A Wrap on Fun Fun Fun Fest
There were several times during this year’s Fun Fun Fun Fest that friends asked me what shows I had seen and my brain could just not compute an answer. I still kind of feel that way. That is not to say that it was not an amazing three days of music (because it was!); but after seeing that many bands in such a short span of time, my brain began to get a bit overwhelmed. But, now I am reflecting back upon my incredibly dense schedule, and it is all coming back to me. I guess my aging brain really just needed some extra time to process all of that data.
Considering I would probably exceed my word count simply by listing all of the bands that I saw, I figured I should probably stick with my highlights from each day of the festival. So, here we go…
Going into Friday, I cared only about seeing two sets: Bob Mould perform Copper Blue and X perform Los Angeles. Everything else on Friday was just going to be an added bonus for me. And while both Mould and X truly exceeded my expectations — so did Superchunk, who surprisingly played all of my favorite songs by them — I walked away from Friday with two other favorite bands who have remained stuck in my head ever since: Orthy (whom you might know from this AdobeAirstream podcast) and Icona Pop.
Despite being exhausted from all of the fun in the unbelievably intense Texas sun I had on Friday, Saturday wound up being my favorite day of the festival. Brendan Benson, Helio Sequence, Why?, Real Estate and Wavves were all really amazing. And, then, something really wonderful happened… Public Image Ltd (PiL) took the Orange stage and totally blew my mind! Though PiL is one of my favorite bands of the 1980s, my expectations were pretty low after their 17-year hiatus. I had seen PiL a few times in the late 1980s and early 90s; but this line-up consisting of John Lydon (vocals), Lu Edmonds (guitar), Scott Firth (bass, keyboards) and Bruce Smith (drums) was tighter than any incarnation of PiL I have ever seen or heard. Immediately afterwards, just when I thought that things could not get any better, Girl Talk turned Fun Fun Fun Fest into the largest dance party I have ever been a part of. Who knew that one guy armed with a laptop could create so much happiness? But when all was said and done on Saturday, it was Gold Fields that really won my heart, despite being hindered by a really late start due to technical difficulties (and all too common problem with the electronic/dance bands on the Blue stage). I wish that they were able to play a much longer set, but now I just know that I need to check them out the next time they come to Austin.
After a very late night indulging in the added fun of Fun Fun Fun Nites on Saturday, Sunday is a little hazy. Ume really set the bar high with their early set on the Orange stage; and other than being a bit tainted by De La Soul’s Danzig-esgue hissy fit, it turned out to be a really great day for seeing bands that I had never seen before, including Bleached, A Place to Bury Strangers, Deerhoof, and Class Actress (though Class Actress’ set at the Mohawk for FFFNites was so much better than their daytime set on the technolgically-cursed Blue stage). Also on Sunday, I randomly stumbled upon Omar Rodriguez Lopez‘s latest project, Bosnian Rainbows, on the Blue stage — and that turned out to be a really awesome, unique and unexpected surprise!