Austin is known as the Live Music Capital of the World. I lived here since May and up until this past weekend I hadn’t attended a live concert. I wanted to go to ACL Fest, but a combination of the tickets selling out quickly and not wanting to spend too much money during that time of unemployment prevented me from attending. However, shortly after ACL was another big Austin music festival, Fun Fun Fun Fest. Since this was within my price range and tickets didn’t sell out as soon as they went on sale, I decided to make this my first big Austin concert experience.
While Fun Fun Fun Fest doesn’t have quite the star power of ACL, there were some solid acts that came to town for it. One of the big names to perform were RUN DMC, who haven’t performed much together the past 10 years but decided to reunite at FFFF. It also wasn’t limited to music as during the afternoon there were stand up comedy acts as well. In fact, a big reason why I wanted to go to FFFF was the comedy. I’ll go into more detail about my favorite acts later in this post.
Overall I really enjoyed myself at Fun Fun Fun Fest and think I made a good choice making it my first true Austin music experience. The only negative would be the venue. I like Auditorium Shores and thought space wise it is a good location for a festival, however I just wish it wasn’t so dusty. I think I’m still coughing up dust and dirt. Next year I’ll make sure to bring a bandana even if it makes me look like someone who is going to rob a stagecoach.
My highlights from the festival:
- Even though they are approaching their 50′s and haven’t performed much these past 10 years, RUN DMC put on a great show. The crowd was into it from the start. They had great stage presence and brought tremendous energy. Only bad part it was a pretty short set. 45 minutes long including a 10-15 dj set by Jam Master Jay’s sons. However I can’t complain too much since I thought it was nice to have Jay’s sons there during the week of the 10 year anniversary of Jay’s murder. Also, they performed every song of theirs I wanted to hear.
- Santigold has a reputation for putting on fun shows. When I saw her on Steven Colbert’s “StePhest Colbchella” show, I knew I had to see her set. It got off to a late start due to some technical difficulties, but she did not disappoint. Very fun and a good opener for RUN DMC.
- Before the festival I didn’t know a whole lot about Girl Talk. I heard good things and liked some of the videos I saw on You Tube, so I decided to check out his set. Typically I can only stand a dj set for about 5-10 minutes, but Girl Talk was tremendous. I wasn’t even drunk but I was hyped throughout his entire set and was throwing out my awful white guy dancing moves. Some of the most fun I’ve had at a show, when Girl Talk returns to Austin I’ll be sure to go.
- Before Girl Talk headlined the Orange Stage, I decided to check out STRFKR (aka starfucker) over on the blue stage. Main reason for this was Alison could not make it Saturday night, and this was one of the bands she really wanted to see. So of course I had to rub it in that I got to see them. Then of course I felt bad that Alison had to miss it because they were solid. Although I didn’t expect to see a giant panda hump a giant squirrel on stage. The blue stage was pretty much the sex stage. Nicky Da B’s set had asses shaking on stage the entire time. Another performer (I forget who) had a topless woman on stage with him, unfortunately not a very attractive topless woman.
- The Head and the Heart had one of my favorite performances of the weekend. “Lost In My Mind” was great to hear live. Definitely recommend checking them out live if you get a chance. I always kind of liked them, but their performance over the weekend made me a fan.
- I was a little disappointed by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. It was an uneven performance. Alexander (the lead singer, aka Edward Sharpe), appeared to be stoned or drunk (or both). In the first couple of songs he wasn’t on the same page as the rest of the band. However, the set improved as it went along, and the band knocked out “Home”, and let’s be honest that was the one song everyone really wanted to hear.
- The comedic acts I saw were Jon Benjamin, Hannibal Burress, Wyatt Cenac, David Cross, Eugene Mirman and Doug Benson. Other than Jon Benjamin, I thought everyone was great. I don’t mean to knock Jon Benjamin, as I do find him funny, but his set fell flat for me. Doug Benson at a music festival in Austin went pretty much how you would think a Doug Benson set a music festival in Austin would go. He was stoned and distracted by all the shenanigans, but it was funny. Within the past year Hannibal Burress has become one of my favorite comedians. David Cross making fun of handlebar mustaches in what is basically handlebar mustache central was great. I always enjoyed Wyatt Cenac on The Daily Show, this was the first time I saw him do stand up and I actually thought he was the funniest of the comedians I saw at FFFF.
And finally, here are some of my instagram pics from the festival:
FFFF Panorama from Early Saturday
FFFF at dusk
Hey Cupcake and the ATX Skyline
BMX in ATX