Polar Vortex Prize
Photo by Pat Levy
On Wednesday, Cayucas kicked off the five day festival with a breezy headlining set at Lincoln Hall. Formerly known as Oregon Bike Trails, the California four-piece’s debut Bigfoot is a prime example of a summer album, with sunny singles “Cayucos”, “A Summer Thing”, and the excellent “High School Lover” making the rounds on various car commercials and NBC dramas.
As if to almost taunt the frozen Chicago audience, Cayucas came onstage to the sound of waves crashing, bringing home the fun—if somewhat cruel this time of year— “let’s go to the beach” sentiment that pervades so much of Bigfoot. Midway through the show, lead singer Zach Yudin said, “This is the coldest weather we’ve been in” and thinking he’d have to pack sweaters instead of coats which received exasperated shouts of “come on, dude” from the audience.
Because Bigfoot only had eight songs and most economically clock in under four minutes, the set was short, ending after 45 minutes. The band debuted two new songs, the hooky “Hella”, and the island-tinged “Dancing On The Blue Lagoon”, which Yudin self-mockingly joked “wasn’t a Vampire Weekend cover.” Despite the set’s brevity, Cayucas was a lighthearted way to start the festival.