Day Two of Fun Fun Fun Fest was anything but disappointing. Unlike Friday night, all four stages were going and booked with bands for just about anyone’s musical taste. The hip-hop heads and dance music lovers had their blue stage. Indie lovers and Pitchfork loyalists flocked to the orange stage while the tattooed black t-shirt kids occupied the black stage which featured hardcore punk or metal. The fourth and sort of anything goes stage was the yellow stage. It was the yellow stage that featured stand up comedians, stunt men and even a sketch comedy group.
The day got started with impressive sets from Austin’s own indie rockers, Royal Forest, on the orange stage and Houston’s hardcore outfit, Black Forest. Even at noon on the Saturday after Weird Al and the Fun Fun Fun Fest post parties, people come out early. Continuing to show off the hometown talent, Woven Bones may have performed their best set yet. Perhaps it was due to a festival setting where people came to see and discover new music. Wouldn’t that make you step up your game?
Speaking of game, rap group League of Extraordinary Gz got the blue stage crowd nodding their heads with their ATX rhyme stylings, proving Austin does have real hip hop despite the lack of recognition from major media outlets. Just about everyone who saw the set left with a (free) CD.
Shortly thereafter the yellow stage drew interest with the Live Stunt Show by Jacob Calle of “What The Hell.” The stunt show was nothing short of Jackass, but better simple because Lizardman himself putting all sorts of metal in and out of his head. While most stunts were lame and even grotesque, it was FFFun for all of us throwing tomatoes at the host during the end of their performance.
It was the two o’ clock spot that brought the bigger crowds and more amped up performers. As popular and crowd pleasing as rapper Devin The Dude and indie group The Antlers were, no one owned that spot quite like Valient Thorr on the black stage. Valient is cock rock at its finest and owner of one of the most epic Viking beards in metal this side of Chuck Loesch. In fact, after jumping into the crowd and commanding them to sit down and row with him, we’re convinced he is a metal viking. Sir Valient pretty much set the precedent for the energy and showmanship that was to follow on Saturday on the black stage.
The largest afternoon crowd came for hip hop legend, Slick Rick, who was one of the festival’s early announcements. While everyone nodded their heads all his hip hop classics and paid the MC a much earned respect, it was just not the Slick Rick we all remember from our youth. While it is not fair to expect so much from someone over forty to be their vibrant twenty five year old self we remember, everyone was expecting and hoping for more energy.
While Slick Rick was supposed to be the main attraction at the blue stage, it was New Orleans rapper, Big Freedia, who stole the show and had people talking. Big Freedia, who is actually a male, brought to FFFun Fest all the flavor it had been missing in years past. Never in the history of the festival has anyone called for a booty shaking roll call of such epic proportions. All the sexiness, debauchery, ghetto-ness and suggestive lyrics had audiences cheering after calling for audience members to engage in a dance battle with his (her) dancers. Regardless of what you feel about Big Freedia and her live show, it may be one of the most memorable FFFUn sets to date.
At seven o’ clock, punk and metal on the black stage was where the best of Saturday night occurred. Punk rock legends, The Vandals, took the stage had mosh pits and punk rock sing along going. Despite not being quite the original line up, no one seemed disappointed or moved from place by the stage.
It was right after The Vandals finished their set that the FFFun drama ensued. Heavy metal icons, GWAR, were scheduled o perform after The Vandals at 7:50pm. Due to technical difficulties during what seemed to be the longest sound check ever, they got started twenty minutes late. In fact, it wasn’t util about three songs in that the drums finally sounded right.
Four songs into the set, it was evident that GWAR was the perfect metal headliner for FFFUn. Their songs may have changed just a little over the years, but they still perform in their signature costumes and spray (fake) blood all over everyone in the crowd. They still tell a story in between songs of epic monster battles and just overall evil.
GWAR’s evil, unfortunately for those waiting to see Bad Religion, ran over their time. Team members from Bad Religion’s camp were on the opposite side of the Black Stage and very vocal with the sound guy about the time. After the tension and GWAR stopped, Bad Religion came out with a little justified anger and said “Good thing we got rid of those fucking monsters”. They played angry for the rest of the set and that only made it all better. Punk rock is supposed to have that edge, that anger and angst. Performing their array of classics, it was of course “Sorrow” and “Generator” that justified the purchase of the festival ticket and long wait for Bad Religion fans.
(Day two of Fun Fun Fun Fest occurred on November 6, 2010)