Music Tastes Good Festival 2016 Day 3 Review
Music Tastes Good was an all ages 3-day music and food event that attempts to put Downtown Long Beach on the map as a festival ground in SoCal.
Unfortunately, I was only able to make it to the last day of this event, so take that into consideration when reading this.
First, let me discuss the logistics of this event. This was its inaugural year and everything from getting there, to parking, to get getting inside was fairly easy and security wasn’t too harsh on the crowd. Sunday’s event was held on 1 small block of downtown with only 1 stage and 9 acts (in comparison to the Saturday’s show:4 blocks, 4 stages, and 40+ acts). Since it was only $25 for GA, compared to Saturday’s $75, it was well worth it for the experience and a great place to hang out with friends, while listening to good music and eating delicious food. The festival was not too crowded and everyone was able to move/dance around freely and finding a place to eat was not too hard.
Now let me get to the food at Music Tastes Good. There were only about 7 booths to choose from, which was disappointing, but they covered all your basic event food: BBQ, Mexican, pizza, and surprisingly vegan and Indian. Regular and craft beers were served at a bar in the corner and were overpriced as usual. I went to try the tri-tip sliders from Bobbie Ray’s BBQ, tacos from TacoRog, and grabbed a tropical iced tea from Primal Alchemy and a pineapple drink from another Mexican food booth.
The sliders were AMAZING, the meat was juicy and tender with just the right amount of sauce. The bun was nothing special, which wasn’t a big deal because the meat had so much flavor that it made up for it. The pineapple drink from the random Mexican food booth tasted great too and was just sweet enough to quench your thirst. On the other hand, the tacos were dry and bland and the tropical iced tea didn’t taste any better than making regular tea from a bag. All in all, the food was good, but nothing to really tout about, especially when it’s supposed to be half of the experience.
What surprised me the most was the art that was displayed at Music Tastes Good. It had just a small area, but consisted of locally made artwork that you could pose with, along with a Tetris block building area for kids and adults to enjoy. They also gave you chalk so you could create your own artwork on the floor of this area.
Lastly, the music. I was only able to catch Las Cafeteras, Gallant, and De La Soul, but they were great acts. I’ll be honest, the only artists I knew were De La Soul and they were a big reason for me to look forward to this event. The set-up crew and management weren’t very good at being orderly or punctual, so some acts took awhile to get started.
Las Cafeteras was a Chicano band from East LA that I’d classify as a mixture of folk, hip-hop, and cumbia. They were a very interesting and lively group that had their main string player on a requinto jaocho and lead singer using a jarana jarocha, while other members were performing zapateado. It was my first time seeing a band like this and it was astounding to listen to such a different style of music.
Gallant was my favorite artist, by far. For those of you who don’t know, Gallant is a young, up and coming alternative R&B singer who sings mostly in falsetto and has collaborated with Jhené Aiko and Seal. His energy and sporadic dancing really made the show and his voice was unbelievable. His band also had some great vocalists that just blended with his voice really well. I liked his music so much that I instantly went on to Apple Music to save his album, so I could listen to it later.
De La Soul was the old-school hip-hop group that everyone was waiting for and they did not disappoint. They came on stage hyping up the crowd and cursing as I expected (even though there were kids in the crowd). This trio was hilarious and knew how to please all of their die-hard fans, as well as people who were familiar with their songs. They played a lot of their hit songs, such as “Me Myself and I” and “Oooh”, and continuously had the crowd sing along and cracked jokes in between each song. They were really the height of the festival for me. My biggest gripe about this part of the festival was that they only gave De La Soul 45 minutes to perform and actually took them off stage 15 minutes earlier than expected. Again, this was the management and crew’s mistake. This was really dissatisfying.
This was a great first year for Music Tastes Good and I hope this evolves into something bigger for the Long Beach audiophiles and foodies.