Cold War Kids, Phantom Planet help Made in LA festival go down easy at Golden Road

Phantom Planet at Made in LA festival on Sunday night. (Photo by Zane Roessell)
Phantom Planet at Made in LA festival on Sunday night. (Photo by Zane Roessell)

Photos from Saturday’s Day 1:

Photos from Sunday’s Day 2:

The good times rolled Saturday and Sunday at the third annual Made In LA festival. Held on the grounds of the Atwater-adjacent headquarters of Golden Road Brewing, the two-day event featured musical artists, games, a street fair and, as you would have guessed — beer. Gracing the stage were Cold War Kids, Phantom Planet, Donavon Frankenreiter, Lemaitre and Pell, to name a few. Though the lineup may not have matched the monolithic trend of festivals these days, festival-goers were afforded lengthy performances that often resulted in deep dives into the artists’ catalogs. Couple that with 5-buck beers, and you had the makings of a great weekend.

“It’s so cool to be here at Golden Road, and I barely made the cut,” joked the just-21-year-old Jasper Bones (he celebrated his birthday in June) on Saturday. The self-described “Chicano wavy-soul” crooner let loose a caramel-smooth flow of a set that made you wish a pool and a cocktail were waiting nearby.

Pint-sized dynamo Lauren Ruth Ward delivered a true power-hour, rifling through practically the entirety of her catalogue at breakneck speed. Singing in her Joplinesque wail, it’s truly a wonder how she can remember all those lyrics and still stay perfectly in key.

Country rocker Rob Leines closed out Day 2 with an extended 90-minute set of blistering rock that revived the surely buzzed end-of-night crowd. The three-piece kicked off their set by dragging up one of the backstage coolers on stage and chucking beers into the audience. Despite the crowd’s best efforts, Leines and Co. were finally cut off — not too long after the cooler ran dry.

Headliners Cold War Kids delivered in big fashion, dishing out the hits and a few rarities, including a cover of pop legend George Michael’s “Freedom! ’90.”

Norwegian electro-pop delegates Lemaitre filled the stage with a full live band replete with a horn section. As they closed Day 1 they kept the party going strong, with hypnotic visuals and a technicolor bright illuminated mic stand. Serving up thunderous beats the duo heartily took the mantle of resident EDM maestros.

Though people may have come for “California,” they certainly stayed because of Phantom Planet’s standout set headlining Sunday night. Playing 13 songs that spanned their entire catalog (even “The Local Black And Red” off their debut album), the band’s range was as impressive as their musicianship. If that wasn’t enough, the band brought up special guest, former lead guitarist of Panic! at the Disco, Ryan Ross. At one point, frontman Alex Greenwald launched himself into the audience, crowd-surfing belly down and impressively sang without missing a beat.

Pell, arguably the most charismatic artist of the festival riled the crowd in chants of “Fuck ICE” (while donning a custom shirt with the same phrase) and his personal rallying cry “Pell yeah!” Backed by a full band, the talented hip-hop star commanded the stage, with his impressive lyricism on full display.

Photos and recap by Zane Roessell