Friday Bottom 5: FFF Fest 2009
Really, I love Fun Fun Fun Festival. I will readily stand up to the masses and argue about how much better FFF is in comparison to Austin City Limits. But, as with all festivals, there will inevitably be some sort of let down that leaves you frustrated. While I think some of these may be a bit obvious, there are others that definitely need to be brought into the forefront.
This is mostly a personable vendetta between me and King Khan. I waited all day long on Sunday just to catch a glimpse of his set, especially after listening to the new Invisible Girl album. But, he didn’t show; he might have played with the GZA, but he didn’t play for me. Sure, some of you will look over this and say he played for free at Red 7 that night, but in truth, I wanted to see him at the festival because some of us had to work on Monday morning. You really made me mad Khan, and I don’t want to be friends anymore.
I don’t blame this on Fun Fun Fun Fest at all, not in the least. Still, Austin festivals are 0-2 this year on festivals staying free from the rain. This rain wasn’t so bad to start, but as it picked up, and fell upon us relentlessly, it just got a bit colder. Heck yes I tried to tough it out, but in the end I used my cigarette lighter to keep myself warm whilst making a fire by the press area in one of the trash cans.
Sure, I eventually found it, but it was like Easter trying to track down the merchandise booth in order to purchase the goods. And where were they? That’s right, the furthest point away from the music and the crowds, unless you just camped out at the black stage. I almost thought they decided not to sell merch. Now, I know these bands get paid well, and I want FFF Fest to be successful, but why do all these people selling glass pipes to ridiculous fools who still smoke pot get the front spot. It just seems backwards to me. I’d rather support the musicians than the hippies peddling their pipes so that their buyers can blow the horrific stench of weed back in my face while I watch my favorite bands.
Perhaps I’ve been spoiled by seeing lots of great shows this year around town, or perhaps it was watching how brilliant The National was last year as a headlining act. For some reason, I don’t think any of the bands brung it this year, and I by brung it, I meant the rock. Okay, so the punk bands did their stereotypical stage dives and running back and forth on stage, but I’ve seen that too many times. Maybe this year’s line-up was just a lot more chill, and I’m cool with that, but it sure seemed like a lot of the bands on the orange stage dialed in their performances…aside from Lucero.
Let me start this final moment of disappointment by exclaiming that I have spent years listening to punk and hardcore, and a touch of metal to boot. I own records by most of the bands that played on the Black Stage. Here is the problem…the sound was entirely too loud. Destroyer was ruined by the overbearing sound of Jesus Lizard. I could hear Coalesce‘s lyrics over everything else in the park. Now, I understand the killer bros at Transmission love some punk, but a lot of good bands had their performances stepped upon by the sound. In the past, you could hear all stages, and it was great, but for some reason, the sound on the Black Stage just came across as brutal and in your face. I was not a fan of that. Especially during the battle of bald-guys, as I love Les Savy Fav more than Fucked Up.
Alas, I had a great time, saw some enjoyable performances, though nothing that blew me away. Were you disappointed in anything? Aside from Crystal Castles playing for what seemed like ten minutes? Let us know.