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Homesick Festival 2023: An Eclectic Berkeley Staple

Some of the underground's best delivered big throughout this musical gift to the city.

Photograph by Vanessa Caron-Cantin

Text, Photographs by Vanessa Caron-Cantin (@xvanx) at

The UC Theatre on January 21st, 2023:

Year after year, Anthony Anzaldo of Ceremony fame has made Homesick Festival the place to be for a diverse array of live music set across two consecutive days. Now in its fifth installment, Homesick returned to The UC Theatre in Berkeley, bringing along the likes of Snail Mail, Deafheaven, Fiddlehead, Sunami, Screaming Females, and Nuovo Testamento and more for an expansive display of instrumentation. We were among the lucky present on Day 2 of Homesick, headlined by the celebrated Deafheaven.

Upon arrival, attendee fashion sense was representative of the artist variety for the day, which spanned from blackgaze to hard-hitting rock, hardcore, and synth-pop. New York's Tempers, who last year celebrated the release of new album New Meaning, let their melancholic passages hypnotize, one track after the other.

Photograph by Vanessa Caron-Cantin

It's clear as to why the duo fit so well among the Dais Records fold for they expand upon the conventionalities of the genre in unique ways. Shrouded in moments by smoke and dim lighting, Jasmine Golestaneh and Eddie Cooper built on the moment and let their craft speak highly of them.

Tempers Photo Gallery:

The transition to Screaming Females was drastic as one went from soothing passages to rock anthems characterized by their vigor. Screaming Females are currently gearing up for the release of new album, Desire Pathway, and Homesick was the ideal opportunity for fans to get a feel for what to expect.

Photograph by Vanessa Caron-Cantin

Led by a commanding Marissa Paternoster on guitar and vocals, the New Jersey trio have a gem on their hands as they continue their trailblazing growth through the flooded genre. Their live presence was reflective of their energy, which is nothing short of infectious.

Fiddlehead, who remain among the strongest contemporary post-hardcore bands, treaded down those same thrilling characteristics with a brilliant setlist consisting of hits from their latest album, Between the Richness (2021), and more.

The emotional depth of their hymns were visible in frontman Patrick Flynn's eyes as he belt out screams and cleans with instrumentation to boast. Their well-rounded discography received its shine on the live stage as sound transitioned from aggression to communal cheer. If anyone knows how to bring a crowd together, it's Fiddlehead.

Fiddlehead Photo Gallery

Photograph by Vanessa Caron-Cantin

It was then time for the evening's headliners to hit the stage. Deafheaven, who have remained steadfast in taking their live show across the globe and pushing themselves to new extremes, had the arena packed to the brim as the guided attendees through the musical maelstrom that is their distinct album out.

Photograph by Vanessa Caron-Cantin

One moment, you're humming along to solemn tracks from Infinite Granite (2021) and the next, you find yourself shuffling amidst the crowd to the blood-curling Black Brick. Their career-spanning set kept you on your toes and exemplified why Deafheaven have cemented themselves among the most unique contemporary offerings. George Clarke and Kerry McCoy delivered the ideal closer to an eclectic Berkeley staple. Until it returns sometime early next year, we'll be waiting.

Deafheaven Photo Gallery


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