The Just Like Heaven tunes competition has nothing to do with The Overcome, the band behind the 1987 track it’s named right after. Rather, the Los Angeles event’s title is a reference to a experience — the euphoric bliss of youth, and the heat felt for the time that several attendees have been in the throes of when its headliners released the tunes dominating their established lists.
It is not reported outright, but Just Like Heaven, headlined by MGMT (undertaking “Oracular Spectacular” in whole) and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, is a nostalgia pageant. Now in its 2nd yr, the 1-day occasion is perfectly timed with the “indie sleaze” revival. The realization that I, at 32, am the focus on audience for these types of a thing is a sobering knowledge. Promptly, my head went to “Old-Chella,” the 2016 competition whose formal title I could not remember its headliners provided The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, and Neil Younger.
Ended up these mid-2000s indie rock bands my Stones and Beatles? Period-defining adequate to warrant their have pageant, just for us? Would people who found the audio immediately after its time, the TikTokers who just discovered position-and-shoot electronic cameras, be in attendance? I wasn’t certain if Just Like Heaven was a form of validation of the songs that shaped my youth, or just a reminder that it is not the best tunes that resonates most deeply with you, but the music you find at the most formative time of your lifetime. Out of all the phases I’ve long gone as a result of, I’m fortunate this one particular aligned at that significant time. “Oracular Spectacular” came out in 2007 and it retains up. Some of my other former favorites, a minimal significantly less so.
In 1969, when requested if nostalgia was debilitating or enriching, Vladimir Nabokob, writer of Lolita, advised BBC it was neither. Fairly, he called it “one of a thousand tender thoughts.” “Tender” is an apt description for the power at Just Like Heaven. Just about everyone is more than 30 many years old. Mom and dad hold in the shade with their children. Some flip a sandy pit into a enjoy place for toddlers. Individuals give each other room to dance, to lay out a blanket and have a picnic. A lot less beverages are spilled, lines for the lavatory significantly less hostile. It is no one’s 1st rodeo. We have been here ahead of, when this new music first arrived out, when we pushed our way to the entrance of the barricade and guzzled Sparks in the parking ton now we are below, dancing a tiny a lot less, shelling out the $18 for cocktails we under no circumstances thought we’d spend, enable on your own wait around in line for. But the crowd isn’t desperate or delusional, nor are they squeezed into their American Clothing greatest — they are just here to listen to their preferred tracks of the past and sing along to each individual term. The common comfort is human nature. No former haircuts or faded tattoos make us exempt.
Located across two levels at the Brookside Golfing Club within the Pasadena Rose Bowl, Just Like Heaven is a jaunt in the park. The quick walk in between phases is peppered with all-natural wine bars and churro stands a black-and-white checkered dance floor created to glimpse like the club nights of the mid-aughts is virtually concealed. Although the lineup is comprehensive of bands that start out with “The” (don’t forget the havoc that wreaked on our iPods?), the most important stage focuses on much easier to categorize indie rock — The Hives, The Bravery, The Walkmen, MGMT, Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The other phase receives much more experimental (Peaches, Fever Ray), and at night time, a very little dancier (Caribou, M83).
In the mid-aughts, many of these functions performed at festivals together, although contrary to Just Like Heaven, those lineups were divided concerning similarly well-liked indie rock acts and electronic dance acts. Consider LA Weekly’s DeTour Competition, headlined by Justice and Bloc Party (who performed Just Like Heaven final 12 months) in 2007, or Community Pageant headlined by The Faint (on Just Like Heaven’s 2023 lineup), DJ AM, and Mickey Avalon. In 2009, San Francisco’s Treasure Island Songs Pageant was headlined by MGMT, MSTRKRFT, and Woman Talk. Now, although dance music’s acceptance has massively eclipsed its 2009 position and indie rock nearly feels market, the selection to continue to keep them individual will make perception. DJs have both rebranded or produced new tunes even much more preferred than before. There are not limitless bands that evoke this heavenly nostalgia — if the pageant proceeds, organizers are bound to slot in a couple bloghouse-period DJs.
There was an interesting dichotomy in between the performers’ attitudes, far too. The Walkmen, who lately reunited for a string of bought-out reunion dates, engage in hits like “The Rat” and “Heaven” and wax poetic on phase about how grateful they are that their fans even keep in mind them. Their only new music is a reissue of their 2016 album You & Me.
Meanwhile, The Bravery, whose very last album was introduced in 2009, request the crowd if they want to listen to some new tracks and are met with a in close proximity to plausible cheer. “Too lousy, we’re not participating in any,” laughs direct singer Sam Endicott from under his leather-based jacket, promising the crowd that a new album is coming. The audience would seem energized, but rather of teasing a new keep track of, the band launches into a sequence of covers of punk rock tunes. Only their 3rd performance because their 2021 reunion, it’s tough to tell if Just Like Heaven is a time-killing tactic or just the band obtaining entertaining. They have no other scheduled reveals.
Piper Mcgeehan, 13, was just one of the only youthful people — the audience this songs was manufactured by and for — I saw at the festival. Chaperoned by her father, she arrived for MGMT and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the two of which she identified on FM rock radio in her parents’ automobiles. “I actually like old audio much better than new new music. I experience like lyrics from these bands are far more thoughtful,” she claimed. To her, all of this tunes is new a new album from a band with 5 to discover for the initial time is not a precedence to her.
On the other phase, also early in the afternoon for her profile, Azealia Banking institutions ran late to her fifty-minute time slot. When saying her booking on Instagram, Banking companies said the competition lineup created her “indie rock heart sing,” but onstage, she doesn’t treat her functionality as a throwback set. In a eco-friendly leopard print leotard, alongside a DJ and total band, she raps “Anna Wintour” and “212” with as much gusto as more recent tunes “Blooming Meadow” and “Salchichon.” Whilst her crisp voice and signature enunciation would have amazed at any pageant, Banking institutions has no other tour dates for the year.
Peaches turns a medley of her multi-10 years catalog into a statement tailor-made to 2023. She and her dancers don vagina masks and prosthetic pregnant bellies crammed with demon babies. She strips levels of leotards exposing statements including “Trans Rights Now,” “Thank God for Abortion,” and “Drag Saves Lives,” as she sings “Fuck the Ache Away” and “Dick In the Air.” On the initial 80-diploma working day in LA all yr, her lyric “at the dawn of the Summer I give birth to a lousy girl / Devoid of a motherfuckin’ epidural,” is specially appropriate.
Haley Hanson, 39, watches Peaches for the initial time after exploring her in 2008. “This songs arrived out so prolonged in the past, but now it matters even more. I assumed I needed to throw my ‘dick in the air’ too, but I didn’t know conditions like gender-fluid. I grew up in a modest town, I knew I appreciated her audio then but now I comprehend I connected to it for a motive,” they explained.
Even if the competition is a hard cash seize to capitalize on our nostalgia, moments like Hanson’s make it really worth it. I did not go away a improved person, but I had a enjoyable working day in the solar listening to songs I still appreciate. The expertise lacked the anticipations of a mega competition or to start with time seeing a new artist live. There was a perception that we must be grateful these bands executed in the initially area, an comprehending that we’re dancing together on borrowed time as the following nostalgia development peeks close to the corner.
Jason Stewart, 41, a founder and in some cases doorman of the mid-2000s get together Cinespace Tuesdays, has way too lots of new initiatives heading on simultaneously to bask in as well significantly of the tenderness that nostalgia brings us. Even so, he appears on the pageant lineup a few instances: Deejaying equally the key phase and dance phase as DJ Them Jeans, as perfectly as recording a reside episode of How Very long Absent, the podcast he co-hosts. “It feels wonderful to be regarded for my ability to intuit what 38-yr-olds want to dance to, but I’m seeking to continue being humble,” he mentioned.
He’s joking, but that is the vital to Just Like Heaven. Even if MGMT sounds as very good as they did when I observed them at Coachella in 2009, it normally takes humility to sing along to “I’m feelin’ rough / I am feelin’ raw / I am in the primary of my life,” sixteen a long time later on. Some of the group could be admitting to them selves that it was, in reality, their prime, but I locate it humbling that back again then I experienced no plan then how considerably enjoyable would appear afterwards.