Fun Fun Fun Fest Day One RecapFun Fun Fun Fest, Photo: David Garrick
Another has gone by since the last time I trekked up to Austin for another Fun Fun Fun Fest, and by the way day one went, it feels like this will be another festival worth remembering. In its tenth year, the festival is taking place at Auditorium Shores again. The biggest difference between this year and last year. aside from the lineup, is that the festival grounds are laid out in an almost opposite manner from last year. Aside from that, the festival was easy to navigate and make it from stage to stage with ease.
Slow Magic, Photo: Greg Giannukos
I started things off with Bayonne, (Roger Sellers), who as always dropped an energetic and rhythm heavy set. The Houston born producer mixed things up by adding a live drummer alongside his own live drum playing and mix of electronics and theatrical based vocals. I stayed to my schedule and followed that up with a bit of Austin comic Chris Cubas, who as always, made me laugh harder than I usually do. Cubas was performing with the Altercation Punk Comedy group, but was easily the highlight of the little comedy I saw on the first day. After that I diverted from my planned schedule to add to sets to my day, first with a fun and insanely energized set from Parquet Courts, and then a performance from Slow Magic at the suggestion of a friend. I’d never seen Slow Magic before, and I was pleasantly surprised by his masked live show complete with pop induced dance music and live drums.
Peaches, Photo: Jackie Young
I found myself over at the orange stage to catch a little of Toro Y Moi before heading to the black stage for Babes In Toyland. Babes was always one of those bands I’d wished I had seen more than once back in the nineties. The biggest difference between this set at the festival and that one back in 1996, was that this time they sounded about ten times better. Their guitar tones were top notch and they sounded more rehearsed than I remembered. While I was heading over to catch Converge, I watched the bulk of Peaches set, who headed out into the audience. While the inventive performer stepped across the hands and shoulders of those who were watching, realized that she might be the most engaging artist I’ve seen in a long time. The way in which she engaged with the crowd was truly magical, and thus forced me to miss Converge as planned. I did however catch the bulk of Antemasque, who hit the stage with a ferocity that felt like the show was to be their last. Like always, Omar and Cedric didn’t disappoint, and made me forget about missing a couple of acts. I stayed at the orange stage to watch Cheap Trick play with the energy level of a band a quarter of their age, and then headed over to watch the Drive Like Jehu reunion. The one band I promised myself I wouldn’t miss, Jehu played better than when I saw them open for Superchunk at the Axiom in the nineties.
Cheap Trick, Photo: Dave Mead
I closed the night off by watching two songs from the entertaining duo of King Khan & BBQ Show, then I watched a handful of songs by Schoolboy Q. While the rapper was entertaining, I found myself gravitating to the electropop of CHVRCHES. I’ve never masked that I’m not a hater of them, but also not a diehard fan. However, my mind was definitely changed after watching them tear through a set of old favorites and new songs like a seasoned act. All in all my day one was packed with plenty of fun, and I got to run into Houston friends alongside acts that I’ve either interviewed or hung out with while they were in Houston, and I can’t wait for day two.