Freakout is upon us. No, not the days-long Freakout Festival that goes down in the fall and features dozens of different artists, but its pint-sized cousin, Freakout Weekender. On Saturday and Sunday, Freakout Weekender is taking over all stages at the Crocodile complex with a hefty dose of punk, sweat, and a good freakin' time.
While much of the lineup consists of local bands, Freakout always brings acclaimed national and international acts with a particular focus on Latin American groups. And joining the festivities once again is Mad Alchemy Liquid Light show, whose liquid light art always adds a trippy—and necessary!—layer to the night's entertainment.
As we've mentioned in previous previews and reviews of the fest, you go to Freakout not because you know the bands, but as a way to discover music you might not have had the chance to see or listen to otherwise. The fest is not built around hype, rather, it's built around taste. Think of it as being the most anti-Discover Weekly or anti-Coachella thing you could do this weekend.
With that in mind, here are a few acts you should absolutely check out this weekend—and don't forget to wear something you don't mind getting beer on:
What a pair! These two headliners spell nothing but trouble in the best way possible. The Stockholm-bred Viagra Boys play on Saturday. You'd never tell that these boys were from the land of fjords and Ikea by just listening to them. The way lead singer Sebastian Murphy says the word "motherfucker" and the band's gritty, dirty songs sound as if the band were born in the most desolate parking lot in the most fucked part of the States. Which is a compliment! And, boy, are they going to get rowdy. On Sunday, the extremely Los Angeles band FIDLAR (or Fuck It Dog Life's A Risk) will take the mainstage at the Crocodile and I'm so hyped. After a four-year hiatus, they announced their next EP called That's Life, out in March. While I'm sure we can expect to hear new cuts, they'll undoubtedly play smashes like "No Waves" and "Sober," too.
Viagra Boys play at 11 pm at the Crocodile on Saturday. FIDLAR play at 10 pm at the Crocodile on Sunday.
All the way from Singapore, Sobs is in town to croon their way into your heart. Self-styled "indiepop propagandists," the three-piece's tracks are sooOoooo dreamy, with a sound that mimics the jangle of early 2000's pop but feels much fuzzier. Songs like "Air Guitar" are so cloyingly sweet with bursts of synth and high-power guitar riffs that I genuinely thought I'd heard this song play in Limited Too. In the best way possible! I love this little pocket of bedroom pop amongst all the grit and sweat of the punk-fueled lineup.
Sobs play at 7 pm on Saturday at Madame Lou's.
CDMX-based Carrion Kids are the ol' stalwarts of Freakout's various festivals—for good reason. Their shows are so fucking energetic, with lead singer/guitarist Miguel Servin screaming into the mic and often knocking elbows with the raucous crowd. One of my favorite cuts off their album Hacer Daño is "Ritalin," a tune that's so chaotic it makes you feel like you're hopped up on the stuff yourself. If you're looking for a good mosh pit cleanse, definitely check out Carrion Kids on Sunday. But if you're dying in the meantime, head over to Mala Suerte on Saturday. They're a supergroup featuring members of Carrion Kids (Servin), Los Honey Rockets and Pipas de la Paz (Jasmina Hirschl, also from CDMX), and the Seattle-based bands Acid Tongue (Guy Keltner) and The Grizzled Mighty (Ryan Granger).
Carrion Kids play at 8 pm at Madame Lou's on Sunday.
If you're looking for a set that'll give you more moments of peace, head to Kristine Leschper's set on Saturday night. You might recognize the Philly-based artist from Mothers, her critically-acclaimed experimental band. After eight years of using that moniker, Leschper decided to move on and release music under her own name. And her work is similarly soulful and exploratory, based on introspective songwriting and great, lowkey melodies. Tracks like "Blue" throb with a pulsing, sexy bassline that pairs well with Leschper's delicate voice. A bangin' combo!
Kristine Leschper plays at 9:50 pm at Madame Lou's on Saturday.
In the style of femme rock bands from the mid- to late-seventies—they have an excellent cover of The Runaways' "Cherry Bomb"—LA-based band Lost Cat is punky, sexy fun. They'll beat you up! They'll do solos on the roof of your car! Stay the fuck away! That's the whole vibe. Lost Cat's fast-paced guitar riffs and grubby harmonies belong over movie scenes of car chases in the desert. They even have their own theme song, "L.O.S.T.," that's as catchy as it is funny.
Lost Cat plays at 7:30 pm at the Crocodile on Sunday.
Honestly, I can't find tons of info about the Tijuana-based band Axxident, but their music is so good. Going with faith on this one, but I'm really excited to see them play live. After all, that's what Freakout is all about!
Axxident plays at 8:50 pm at Madame Lou's on Saturday.