Father John Misty built the house up, then Skrillex tore it down: experience FORM Day 2
The cold, quiet desert came alive with yoga and morning meditation sessions across Arcosanti’s architectural labyrinth in the early hours of sunshine as FORM began its second day. As the day progressed, Solange‘s Saint Records imprint hosted a Saint Heron House panel at in Arcosanti’s most recognizable landmark, the open air Apse. Spiring cypress trees swayed in the warm breeze while somber actors sauntered across the windswept Vaults as part of Phoenix-based artist Jorge Ignacio and choreographer Liliana Gomez’s performance art piece,”Re Birth,” inspired by the Phoenix Art Museum’s Kehinde Wiley exhibit.
Photo: Ian Clontz
Rock outfit The Hotelier kicked off day-programming in the amphitheater, jokingly admitting they felt silly being “just a rock band” on such a variant and eclectic lineup. Into the afternoon, one of FORM’s earliest supporters, Tom Krell, better known as How To Dress Well, performed a handful of new selections in the Apse. The afternoon was occupied by an all-day pool party fueled by Don Julio tequila and DJ sets from the OWSLA crew. As the sun set over the desert, Grammy-nominated R&B trio KING occupied an evening slot at the Apse Stage, transforming the space into a singing, soulful soiree polished with brilliant image mapping on the inside of the venue’s dome.
The second night’s programming came by way of a spirited, high-energy performance by Future Islands and boozy musings from Father John Misty. The former Fleet Foxes proponent delivered a stripped-down performance that was equal parts witty and sardonic, introspective and existential. Only accompanied by a piano and an acoustic guitar, Misty’s deep croons bellowed from the amphitheater, broken up by quippy interludes and a refill of what he purported to be ayahuasca Kombucha. The crowd laughed along as a stage tech brought out a bottle and poured, although something about Misty’s request suggested he may not have been joking. Moments of pensive melody were stitched between belting, impassioned roars as Father John Misty took a packed amphitheater crowd down a deep, albeit entertaining rabbit hole.
Photo: Jasmine Safaeian
The second night culminated with Skrillex performing in the encircling Canyon Stage below the Arcosanti stronghold. Delivering a high-octane set chock full of unheard material, Skrillex opened with “Chicken Soup” and 10 minutes of house madness before cycling through an enormous, hip-hop leaning arsenal of what felt like at least a hundred tracks spread over more than two hours.
Between cuts from Future, Drake, Rihanna, Toto, A$AP Ferg, Whitney Houston into Soulja Boy, Chance The Rapper, and something english words couldn’t accurately describe involving Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE,” Sonny weaved in menacing personal edits, unheard demos, and an endless lineup of headbanging Skrillex classics. Best of all, as Skrillex’s set wound down around 3AM, none other than Father John Misty swam out of the dusty, hedonistic mob, fixed his collar, and walked off into the night.
Photo: Jasmine Safaeian
Juxtaposing sun-drenched pool parties with envelope-pushing moments like screening Whose Streets, a documentary about the unrest in Ferguson catalyzed by Michael Brown’s murder in 2014, FORM continually pulls participants in contrasting directions, making for an incredibly gratifying festival experience.
Featured Image: Maria Govea