The first day of the festival opened with the lovely Jessica Pratt, a former San Francisco lady who just moved to Los Angeles. Pratt played alongside her keyboardist and the songstress was subdued with her brood of tender folk songs. She opted to play mostly newer material and strayed away from songs off of her critically-acclaimed debut. While Pratt’s stage presence at other venues has been slightly awkward in between songs, she seemed far more comfortable and relaxed here.
Later, folk hero Michael Hurley took the stage with a calm but potent set. His voice sounded classic and almost cinematic in the midst of the redwoods. His lyrics of heaven and perhaps a deceased wife resonated in the overreaching beauty of the Library. It seemed even the breeze stood still while Hurley performed.
In lieu of Foxygen, Jonathan Rado took the stage and apologized for the line-up flip-flop and his voice because he was getting over a cold. Thankfully, Rado and his full backing band (aka the Gentlemen Jets) were not afraid to goof around and have fun on stage. Rado played tracks off his debut album, Law & Order, out now on Woodsist. Radio and co. wrapped up their set with a Big Star cover.
As the clouds came in and the sun went down, our garage-rock darlings, White Fence, took the stage. The band played a strong mix of songs off Cyclops Reap as well as older material. The lights went out at one point during their set but the band kept playing. White Fence certainly had the louder, garage rock part of the festival covered but could have played even louder and taken full advantage of echoes and acoustics.