The Peach Kings – Photo by Annie Lesser

Make Music Pasadena, the annual one-day donation-based music festival in the San Gabriel Valley area of Los Angeles, featured almost 40 venues hosting music and art from about 200 artists. The festival featured sets by YACHT, Youngblood Hawke, Superhumanoids, Salt Petal, Robert DeLong, Tanlines, The New Limb, and dozens upon dozens more. The performance spaces were as large as the Old Pasadena Indie Rock stage, which took up the main thoroughfare of Colorado Blvd for three blocks, and as small as the Listen2yourmother stage, which if not for the mini merch tent and few microphones set up, one would assume was just a common area for busking. The sheer expansiveness of the festival made it hard to get from stage to stage in order to catch bands playing, but hearing just a song or two from each of the bands was part of the fun.
The sun blared around 90 degrees, but free water bottles and water filling stations around the fest kept dehydration down. If fest-goers wanted to “hydrate” with something boozier, they had to support local businesses by going into bars and restaurants for a drink between sets. During outdoor sets, many ducked into shade, especially in Pasadena Memorial Park, where you could literally see a line of audience members wherever the shade came to an end.
One of the cooler, both literally and figuratively, venues was the indoor Armory Center For The Arts, which featured original artwork from locals and even had a gallery dedicated to concert and performance photography. The best views of the stage were from a balcony where there wasn’t much to obscure your vision. Here, I caught the tail end of Halfbluud’s set. Other notable performances at the festival were from We Are Scientists, who kept saying all its songs were about Pasadena, and The Peach Kings, who adorned themselves in bright t-shirts and flowers.
Photos by Annie Lesser.
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