Just Like Heaven Festival took place over the weekend at Goldenvoice’s new festival hub Queen Mary Events Park in Long Beach, and it did indeed, feel like heaven.
Originally announced as a one-day festival, the indie rock dream lineup included Phoenix, MGMT, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Passion Pit and gave all of those who are now in their late 20’s and early 30’s a festival where they could reminisce of their high school and college years. After the first day sold out extremely fast, Goldenvoice added a second day to the festival—with the exact same lineup. You don’t see that often.
AXS was there to experience the first year of the festival. Check out the best moments from the festival below, written by Melanie Moccia and Will Pankey.
There Was No Shortage of Hits
While every artist on the lineup brought something unique to the festival, there was one thing no one can deny about Just Like Heaven—all of the hits were played. Between the two stages, it was inevitable that you would stumble across a song that gave you a nostalgic rush. Passion Pit returned and celebrated the 10th anniversary of Manners, Phoenix obviously mixed in their hits “1901” and “Lisztomania” and MGMT didn’t disappoint by wrapping up their set with “Kids.” Older-millennials—as the crowd was dubbed—had plenty to sing-along to.
The Rapture Make Their Glorious Return
Five years have passed since NYC dance-punk vets The Rapture called it quits. Judging by their set at Just Like Heaven, though, it was almost as if they hadn’t missed a day. The band delivered one of the most ferocious and energetic sets of the weekend and frankly, if you didn’t catch The Rapture, you really missed out. The group fired off song after song from their small discography that showed why they were such a revelation all those years ago when “House of Jealous Lovers” hit the scene. Here’s to hoping they have new music coming down the pipeline.
MGMT Turn Up The Psychedelic
MGMT are in a good place right now. At the beginning of last year, the group released one of 2018’s most underrated albums in Little Dark Age. The album featured some of the band’s most immediate songs since their debut and included a new all-time MGMT song in “Me and Michael.” It’s no surprise, then, that the group amassed one of the larger crowds on Saturday at Just Like Heaven. Taking over the main stage, the band did not waste a minute of their set, coming out with “Little Dark Age,” a tripped-out version of “Electric Feel,” and a compelling “When You Die.” This was a band operating at a new peak in their career.
Phoenix Never Disappoints
Rightfully deserving, Phoenix closed out the entire festival. As mentioned above, the French band fronted by Thomas Mars has not only the songs to perform an amazing set, but their energy and charisma always seems to light up a stage. They are no stranger to Los Angeles—just last year they had a residency at LA’s Fonda Theatre—and every single time, they bring everything they have. The highlight of the set had to be Mars walking across the crowd (pictured above) where he trusted his fans enough to hold him up.
Just Like Heaven, we hope to see you next year.