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The 6 best things we saw at FYF on Saturday

The 6 best things we saw at FYF on Saturday
Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

1. The mariachi welcome band

 

What a great way to be welcomed into a music festival... or anywhere, for that matter. Upon completing the (rather vigorous) security check, festival-goers were greeted with a giant, multi-colored "FYF" sign festooned with balloons that provided the backdrop for five decked-out mariachis—three strings, two horns—playing and posing for the crowd. For folks who arrived early and weren't rushing to get to a stage, this was a pretty great little bonus set. We hope they're back on Sunday.—Kate Wertheimer


2. FYF's "new improved shortcut"

 

A walkway! A simple goddamn walkway that made all the difference in the world. Thank you, FYF, for easing our aching feet and not making us trek all the way around the Arena every time we wanted to switch stages. Traffic flow was a breeze compared to last year, and we got to walk past the entertaining Woods stage extra often.—KW


3. The Woods stage

 

We'd shell out for an entire fest like Horse Meat Disco's Saturday set at the Woods, FYF's new feel-good wooden dance floor. For nearly six hours, the London-based DJ collective pumped out beat-enhanced, old-school jams underneath tinsel streamers, disco balls hanging from branches and tree-filtered sunlight. We hope the vibes at Sunday's sets (from Leon Vynehall and DJ Harvey) are just as good.—Michael Juliano


4. Pure Luck's jackfruit

 

Okay so technically this was a best thing we tasted. The vegan eatery with a cult following is smack dab in the middle of FYF's Night Market, and though Big Daddy's Poke Shack garnered the longest lines (guys, COOL IT on the poke), you should really head to Pure Luck on Sunday if you didn't hit it up on day one. Their jackfruit tacos are super fresh and filling, and if you don't want a taco you can get the BBQ jackfruit sandwich on toasted bread. We asked, as always, if their presence meant that a storefront was in the works—but no, they're just focusing on festivals for now.—Erin Kuschner


5. Run the Jewels having the time of their lives

 

As excited as the crowd was to see Run the Jewels, the hip hop duo was even more excited. El-P and Killer Mike had an obvious blast onstage, cracking jokes between high-energy songs that had the entire crowd jumping from the very beginning. “This guy is my best friend,” shouted El-P about Killer Mike, before bringing out a few special guests: Zack de la Rocha (Rage Against the Machine), Gangsta Boo and Travis Barker (Blink 182). The most endearing part about RTJ’s set was just how happy they were to be there: “This is a dream for us,” they said, in between thanking the audience, FYF, and even the photographers down in the photo pit (Killer Mike's request: “Make me look slim!”). And then they thanked us some more.—EK


6. Kanye killing it

 

You'd never have known Kanye West was a last minute substitution based on the massive crowd at his passionate headlining performance. He jumped and writhed his way across the empty, dramatically lit stage in a physical, flawless stream of songs. His first twenty minutes or so were great, and his middle act was buoyed by guest rapper Travis Scott and a surprise Rihanna appearance. Bonus points for Yeezy's punctuality, particularly as he squeezed in "ten years of hits" in the set's final minutes, ending with his ballad for Nori, "Only One."—MJ

Photographs by Jakob Layman and Michael Juliano

 Want more? Check out our best band and crowd photos from day one of FYF 2015.

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