Review: Yes Fest



Junior Eden Smith drew this flyer for the 2018 Yes Fest at the Brookline Teen Center. The show featured singer Kaya Anderson and closed with the band Tomtsu.

Harris Bubalo and Evan Suk

From the roaring guitars to the bombastic drums, there is an emotion that is felt at a good concert. It is a feeling of energy derived from the pure heart and soul that the performers put into their music. It makes you want to nod your head, sing, shout and jump up and down. This is exactly the atmosphere that was present at the second annual Yes Fest, a music festival where teenagers can show off their talents. The event took place Saturday, Oct. 13 at the Brookline Teen Center, where a total of 17 artists and groups performed. Three of the acts starred the high school’s students.

The show began at 4 p.m. with the group Danny Rivera, whose light-sounding guitar and vocals brought a subtle yet energizing sound to the main stage. The first artist who currently attends the high school, senior Kaya Anderson, performed next in the more private and intimate second stage, located toward the back of the Teen Center. In her first two songs, she displayed her calm, rhythm and blues (R&B) style and used her beautiful voice to captivate the audience. Then, she flipped her set on its head by performing hard-hitting rap tracks that got people jumping and dancing. The smaller stage worked wonders for her set, as it did for many others, because its intimate setting intensified her sounds.

As the night went on, artists from a variety of genres continued to showcase their talents. Rappers like K.I.N.G K3Z demanded attention through his fast rap flows and even more so through his excellent dance moves. With impressive guitar playing and fast drumming, rock bands like Snoozer and Trash Rabbit incited head banging amongst audience members. Another rock band, Vesper, seemed to be an audience favorite due to their unique, psychedelic and synth-heavy sound.

Singer-songwriters were also a huge part of Yes Fest, with performers like the high school’s very own senior Lia Rosenblatt, who goes by the stage name Lia Natalia. Set in the second stage, her indie-inspired performance was moving and it instilled quiet respect within the audience.

This serenity was soon overthrown by the old-school rap group Project Method, whose energizing beats even managed to start small mosh pits in the crowd. Constant switches between musical genres and general atmosphere definitely left the audience on their toes throughout the duration of Yes Fest.

To end the festival on a high note, the high school’s all-junior band Tomtsu closed off the setlist. Consisting of guitarist Zach Fischer, bassist Jackson Payne, drummer Max Grossman and singer Chuka Stergios, Tomtsu employed their alternative rock style in variety of ways. On “128”, a single which has over 60,000 plays on Spotify, Fischer and Grossman showed off their musicianship through blazing-fast riffs and drum fills. On the other hand, “Waiting for You” was a slow-burning indie rock track that was truly accentuated by Payne’s mellow playing and Stergios’ elegant voice. No matter what they played, the audience danced and cheered until the lights of the Teen Center came back on and it was time to leave.

Throughout it all, one thing that was clear about Yes Fest was its ability to bring people together. Audience members came from distinct walks of life, from the punks and goths who wore black coats and leather boots to the rap fans who wore basketball jerseys and Supreme fanny packs. Despite their evident differences, they all united under the banner of appreciating music from local artists.