Shaed, Saba, Schoolboy Q, Portugal. The Man, Jessie Reyez, Matt and Kim, Young the Giant, G-Eazy @ Grizzly Festival in Fresno, CA
Review & photography by Lulu Dawson
As the cold months finally fade away and the sun starts to peak out, our 2019 festival season has finally arrived. Maybe you were at Coachella a few weeks ago, or maybe you were like the rest of us and held out for the festivals that were a little closer to home, but either way, those little festivals are some of the best gems each year. Fresno’s own Grizzly Fest (grizzlyfestival.com) was no exception. With a stacked two day lineup of everything from alternative and hip hop to reggae and great festival food, the sunny weekend in central California was a perfect start to the festival season.
As the crowd sweat through the 88o weather, Day 1 kicked off some smaller and local acts before Shaed took the stage. A bright electro-indie band, Shaed puts on a killer set every single time. They’re energetic and crazy, and lead singer, Chelsea Lee’s voice, soars beautifully over the backing music. Running back over to the main stage, rapper Saba stepped up to show off all the new music he’s been putting out. Despite the dark and moody lyrics on a lot of his tracks, Saba was probably one of the most smiley and happy performing artists of the weekend, just looking to spread positivity and a good time to everyone that came through.
After a brief reggae break, legend Schoolboy Q hopped on the main state. With a hilarious sense of humor and a care-free attitude, he really carries the confidence that only comes from a rapper that’s been performing for years and years—and the mastery of his set really shows through. He alters his set to match the crowd’s mood and feeds off the energy he gets in return for a really killer set. And finally to close out Day 1, Portugal. The Man took the stage to cap the night off with some spacy alt-rock.
But even as great as Day 1 was, Day 2 shaped up to be even more. Right as the heat hit its peak for the day, singer Jesse Reyez started her beautiful set. This girl has a truly incredible voice that shines through with passion and feeling as she performs, bouncing between heart-breaking lyrics, and songs you simply have to dance along to. Next up for the night was Matt and Kim. If you’ve ever seen photos of a Matt and Kim show, it’s easy to tell pretty quickly how insane their sets are. But honestly, it’s impossible to tell on what scale until you see it for yourself. From unapologetically vulgar language and dancing throughout their set to hundreds of balloons being thrown out into the crowd, their set is jaw-dropping in more ways that one. Of all the sets from the weekend, Matt and Kim honestly have one that will stick with the whole crowd for a very long time.
And finally to close out Day 1, indie-rockers Young the Giant topped off the night, followed by G-Eazy’s set filled with California love.
All in all, Grizzly Fest was a pretty incredible weekend. A perfect blend of music, and just long enough to not leave you too dead, the Fresno festival really pulled out all the stops for a fantastic arts weekend.
For more information, please visit: https://grizzlyfestival.com