BFD 2018

The 25th annual BFD festival had a different feel to it this year. For the first 24 years, Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California hosted the BFD festival. This year, BFD was held in Concord, California. Radio station FM 105.3 has had a significant impact on the Bay Area music scene for years. Towards the end of 2017, there was a change in ownership at the radio station. FM 105.3 changed its name to ALT 105.3 and abruptly fired popular morning DJ Kevin Klein. Bay Area listeners were concerned for the direction of the company.

However, BFD featured a fantastic lineup with Grammy award winners and nominees. Blink 182 was the headliner for BFD 2018, and they were fantastic. Let’s recap BFD from the beginning.

In previous years, BFD would have multiple stages including 1 large stage for the bigger acts and a few small stages for the local artists. This year, there was only 1 large stage for all performers.

The day’s lineup began with several well established local bands. The Bay Area natives were well represented. Mt. Eddy’s roots come from the South Bay, while Cemetery Sun started up in Sacramento. Both bands were fantastic to start the show.

Next, was English alternative rock band Nothing but Thieves. They were a hit and fans were dancing around and shaking their heads to their music. Lead singer Conor Mason was very thankful for being part of BFD and thanked the fans. Nothing but Thieves finished their performance with “Amsterdam.”

One of the coolest parts of BFD was the quick set change after each artists finishes their music. The stage rotates in a 180 degree circle, essentially turning it around. Less than 5 minutes, the next artist played.

That next artist was up and coming singer Billie Eilish. Many fans were eager to see 16 year old perform her hits “Burn” and “Open your Eyes.” It was fun to watch Eilish get the crowd involved and asked to dance crazy.

Soon after was indie pop band AJR. Adam, Jack, and Ryan Met are all brothers who wrote and mixed their music in their living room. It was fun to see the band reach success and be featured in the radio. Before AJR played their new radio hit song “Sober Up,” Jack Met thanked Alt 105 for being one of the first radio stations to play their music. AJR had a lot of energy and the fans were having a great time.

One of the most entertaining singers came on after. Bishop Briggs took the stage and fans went crazy. Bishop Briggs ran back and forth around the stage. She was entertaining to watch because it looks like she’s exercising and singing at the same time. A few times before she announced her next song, she said it was about her ex. Bishop Briggs finished off her set with fan favorite “River.”

Judah and the Lion came out momentarily and they were fun. Lead singer Judah Akers wore all white with a Whitney Houston shirt and screamed his music. Towards the end of the set, Judah ran out to the crowd, all the way to the bleachers. Fans were taking pictures and Judah was giving high fives around. It’s always fun to see artists play off stage and more in the crowd. Judah and the Lion had an incredible performance and finished off with fan favorite “Take it all back.”

James Bay came out with a smile, wearing sunglasses and a black jacket. James Bay was having a great time. In the middle of the set, Bay shared his love for America and calls it a beautiful place. Originally from England, James Bay was pleasing the crowd with hits, “Let it go” and “Pink Lemonade.” Towards the end of the show, he took off his sunglasses and the background screen behind him changed into different colors. It was a memorizing moment. Bay finished off his set with “Hold back the river.”

The next artist was the biggest surprise. They way the band played, you would think the are the headliner. So much power and energy! I’m talking about AWOLNATION. Lead singer Aaron Bruno showed a lot of emotion and engaged with the crowd.

Grammy award winners The War on Drugs played next and had a different feel after AWOLNATIONs set. War on drugs had a relaxing and mellow vibe throughout the show. The Frontman for The War On Drugs, Adam Granduciel, took time to tell the audience that he once lived in Oakland off of 66th Street. Throughout the set War on Drugs played different instrumental melodies that sounded like they were from a movie. It was cool to watch the fans mesmerized by War on Drugs.

The following band had low lighting and a different sound from the rest of the artists. Reggae and hip hop group Dirty Heads took the stage as the sun set and the lights were perfect. It was a much calmer, more concentrated, and downright experimental interpretation of their art. The Dirty Heads started off with catchy tune “Vacation,” followed by “Lay Me Down.” With a little bit of rap and rock, Dirty Heads is a group all music fans can appreciate.

Legendary band Blink 182 needs no introduction. As usual, the punk rock artists fans out with new material from their latest album “California.” Blink 182 started off with “Cynical” followed by “Anthem Pt. 2.” In the middle of Blink 182’s set, Mark Hoppis told the crowd, “Last night I played to a crowd four times as big, but tonight I’m having twice as much fun!” Their setlist did not disappoint as they played a balanced blend of new and old songs from all their albums. Audience members began moshing with lighthearted nostalgia as the band played every hit from “What’s My Age Again?” to “I Miss You.” After an encore from the crowd, Blink 182 ended their show with fan favorite “Dammit.” It was a great day at BFD. Different venue, different city, but one thing stayed the same, fans left with smiles on their faces.



Arik Ruiz

May 21st, 2018

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