine festival as well, I felt slightly let down.
I’m entirely depressed to report that Weezer was my least favorite performance of the weekend. They seemed bored throughout their set and coasted on the fact that they have enough hits to keep a crowd entertained, if only because of nostalgia. Not once did lead singer Rivers Cuomo address the crowd in a friendly manner or thank them for braving the heat to see them play. I know, I know. One of Weezer’s big selling points is their DGAF attitude but it seemed like they thought it was more of a chore to play for fans than it should have been. Hilarity did ensue as I was stuck behind a jolly group of giant frat boys (or maybe lacross players? It’s all the same right?). Not only did they not know the words to any song, but their football huddle-like stance blocked the view of everyone behind them. On a positive note, frat boys always seem to have the best weed and who doesn’t like a good contact high?
Keeping in mind that this was the first year, Arroyo Seco definitely has some work to do on their overall organization. The stage set-up left many people without a view of even a screen to see the bands due to trees. The first night was horrible because the speakers were only at the front, so if you weren’t brave enough to sardine yourself in with the standing room only crowd, you not only weren’t able to see but hear anything either. The only thing I heard during Tom Petty was complaints from patrons about how any other layout imaginable would have been better than the one they chose. The good news? They seemed to have fixed it, at least by a little bit, for the second night. I definitely have high hopes for next year.
Overall, I’m happy to report that Arroyo Seco was a blast. There’s room for improvement, but isn’t that the way with everything? I’ll definitely be making my way back to Pasadena next year, and if you’re around, I think you should too!
What were your thoughts on Arroyo Seco? Leave your answers in the comments below: