Festivals, Music, News, Reviews
May 7, 2024

Beachlife Festival Returns to Rock the Shores of Redondo Beach

Returning to the iconic sandy expanses of Redondo Beach, California, BeachLife Festival 2024 continued its tradition of delivering an eclectic mix of music that catered to a diverse crowd of beach lovers and music enthusiasts.

This year, standout performances by Santigold, Local Natives, Devo, and Incubus, not only packed a punch musically but also visually, with each act bringing their unique flavor to the beachfront stage.

Santigold opened her late afternoon set with an explosion of vibrant energy that seemed to draw even the distant paddle boarders closer to shore. Her set was a masterclass in genre-blending, mixing punk, reggae, and electronica, while her backdrop of dynamic, colorful visuals perfectly complemented her eclectic sound. Performing hits like “Disparate Youth” and “L.E.S. Artistes,” she had the crowd dancing with a fervor, their energy mirroring the dynamic intensity of her performance. The high point was the performance of her new single, which was received with rapturous approval, suggesting it might climb the charts soon.

As the sun began to set, Local Natives took to the stage, bringing with them a cooling breeze of harmonious indie rock. Known for their tight vocal harmonies and introspective lyrics, the band delivered a set that felt both intimate and expansive. Songs like “When Am I Gonna Lose You” and “Sun Hands” resonated beautifully with the setting sun, creating a reflective, almost ethereal atmosphere. Their performance was not just heard but felt—a perfect soundtrack to the descending twilight.

The anticipation for Devo was palpable, with many fans donned in the classic energy dome hats. Delivering a set that was as much a visual art piece as a musical performance, Devo proved they still command a unique space in the music world. Their pioneering new wave sound, complete with synthesizers and satirical lyrics, felt both retrospective and surprisingly current. “Whip It” was a crowd favorite, sending a wave of kinetic energy through the audience, while “Beautiful World” offered a more poignant moment, reminding everyone of Devo’s depth beyond their playful exterior.

Incubus, headlining the night, started their set with the hauntingly beautiful “Wish You Were Here,” instantly capturing the crowd’s full attention. Brandon Boyd’s voice, as compelling and versatile as ever, adapted seamlessly from the melodic to the aggressive, driving the band’s dynamic range. Their set included a well-balanced mix of old hits and newer material, with “Drive” becoming a sing-along moment under the starlit sky. The visual elements—a mix of lighting effects and evocative video backdrops—added layers to their performance, making it a sensory feast.

Beyond the music, BeachLife Festival 2024 excelled in creating a welcoming and vibrant atmosphere. Between sets, attendees enjoyed gourmet food offerings from local vendors, craft beer stations, and a variety of art installations, all emphasizing sustainability and community.

Photography-wise, capturing these moments was a delight. The challenge of balancing the harsh daytime light during Santigold and Local Natives’ performances, against the moody, dramatic stage lighting of Devo and Incubus, provided a range of opportunities to play with shadows and highlights. Each performance brought something unique to the lens, from Santigold’s colorful stage presence to the iconic energy dome hats swirling during Devo’s set.

BeachLife Festival 2024 solidified itself as a staple of the Southern California music scene, blending a spectrum of sounds from the nostalgic to the cutting-edge against one of the most picturesque backdrops imaginable. Each act brought their essence to the stage, contributing to a festival that was as much a celebration of diverse musical heritage as it was a gathering of community. As the echoes of Incubus’ closing number faded into the night, the message was clear: BeachLife is more than just a festival; it’s a vibrant, living mosaic of music, culture, and environmental awareness.

All Photos, copyright Press Pass LA: Ed Batres