Review: Fool’s Gold 2015 provides flame, special guests at the Shrine Auditorium


This year’s Fool’s Gold brought another backyard, BBQ vibe to a seasoned crowd. Photo credit: Martin Sarabia/Contributor.

Julius Lasin

As A-Trak—founder of Fool’s Gold Records and master of ceremonies at Fool’s Gold Day Off—geared up for his DJ set, he stood on stage as the thousands in attendance chanted, “Foooooool’s Gold, Foooooool’s Gold!”

And although the event was billed as a show comprised of some of an eclectic set of up-and-coming independent artists, sprinkled in with established peers, it resembled more of a giant house party, or backyard BBQ amongst familiar friends supporting each other.

Without any set boundaries as to where the crowd should be for performances, attendees were free to roam the The Shrine Expo Hall and Auditorium and grab a beer, or cool off indoors to escape the almost 100-degree weather outdoors.

“It’s bringing a lot of people inside,” said Jimmy Rivera, 20. “Nobody can withstand the weather, but I’m pretty sure once the weather dies down, and there’s some shade out there, everybody’s going to have a great time.”

However, as 4 p.m. began to roll around and Chicago-native Towkio took the stage, the crowd began to trickle in slowly toward the stage in anticipation of something special. The Save Money crew member didn’t disappoint, as he guided the crowd through several songs off of his last project .WAV Theory.

The real treat came after Towkio was finished performing his songs, though. After hinting several times during his set that he had a “surprise” he brought out fellow Save Money member, Vic Mensa, who performed his single “U Mad”, which sent the crowd into immediate hysteria.

“It was crazy,” said Khoren Khatchatourian, 21, regarding Vic Mensa’s appearance. “The second that beat dropped, everybody went nuts.”

Shortly after Mensa performed “U Mad”, Towkio wrapped up his set and made way for EDM duo Milo & Otis.

In addition to a strong set featuring a blend of contemporary hip-hop and pop music, Milo & Otis treated fans to multiple new songs, as the outdoor crowd began to slowly swell.

After a lengthy set from Milo & Otis, it was finally time for newcomer Post Malone to take the stage.

Post Malone wasted no time in giving the crowd—filled with variations of Allen Iverson jerseys—what they wanted. He went right into his most popular single, “White Iverson”, prompting most of the crowd to sway back and forth and match Malone’s slow and melodic tone in chanting, “I’m saucin’, I’m saucin’, I’m saucin’ on you.”

“Their voices are unique” Isabella Gatica, 18, said of Post Malone and Travi$ Scott. “Especially Post Malone, I’ve never really heard anyone like that.”

But since Malone has only released five songs, he breezed through his set relatively quickly, but not without surprises such as Jaden Smith dancing across stage during both performances of “White Iverson”.

Following Post Malone’s relatively short set, late-addition Chuck Inglish played a brief set comprised of his signature laid-back, bass-heavy sound.

As soon as Chuck Inglish finished, A-Trak decided to get in on the fun, and played several tracks with the likes of Chromeo and other friends of Fool’s Gold Records on stage with him.

By that point in the evening, the crowd had ballooned to the point where most fans were chest-to-chest. But it didn’t matter, event goers were still invested in his set, as special guest Chromeo pleaded for the crowd to get even more excited.

But about 30 minutes into A-Trak’s set, the murmurs for Travi$ Scott to take the stage began getting louder, as audience members began to yell, “Where’s Travi$!”

Soon enough, the sun set, and all that could be see was the digital screen on stage that red “Travi$ Scott” in black print sprawled across a blood red background.

The moment Scott stepped onto the stage, the crowd could not contain themselves, immediately jumping and shoving each other to get closer to Scott, who is known to get physically involved with members of the crowd.

“You need to take care of me, I’m very, very, scared of that,” Gatica said in jest to her boyfriend, prior to Travi$ Scott’s set. “I don’t want to get hurt.”

Scott immediately went into a crowd pleaser by playing “Quintana” and “Upper Echelon” in the early part of his set, which brought upon mosh pits and pushing in several areas.

“I’ve never been to a concert where there’s this much pushing and shoving,” said Khatchatourian. “I was getting inside people’s knees and everything. Pretty insane, honestly.”

At one point, a fan in the front got into it with a security guard, which elicited Scott to tell the guard to escort the fan onto stage so that he could do a stage dive.

Unscripted and unfiltered moments like that seem to litter Scott’s performance, as he periodically told the crowd that he wanted to see “chaos” and “anger” from them. The crowd responded to his pleas, as the show resembled something out of a 1970s punk rock show, where there was very little that the crowd couldn’t do.

“You want to talk about rock stars,” said Roy Rodarte, 21.” You’re talking about Travi$ Scott.”

Scott also expressed his frustration that his album, Rodeo had leaked online mere hours before his performance, as well. And with his album already spreading like wildfire on the internet, Scott brought out Chicago-native Chief Keef, as they teamed up to perform “Night Call” live for, a song off of Rodeo, for the first time.

In addition to “Night Call” Keef also performed his most notable single, “I Don’t Like” in front of thousands headbanging fans, imitating Keef in his video for the single.

Scott eventually closed out his own set, with a performance of “Antidote”, the first single off of Rodeo.

The end of Scott’s set also saw a large chunk of the crowd disperse and leave the venue, despite the fact that Action Bronson was still set to take the stage.

In a more subdued end to the show, Action Bronson was able to get the crowd back into a controlled mood with songs such as “Pouches of Tuna” and “Baby Blue”.