This last weekend, I was able to check out First City Festival for the first time. This was the second annual two-day festival that takes place at the Monterey County Fair and Event Center. I had no idea what to expect and was pleasantly surprised.
As soon as you walk in you have the option of checking out the carnival side of the festival. Rides were included as well as the typical carnival food. Or you can head out to the stages, three in all. Unlike SF’s Outside Lands, there’s not a ton of walking to get from stage to stage.
Staying true to the music festival experience there were great acts all throughout the day. Bands I hadn’t heard of but was left in awe after one song. It was really cool to notice a very female dominant trend. Half of the bands that performed on the first day were lead by women or had female musicians. It was amazing to hear so many female singers including Survival Guide, Speedy Ortiz, CocoRosie, Doe Eye, Mr Little jeans, and Phantogram. Other bands that had female musicians were Blind Spot, Lonely Wild, and Best Coast.
The males also impressed the crowds with randomness, jokes, and legit talent. One of the most unexpected things I witnessed was during Miniature Tigers’ set. The lead singer and his male band mate kissed on stage. The crowd just cheered them on and they went on to the next song. He later sang off stage and joined the fans. Tom Krell from How to Dress Well made countless jokes of Beck, the headliner of the day. He autographed albums and shook hands with some of his fans.
The festival was slightly reminiscent of LA’s FYF Fest. There was no overload of food trucks. Instead, there were vendors selling their jewelry, local clothing lines, and even a vinyl dealer.
The most memorable act was Mr Little Jeans. She literally gave me goose bumps. There was something about her voice. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. She was so innocent with indescribable energy. I also loved CocoRosie and Phantogram.