FYF Fest 2015 Day 1 Recap: Kanye West, Savages & More Highlight Opening Night

Kanye West FYF Fest 2015
Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic

Kanye West performs at FYF Fest 2015 at the LA Sports Arena & Exposition Park on Aug. 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. 

Kanye West was the name on everyone's lips at Los Angeles' FYF Fest on Saturday, Aug. 22.

The hip-hop headliner had stepped in to replace Frank Ocean, with an announcement coming just the day before, was both a sort of punch line throughout the day and a cause for excitement, as curiosity loomed over what might have caused Ocean's cancelation and what Yeezus might bring to the party instead.

Rihanna Joins Kanye West From the Audience for FYF Fest Performance

To the credit of the festival producers FYF and Goldenvoice, if there was anyone who could replace Ocean, that person is West -- both in star power and his reputation for outlandish spectacle. While Ocean's set was expected to be his first previewing new material since 2012's Channel Orange, West brought a high-energy set with a new light show that ran over an hour, leaning heavily on his newer material before breaking into a parade of his classic hits to close. 

Boldly, West took the stage to a recording of Ocean's voice bellowing out on the Watch the Throne hit "No Church in the Wild," accompanied by his new spectacle that's a moving ceiling of probably hundreds of overhead stage lights adhered together, moving in different directions and often flashing all at once as a wall of illumination. 

From there, he went into "Stonger" and declared to the crowd, "Tonight I want you to feel what real music feels like," and added the demand to "have the time of your life." He followed with "Power" taking a rockstar stance against the mic stand, before "Cold," "New Slaves" and "Blood on the Leaves," at one point asking his crew to raise the lights above him, saying, "I need it a little bit higher, I'm scared I might jump and bump my head on this shit."

Frank Ocean Cancels FYF Fest Performance, Kanye West Steps In as Replacement

Through the set, West was joined by Travi$ Scott for his tracks "Upper Echelon" and "Antidote" and later recruited Rihanna from out of the audience to accompany on "FourFiveSeconds" and "All of the Lights."

Though West seemed to tire later in his set, it's understandable considering the high intensity he brought early on and, too, how hot it must have been under those lights. But he closed going full bore with a hit parade, attempting 10 of his most popular tracks in his final 10 minutes. 

He introduced the stunt after riffing on "Runaway," saying he's been known to drag the song out over 40 minutes because it's one of his favorites, "but I only have 10 minutes left and 10 years of hits." From there, he closed with snippets of "FourFiveSeconds," "All Falls Down," "Gold Digger," "Touch the Sky," "All of the Lights," "Good Life" and an emotional "Only One." And while he may not have fit in all 10 songs he'd planned, the effort was valiant and affective.

Frank Ocean, Morrissey & D'Angelo Headlining L.A.'s FYF Fest 2015

Earlier, The Drums gave a well received sunset set that got the crowd dancing joyously along, Run the Jewels dropped some heavy tracks on the main stage and Shlohmo delivered a spooky set of psychedelic electronic music.

Day-of announcements Bonobo and Flying Lotus packed out the Arena stage inside the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, along with Jon Hopkins filling the basketball stadium from the floor to the upper seating levels. And Savages brought an incredibly powerful and evocative set, previewing new material from their forthcoming follow up to 2013's debut Silence Yourself with a mix of past favorites. 

To close, the Jesus and Mary Chain and Purity Ring helped fill stages following West's set to either attract some exiting fans or keep things going into the night. And owning the late-night set, Simian Mobile Disco serviced the arena with a live set that lasted until two in the morning. 


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