What a pleasant surprise Arroyo Seco Weekend was when it was first announced back in March. At the time it was announced it would be easy to miss this little gem as it was busy season for festivals with Lollapalooza, Kaaboo, fellow Goldenvoice festival FYF Fest, and more were releasing their lineups. However, if you are like me and did see it you found a surprise little festival at a reasonable price and an awesome lineup. Now that it is mid-June Arroyo Seco Weekend is almost here and I could not be more excited to attend the inaugural festival. Here’s what I’m most looking forward to at Arroyo Seco Weekend.
Seven years. Seven goddamn years since Broken Social Scene has released new music. However, the Canadian group is back with brand new material for Arroyo Seco Weekend, and I couldn’t be more excited to see them in Pasadena. It will be a great chance to be one of the early viewers of their much anticipated new album. In a year where there is more and more similarity between lineups, Broken Social Scene was a pleasant surprise to see on the Arroyo Seco Weekend lineup as no other festivals have them this year as of now. They will be an awesome early evening set on Saturday of Arroyo Seco Weekend.
Maybe it’s because the last festival I attended was Governors Ball, which was full of kids who didn’t know how to drink or hold their liquor, but I am really looking forward to a more mature experience at Arroyo Seco Weekend. I’m going to sound like an old man saying ‘Get Off My Lawn’ here but I love the EDM free lineup that is going to draw a more adult crowd where we all know how to behave and enjoy some people who play actual instruments. Arroyo Seco appears to be what Kaaboo is trying to do in San Diego, but with a better lineup, better marketing, better organization and better….well everything. As a San Diegan I love the idea of Kaaboo, but it’s just a cluser-you-know-what in terms of logistics. I am glad Arroyo Seco Weekend, which is run by the best in the business in Goldenvoice, is going to aim at the same experience with a better-run operation.
There aren’t too many legacy acts that get me excited at festivals. I didn’t go to see AC/DC at Coachella in 2015 or Guns N’ Roses in 2016. Tom Petty though? Who doesn’t want to sing ‘Free Fallin’ to close out the night? Tom Petty should be an amazing way to close out the first night of Arroyo Seco Weekend.
Brookside Park, located right by the famous Rose Bowl looks like it’s going to be a great place to have a music festival. I always love the outdoor park setting for a music festival, and in Southern California in June we are nearly guaranteed to have fantastic weather for Arroyo Seco. It’s also fairly easy to get to as well - you can just take the Gold Line to Memorial Park where you take a short shuttle to the festival. Everything is looking like this is going to be a great host for Arroyo Seco Weekend.
Nearly every festival lineup release this year I have been hopeful The Shins would be on the poster. Most of the time where I thought it was going to happen (Coachella, Austin City Limits, Life Is Beautiful) I have been disappointed. Arroyo Seco Weekend, however, delivered! I have seen The Shins live and it never gets old – whether they are playing their great new songs like “Name For You” or the staples like “Caring Is Creepy” or “New Slang” they are an awesome show. Sunday is particularly fantastic for me personally as we will see The Mowgli’s, ZZ Ward, The Revivalists, Fitz & The Tantrums, Weezer and end the wonderful day with James Mercer and The Shins. Yes, Mumford & Sons will still be closing out the festival but I will be content to end with The Shins – a band of my youth that is always a pleasure to see live.
Goldenvoice always brings in awesome food to their festivals. A lot of the names coming to Arroyo Seco Weekend were at Coachella (Sumo Dog, Fritzi Coop, Fat Dragon) and I wasn’t able to try them there so it’s nice to get another shot to do so at Arroyo Seco. Los Angeles is a great food city and it seems like Arroyo Seco is taking advantage of that by bringing in some local legends. It seems like you will be a happy inner fat kid at Arroyo Seco.
One of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had at a music festival was 2015 Coachella where it was Interpol vs. Alabama Shakes. Interpol was one of the definitive bands of my youth. Alabama Shakes were the latest hot band on the alternative scene. I chose to go with Interpol, mainly because I love Interpol and it gave me a good spot for Tame Impala who followed. That said, it was hard, and I haven’t had a chance to see Alabama Shakes since. That changes this Arroyo Seco Weekend. Of all the names on the lineup, the one that really jumped out to me was Alabama Shakes. They aren’t playing many shows this year so it’s a fantastic snag for Arroyo Seco in their debut year. It’s been a few years in the making, but I will finally get to see Alabama Shakes and it’s what I’m most looking forward to at Arroyo Seco Weekend.
Often the release of set times is like a dagger in the heart when you see all the bands you have conflicts with and will have to miss. Arroyo Seco was a pleasant surprise that worked out really well for us and who we want to see. Below you can see the full list of acts we plan to check out at Arroyo Seco Weekend.
Baskery, Preservation Jazz Hall Band, LIVE, Broken Social Scene, Alabama Shakes, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Magic Giant, The Mowgli's, Con Brio, ZZ Ward, Andy Grammer, Fitz & The Tantrums, Weezer, The Shins, Mumford & Sons