Photos by Mary Tio
For our second day, Mary and I quickly down our coffees and eagerly rush over to the festival at noon. Due to our second round of interviews, we caught fewer performances as compared to the previous day – we didn’t mind though, as our hearts were full and spirits still high from the last day and the opportunity to interview such great artists!
Festival-goers seem to be generally more relaxed today – perhaps due to familiarity with the venue or perhaps due to exhaustion from the previous day, who’s to say? If you’re curious about the performances from Day 1, check out our coverage here.
Regardless of the more laid-back atmosphere in comparison to Day 1, the crowd does not disappoint with their clothing on the second day. We got to photograph a few more concertgoers with their fun and incredibly creative outfits.
We catch a glimpse of Maxo Kream’s set between interviews. The audience is bouncing on their feet, as Kream does an effective job at getting them pumped under the scorching afternoon sun. Brothers has a great beat, bringing a groove and hype to the afternoon stage. Towards the middle of the set, he brings on a friend and tells the audience – “as I say RIP, you say money do!”. “RIP” “Money do!” “RIP” “Money do!” riffs Kream with the audience, as he brings a refreshing burst of energy. Overall, the set is super bouncy and danceable, getting people energized and into the spirit of the festival.
Mike G – by Mary Tio
The energy remains high with Mike G’s electric performance. The former Odd Future member keeps the audience incredibly engaged throughout the set, as he gives away carnival plushie prizes in between songs. In each rendition, Mike G exudes a gentle gratitude and warmth that the audience reciprocates. This feeling of comfort and community is further emphasized when Mike G brings out some of his friends to perform additional songs with.
Mike G has a moment with a fan who was wearing one of the artist’s first designs – touched by this heartfelt gesture, G shouts the fan out and gives them more merch as a thank you. Overall, the set is high energy, in a way that is interactive and heartwarming.
DAISY WORLD – by Mary Tio
DAISY steps onto the stage looking fabulous in her outfit (designed and created by herself), wearing a tank top adorned with gold coins and oversized black cargos. In our interview with the artist, we got to know the importance of music and fashion in the artist’s creative pursuits and it was incredible to see how she intersected these passions in her live performance.
With every skip and step, DAISY sings with such immaculate skill that every song seems to be straight out of her studio recordings. The audience is captivated by her stage presence, her lovely vocals and her beautiful smile throughout the set.
At FLOG stage, the audience brims with excitement as they await the talented Willow Smith. An Amazon Music representative interviews a young festival-goer at the front of the barricade, who exclaims how excited she is to watch her perform again.
The quintessential “one, two, three, four!” of t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l kicks the set off, as WILLOW runs into stage with her black electric guitar and rockstar sunglasses. While riffing the guitar, she belts the lyrics to the iconic hit in a deeper vocal range than the studio recording. The audience begins to sing and jump to the upbeat hit, setting the tone for a set filled with infectious enthusiasm.
“I’m so grateful to be here with you all, let’s share some music!!” yells WILLOW at the end of her first song, leading the audience to cheer in delight. She then jumps right into <maybe> it’s my fault, where the grunge guitar riffs work similarly with WILLOW’s voice as they did in the previous song, with a continuous synergy between the instrumentals and her raw, visceral voice.
Stunning visuals play on the screen behind WILLOW and her team, using a plethora of color palettes and close-ups of her face to set the tone of each individual song. In hover like a GODDESS, WILLOW stuns with her high notes – she points to the back of the dancing audience and yells “Hell yeah! That’s what y’all are supposed to be doing!”, encouraging others to jump and dance along.
In one of the most cherished moments of the concert, WILLOW brings out her rockstar brother Jaden. She expresses the amount of love she has for him as a brother and as a performer, and together they bring a vulnerable and delicate duet of Summertime in Paris, off of Jaden’s hit album ERYS.
WILLOW’s electrifying set brings up spirits and energy on the FLOG stage and as the sun begins to set, her magnetic performance is the clear marker of an exciting night of music at Camp Flog Gnaw.
Easily one of the most captivating sets of the night, AG Club displays unbelievable amounts of crowd control on GNAW Stage. The set begins with AG Club’s DJ playing popular hits like I Don’t Like by Chief Keef, Work by A$AP Ferg and Sky by Playboi Carti, which creates mosh pits before the performers even step on stage. DJ Rio is incredibly interactive and really brings the hype to the audience.
“Everyone say AG!” goes DJ Rio, leading the audience to chant for the performers for almost a minute. AG Club runs onto the stage to jumpstart the set with the incredible Mr. Put it On, donning Palestinian keffiyehs as a show of solidarity with the region. Jody Fontaine and BABY BoY bounce around the stage and mesmerize the audience with their genre-bending vocals, commanding the audience with their magnetic stage presence. This is easily one of the most energetic interactions between artists and performers that I have witnessed to this date. “Life’s a playground, better stay down!” scream BABY BoY and Fontaine as the audience jumps in near-perfect conjunction with the performers.
Through their upbeat renditions of Barry and Columbia, more and more mosh pits begin to form across the audience – going to show the massive amounts of energy AG Club channels into the crowd. The audience also grows larger – as mentioned by a friend who worked the concessions near GNAW, “AG Club easily built the biggest crowd GNAW stage has seen across both days of the festival”.
Another standout of the set is AG Club’s hypnotic performance of Memphis, where the performers seamlessly transition between bellowing screams and mellow rapped words to the audience, truly cementing their stage presence as one of the best performers of the night.
Prior to their set, we were able to dive deeper into the world of AG Club through an interview with Jody Fontaine and BABY BoY, which you can catch here.
We depart AG Club early in order to catch the internet sensation PinkPantheress. She’s no stranger to LA, having performed at UCLA’s BruinBash of 2022 – however, I’m eager to see whether her lo-fi style of performing has changed since her previous performance over a year ago.
Her delicate vocals wash over the audience with her first song of the set, Break it off. She performs sincerely, holding her iconic purse as she walks around the stage and sings melodically, almost as though she’s chatting with the audience. For I must apologise, she brings a bit more power to her vocals as the song ends with an extended instrumental.
This is PinkPantheress’ first set with a backing band instead of her usual DJ, which adds a layer of authenticity to her performances due to the slight but noticeable difference in the way her songs now sound with live instrumentation. During Mosquito, PinkPantheress has a small bout of stage fright but the audience combats this with gentle cheers and shouts of “we love you!”, a tender moment that encapsulates the love shared between artists and audiences at Camp Flog Gnaw.
In Angel, PinkPantheress combines traditional Scottish violins with her sweet vocals and gets the crowd to dance. In a funny turn of events, someone comes out to Irish dance on stage in the middle of the set – PinkPantheress humorously reveals later that the dance was not planned. She rounds the set out with one of her most popular songs, Boy’s a liar, which gets the audience on their feet as she completes her first performance at Camp Flog Gnaw. PinkPantheress performed well with her melodic voice and comforting stage presence, but the backing band truly stood out with their intricate instrumentation that added a refreshing beat to each song.
Toro y Moi
A pioneer in the chillwave genre, Toro y Moi (full name Chaz Bear) is known for his chill beats and house-esque music, making for an easy transition from PinkPantheress’ lo-fi atmosphere. We trot over and luckily make it to the barricade as the screen goes dim – Bear enters the stage with a big smile, starting off with a groovy and peppy rendition of Still Sound.
The audience sways as Toro y Moi transitions into the futuristic Mirage, filled with swelling synths and dreamy vocals from the singer-songwriter. As blue and pink vocals fill the screen behind him, the energy slows down alongside the beats and synths.
“What’s up LA?! I’ve come down from SF, and tonight I’m bringing you some of the bay” exclaims Toro y Moi, before the iconic drums of Ordinary Pleasure fill the air and send the audience into a frenzy. This shifts the tone of the set back to the chillwave that Toro y Moi is known for.
During the entirety of the performance, Toro y Moi keeps the audience engaged with his laid-back and friendly demeanor. Towards the end of 50-50, security guards stand at the barricade and out comes none other than Tyler, the Creator himself, in a show of support for his good friend Chaz. We are lucky enough to even have a tiny exchange of words with the mastermind behind the festival.
“Thank you Tyler, I love you bro!” shouts Toro y Moi, right as he gets into The Difference. The song is one of the highlights of the set, with Toro y Moi effortlessly balancing an upbeat energy with the sentimental tones and themes of the music. As the big screens pan over excited fans in the audience, Toro y Moi completes the set with his immensely popular Girl Like You – ending with a danceable chillwave song that keeps the audience on their feet until the very end.
The chilled out, mellow atmosphere of Toro y Moi really allowed the audience to decompress from a long day and groove to more low energy lo-fi beats before the most awaited performance of the night by Miss SZA.
The CAMP stage is packed to the brim with throngs of festival-goers, which is expected due to the singer-songwriter’s global popularity across the alternative R&B and mainstream pop genres.
Following a little teaser, the screen goes black. Cue many flashing lights, and then SZA coming out on top of a lighthouse prop on-stage whilst the screen displays ocean waves, an allusion to her most recent album SOS. With incredible backing vocals, SZA’s enchanting performance of PSA begins the set with a very chilled out energy.
With her extensive discography, I find that SZA does a good job of switching between her older album, Ctrl, her newer releases from SOS and viral songs such as Shirt. By switching off between these different eras of her music, she is able to appease most of the audience. I particularly enjoy her rock rendition of Love Galore and so does most of the audience, visible through the formation of mosh pits during A$AP Rocky’s verse in the song.
The bass rumbles and permeates throughout the field, adding to the cinematic and theatrical nature of transitions between songs. “I was not expecting so many of you!” exclaims the artist, awe-struck by the scores of people who had to come to watch her perform.
SZA puts her entrancing vocal range on display during Blind, where she seamlessly jumps between gentle and powerful renditions of the titular word. I notice that her songs from Ctrl have more of a grunge-rock energy to them with powerful guitars in the back. At the end of Garden (Say It Like Dat), the spotlight shifts to SZA’s incredible guitarist with an energetic guitar solo.
During Low, SZA’s passion and range in performing really shines through as she dances across the stage and raps to the audience, her unique charm exuding through the intricate choreography she undertakes. It’s evident that SZA wants to be not only a singer, but a well-rounded performer who can also dance, rap and have some fun while she’s at it. This also transmits to the audience, who match the different energies she displays with each song – from gentle sways to Drew Barrymore to frenzied jumping during Rich Baby Daddy.
Due to the artist’s delayed start, SZA’s mic was sadly cut during her rendition of Good Days. The audience and the artist come together to loudly boo and beg the festival administration to reconnect her mic, alas to no avail. SZA exits the stage with a final bow, leaving behind a sea of faces illuminated by the afterglow of her set. We leave the CAMP stage buzzing with energy and gratitude. SZA’s performance was a masterclass in artistry, a celebration of vulnerability and strength, and a testament to the unifying power of music.
This ties back to the overall atmosphere found at Camp Flog Gnaw as a festival – a beautiful tapestry of music, art, and enjoyment, woven together by the spirit of community and a love for pushing creative boundaries. The spirit of the festival lingers long after the Dodger Stadium’s gates have closed – in the comfort of quietly hummed melodies, the vivid reflections of awe-struck audiences, and the joy of community tied together by their shared adoration of music.