Fun Fun Fun Fest was finally here and Day 1 kicked off with the perfect weather at Auditorium Shores. The sky was a piercing, brilliant blue that reflected off the tall buildings in perfect view of the Blue and Orange Stages. Upon walking in through the public entrance, to the right were various organizations, such as Action For Animals, setting up booths and asking for signatures, and to the left was an array of booths promoting and publicizing a number of companies, which includes Smart Cars, The Austin Facial Hair Club and Prototype Vintage. Within a week, Auditorium Shores had turned into a music enthusiast’s wonderland. Four stages with distinctly different sounds, popular local foods, Booze Booths, an enormous skating ramp, a mechanical bull and famous people everywhere.
On Day 1, it did not take very long to discover that “Blue Stage” was simply a pseudo name for “The Party Stage.” With Omar Souleyman’s being the first mind-blowing act—his Syrian-dance vibe was so different and so fresh, you could not help but to be entranced. The daylight wrapped up with Big Freedia who notoriously always puts on a hot, intense and audience-engaging act. As the sun began to set, Four Tet showcased a little bit of hip-hop, a little bit of techno, mixed with jazz and folk. Four Tet was definitely a great opener for Public Enemy, who closed the night with clever and thought-provoking lyrics. The hip-hop legend closed the Blue Stage out on a high note.
Meanwhile, at the Yellow Stage, there were comedy acts going on until 8 p.m. Particularly amusing was the Upright Citizen’s Brigade and local female comedian, Maggie Maye, and of course Reggie Watts. The Fest also showcased daily the Anarchy Championship Wrestling—which from afar looked shockingly believable.
Between the hours of 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., the Orange Stage drew the largest audience. There was Black Joe Lewis and The Honey Bears performing against the golden setting sun. The spectacular hue of light simply complemented the energetic performance that featured a rich saxophone tone and guitar riffs. Following was Okkervil River who performed an intense version of “For Real” and one of their newest singles, “Wake and Be Fine.” On stage before Passion Pit was Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, who were playing tracks from their latest album, released early September of this year.
The Black Stage was where things got real on Friday—Thee Oh Sees, Russian Circles and Murder City Devils drew in a solid crowd into the evening. Thee Oh Sees were particularly fascinating with their distinct psychedelic rock style, which in a strange way complemented the eerie and brilliantly strange ways of Russian Circles—proving that Black Stage was not simply composed of heavy metal, but complementing more of a dark motif. After Murder City Devil’s intense performance that pleased a large crowd, the audience was in for a rude awakening after Glenn Danzig pulled a rock star moment. Complaining about the cold weather, starting an altercation with the manager of Murder City Devils and going on stage an hour late, Danzig’s fans were not content with the performance.
Danzig’s disappointment aside, the evening wrapped up with Passion Pit. Fun Fun Fun Fest 6 is their first performance in a year, after taking some time off to write new tunes. Their performance kicked off with an enthralled audience full of fist pumps and enthusiasm. The band started out with “Moth Wings,” which is featured in their debut album, Manners. Though primarily performing tracks from their first album, the band gave the Fun Fun audience a first listen as to what they have been creating in the last year. The track sounded much like Passion Pit—electronic, synth, dance-party music with creative lyrics sang in falsetto. Most of what they played was incredibly familiar with the audience—so, inevitably there was a ton of dancing, a ton of singing along and the band played with a significantly more intense bass than any personal sound system could ever provide. A massive sea of people, a spectacular light, and a beloved band—the evening certainly ended on a high note, leaving thousands coming back for more on Day 2.