Long Beach, California’s Josh Fischel’s Music Tastes Good festival took over Marina Green Park from Sept. 29-30. The beachside event celebrated its third year with a truly eclectic lineup and an array of food options that showcased the diversity of its hometown.
Between the two stages, Gold and Franklin, Music Tastes Good hosted bands from the greater Los Angeles area such as Feels, Cherry Glazzerr and African Jazz band, Ethio Cali. Indie favorites like post-punk band Shame and Spanish language hip-hop and electronic band, Los Master Plus arrived from Britain and Mexico, respectively, to kick off the first day of music and local cuisine in the temperate weather Long Beach is known for.
Draped across the center of the grassy knolls, the Taste Tent Presented by Mother’s Market and Kitchen hosted food tastings and cuisine inspired activations such as Food Photography by Alyssa Noui, chef demos from Ellie’s Jason Witzl and a lesson from mixologist Greg Goins.
Following rapper Princess Nokia, singer-songwriting sensation Santigold dazzled the Long Beach crowd on Saturday evening. The multi-hyphenate producer encouraged the crowd to put away their phones, live in the moment and then join her on stage for some of her more classic hits and new songs from her surprise album, I Don’t Want: The Gold Fire Sessions, dropped in July.
The evening closed out with Broken Social Scene and Manchester’s New Order. The evening’s headliners blew away the packed crowd at the Franklin stage playing hits “Bizarre Love Triangle,” “Blue Monday,” and “Your Silent Face.” The band closed out the first day of the festival with a cover of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart.”
Sunday’s festivities kicked off shortly after Noon and brought in assorted genres with EDM duo Blow and psych rock favorite Ezra Furman. Sun Kil Moon graced the Franklin stage as the sun began to set on the festival’s second day, packing the main stage.
On the other side of the event, rapper and hip-hop juggernaut Lizzo and her Big Girl dancers had the audience around the smaller of two stages dancing.
“I just want to be a rachet ass bitch,” Lizzo told the excited festivalgoers. The Detroit-native faced an enthralled crowd who laughed along with the charming “Coconut Oil” singer, even getting the viewers to sing for her during a short microphone failure.
Along with her two Big Girl dancers and hypewoman/DJ, from the Gold stage Lizzo hosted what she called the ‘largest twerk tutorial in history.’
Between closing sets, Music Tastes Good brought out a brass band to roam around the footprint of the event. The talented brass group paused in front of the lit up Music Tastes Good sign and played Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” the A-Ha’s “Take On Me” and more to an adoring crowd who had phones out to record the impressive moment during the lull in headliners.
A highlight for the event was late-comer to the lineup, Janelle Monae. Monae has been traveling around the country for her Dirty Computer tour in support of her latest album of the same name. Monae stormed the stage in her black and white with hits from her previous studio albums, Electric Lady and Archandroid. Monae, who released an ’emotion picture’ along with her latest album, brought several hallmarks from that visual feature including the throne from rap single “Django Jane” and the infamous ‘pussy pants’ from pop gem “Pynk.”
Monae encouraged the crowd to follow her lead and be “Free ass motherfuckas” and to celebrate Pride all year long with the artist who recently came out as pansexual.
The night closed out with a smooth and booming set from James Blake. Blake’s haunting sound resonated deeply with the evening crowd, ending the evening on a reflective note.