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Written by Sophia Fascenelli & Nala Smith

Just Like Heaven came back for another year to please its 2000s indie fans, with a lineup so good, it had the crowd dancing all day long. Right back where it started, Goldenvoice returned its one-day festival to Brookside at The Rose Bowl, in Pasadena, CA on May 18, 2024.

As the festival doors opened at noon, fans rushed in to catch the first sets of the day at the two stages: Orion Stage and Stardust Stage. With the lineup featuring 2000s era-defining indie artists: The Postal Service, Death Cab for Cutie, Phoenix, Miike Snow, The War on Drugs, Two Door Cinema Club, Alvvays, Metric, and many more, fans ran to catch the barricade to get front row to their favorite sets.

 Photo by Sophia Fascenelli (@sophias35mm on Instagram)

The festival itself was severely organized. With the festival grounds giving enough room to dance around, shady trees to relax under with a picnic blanket, and several water refill stations to keep all its fans hydrated, all the attendees seemed to have a stellar time. We’ve never seen such an interactive crowd at a festival. Everyone was constantly singing their hearts out, dancing, and had infinite smiles all day long. As we roamed around the festival, we saw parents with their toddlers dancing on their shoulders, youngsters in their early 20s dancing about, and elders enjoying the live music from their picnic area. Just Like Heaven offered something for everyone. As we made our way around the festival grounds, we made sure to check out A Club Called Rhonda. The little dance club tucked away in the festival had a checkered dance floor, disco balls, couches to lounge on, and energetic DJs that kept the good vibes going all night long.

As the day went on, we were able to catch some of our favorite sets of the day including Two Door Cinema Club, Passion Pit, and Phoenix. Two Door Cinema Club had us looking back on our days in high school when we would blast “What You Know” out of our car speakers with the windows down. The band had the ground shaking as everyone was jumping up and down to their set. Two Door Cinema Club, from Bangor, Northern Ireland, announced that they would be coming back to the States to perform at the YouTube Theater in Los Angeles later in the year, which had the crowd screaming in excitement.

 Two Door Cinema Club by Sophia Fascenelli (@sophias35mm on Instagram)

When it came time for Passion Pit’s set, the band did not disappoint. Frontman, Michael Angelakos, exploded with energy the moment his feet touched the stage. Performing their well-loved hits, “Take a Walk,” “I’ll Be Alright,” and “Sleepyhead,” the crowd got immediate flashbacks to their juvenescence. Being one of their first performances since 2019, and one of the most energetic sets of the day, the band stated how much they missed performing, and how excited they are to be back.

Passion Pit by Sophia Fascenelli (@sophias35mm on Instagram)

When it came time for Death Cab for Cutie’s set, everyone stopped what they were doing to catch the band perform their iconic album Transatlanticism front to back. An album about two lovers separated by an inseparable distance brought a new love together for fans and the band.

As we talked to fans in the crowd, one caught our ear. They said their middle school and early high school days were filled with listening to melancholic music including the album Transatlanticism. They said being able to experience one of their favorite albums live in its entirety right before they graduate college was a poetic and euphoric experience for them.

Right after Death Cab for Cutie’s set, was a standout performance of the night, Phoenix. Coming all the way from Versailles, France, the band was excited to tell us that this was the last stop of their United States tour, happily ending it with a performance at Just Like Heaven. Phoenix had an electrifying set that was a perfect blend of songs from their many albums. From popular tracks like “Lisztomania,”  “1901,” and newer songs off their latest album, they had the crowd dancing and singing from start to finish. Their seamless transitions between songs and energetic performance left the audience stunned, solidifying Phoenix as one of the standout acts of the festival. With a fifty-minute set performing all their hits, mesmerizing visuals, and the exciting screams from fans when the band brought out Ezra Koeing of Vampire Weekend to perform their last three songs together, Phoenix made it on the list as our favorite performance of the day. As the band was performing their encore song, “1901,” frontman, Thomas Mars, hopped into the crowd to give the festival goers an experience they’ll never forget. As he made his way through the crowd, he had fans hold him up in the middle of the pit as he took the whole performance in. Mars eventually crowd-surfed his way back to the stage to end the band’s performance.

Just Like Heaven proved to be one of Goldenvoice’s most underrated festivals of 2024. Full of joy, positive energy, friendly staff, indie fans from all over, and a welcoming environment, we can’t wait to see what nostalgia and excitement the festival has in store for us next year.


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