It doesn’t get much better than cheese and Cudi. Throw in delicious desserts and a day’s worth of live performances at Merriweather Post Pavilion, and there you have the 2012 Sweetlife Food & Music festival.
So you may remember reading about things you should bring to a music festival—thinking to yourself, “Damn, this festival thing isn’t for me.” Hopefully this post will encourage those hesitant souls out there to reconsider. Leave the knives and human punching bag at home (bring everything else) and get out there to take in a festival. Each one has its own charm.
Covering a festival can be difficult, especially one that is both food and music themed. So, we went with the fly on the port-a-potty approach: observe everything and eat shit.
Click through the slide show to check out photos and highlights from the day, including:
- Haim’s Bassist with the Faces
- Action Bronson’s special guest
- Meeting the lovely Yuna, and
- An old guy and a cock (that should keep the freaks interested)
Nate Ruess and the FUN.ky Bunch
Fun.’s lead vocalist, Nate Ruess, might as well be the long lost 7th Wahlberg brother. His baby-face resemblance to the Funky Bunch front man is impossible not to notice. But Nate’s crew has something that the Funky Bunch has not had in over twenty years: a number one hit single. Admit it, you sing along to “We are Young” whenever it comes on. The kiddies in the audience seemed to love it—after all, they’re the ones for whom the song is meant for. Good thing they didn’t set everything on fire, because that would just be awkward.
Nate also didn’t disappoint with the throwback street-wear: an 80’s era ‘Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band sweater.
Action Bronson and His Big Ass Joint
Should a food and music festival even exist without the former chef turned rapper, Action Bronson? No, it shouldn’t. The Queens native stepped on stage early to cook up some gully shit for our funky asses. Action Bronson’s performance was cool, but the star of the show was his pungent joint that had to be re-lit a few times.
Anyone within 20 feet of the stage caught enough contact to really enjoy the food stands that were a short walk away. Collusion between Bronson and the Food Truck Association, perhaps?
It was a good day for Bronson. Following his set he tweeted:
Easiest Work Day I’ve EVER had. About to enjoy watching @asvprocky Then to B-more for Pit Beef and Horseradish.
— ARIYAN ARSLANI (@ActionBronson) April 28, 2012
The Bassist with the Faces
Haim has been gaining some traction on the festival circuit lately, merely with a four song EP, Forever. The three sisters, Danielle, Alana, and Este along with drummer Dash made buzz at SXSW and have been building momentum since. Haim was included in P&P’s “20 New Bands to Watch Out For,” and why wouldn’t you watch out for them? Everyone can appreciate girls and guitars, right?
One of the biggest standouts of the Sweetlife festival turned out to be the facial expressions made by Este, the bass-playing Haim sister. This could be a single post all in itself, deconstructing the range of Este’s cranial motions, but for now, let us simply appreciate the infamous rock scowl.
Meeting the Lovely Yuna
Watching Yuna take the festival stage on this cold, wet cloudy day felt wrong. I imagined her being delivered onstage through parting clouds, by elegant white doves. But she began to sing – and then it all felt right.
If you’re not familiar with Yuna then correct that immediately. She is the type of person that you want to see succeed and has the talent to do so. We got the opportunity to talk to her about live performances, favorite foods, and her preference for pigeons over planes.
“As much as I would like my album to sell, I would rather sell my performances. It’s really important to have a really good show and to leave an impression on peoples’ lives.” – Yuna on her love for performing
“My favorite food is probably Indian food… I grew up having tandoora, naan, and curry. I like curry – spicy stuff. I hope they have it here!” – Yuna on what she wanted to eat at the festival
“Pigeons! Because my best friend – one of my closest friends, Jeff Staple, he has a designing company. It’s called Staple Design and all of his stuff is based on pigeons.” – Yuna on pigeons vs. planes
Yuna’s new album is available now. Get it here.
If anyone in attendance happened to miss A$AP Rocky’s performance, they damn sure didn’t miss him and the Mob enjoying the festival afterwards. Seriously, this “pretty motherfucker” was everywhere, connecting with his fans, making new ones, and taking in the festival experience as it should be taken in—not as the man on the stage, but as a face in the crowd.
The Mob’s campaign to win festival-goers over felt almost presidential in a way. The only thing that was missing was the epic photo op. of A$AP Rocky kissing a baby.
Raging with Mr. Rager
Cudder’s sobriety may have given him bouts of writer’s block, but his performance has always been on point. What Cudi lacks in vocal range, he makes up in raw energy, a fluid band to back him up, and a collection of catchy songs we can all get in to.
Mr. Mescudi’s performance was arguably the most engaging of the day. Simply because of the seemingly 5,000+ singing cuts from A Kid Named Cudi to his most recent WZRD work. Even A$AP Rocky and Yuna got into the pit to rage along with Mr. Rager.
Breasts, Cocks, and Love
Unfortunately, no breasts were spotted throughout the festival. Maybe it was the damp weather that spoiled the fine tradition of upstanding ladies flashing their precious flesh for the crowd. I suppose this sculpture and its artistic features will have to suffice this time around.
An anomaly can be spotted in every type of environment, whether that is a virus among some healthy cells or Kim Kardashian at the White House Correspondence Dinner. In this case, it wasn’t the Giant Cock that seemed out of place. The questionable character is obviously that older man, standing next to the Cock with his hands buried in his pockets. Any candy taken from this gentleman should be closely inspected.
Festival love can be so romantic, sigh. How can you resist tumbling in cold, wet grass and being trampled by your peers, not to mention having your picture taken by some weirdo? That’s the beauty of being young and careless, and creating those festival memories that will last a lifetime. Enjoy these experiences, kids, before you go off to get your art history degrees and become unemployed.