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After having a terrible horrible no-good very bad day, my fella (that Emperor dude) decided to do something nice for me (insert: awesome!).  He contacted the matrix or whatever it is he does, & got us tickets for the Balboa Beach Music Fest – which was going on the very next day (he’s like a wizard or some shit).  Turns out, this is the key to putting me in a good mood.  Not only was this festival (for us) strictly about seeing A Fine Frenzy, aka the Emperor’s ex, Alison Sudol, but it also takes place at the beach – which for me is a win on its own.

Oh, the southern California coast, where the weather is always perfect, the people are perfect looking (cite the little hipster tweens whose parents bought them $200 VIP tickets) & the sun shines out of everyone’s asses.  The only thing that wasn’t perfect was the booze-booth that took cash only, great.

For some reason or another, I never really listened to A Fine Frenzy until the Emperor introduced me to their awesomeness, which just so happens to be completely my kind of music.  A well-dressed hippie as the lead singer with back-up musicians right out of the Urban Outfitters catalog; producing a sound that at once tells a story & makes you want to dance.  This ridiculous hipster reasoning is perfection in my eyes, & the reason that now they sit pretty damn high on my go-to stack of music.  This is especially true for their newest album, Pines.

Even before they were on stage, A Fine Frenzy had a lot going for them.  They were following this singer-chick who decided that complaining about her set being cut short is proper show etiquette; anything would have been better than listening to her incessant whine.  Or, straight from the Emperor’s mouth, “Fewer things guarantee not being invited back to a festival than continually bitching about how short your set is.”  Not only did A Fine Frenzy follow an act that guaranteed them a welcoming audience, but they were also set up & ready to go as soon as this chick was done.  Yes, they had to run through a sound check, but with Alison Sudol’s smile front & center there was no way anyone could complain.

The show went down without a bump in the set list, Alison got those little hipster tweens to dance with her, & all was well on the grassy front.  Despite this being the smallest festival either of us had been to, & the fact that we were purely there to see A Fine Frenzy, this ended up being pretty well worth the 45 minute drive.  I’d definitely go see A Fine Frenzy, & dance with them hippie chicks again & again (I’m sure the dudes love that shit), but this festival needs to get a few more acts on the bill if it wants an audience outside of the locals.  Maybe that’s its appeal; Locals Only!

-Cal