FFF9 Highlights: Day One
Friday was filled with a bit of hubbub, which was entirely fair. But, in the end, once we got in, the only thing that mattered was friends and music, so we’ll just focus on those things. Read on below for our varying thoughts.
Nathan.Lankford – I began my day with Dana Falconberry. It’s always nice to walk into a large area surrounded by familiar faces, which definitely helped liven the day for me; it got me in the mood for my nostalgia moments that followed. I tried the comedy stage for an instant, but found little funny, so I just prepped for the one two punch of Knapsack and Mineral. Mineral, in particular, pulled of a more powerful performance than the month where I had previously caught them; it showed that some bands just need time to gel together before they grace a stage. I then tried my hand at the hip-hop game with Run the Jewels. Either I failed, or they failed. I don’t get the hype, performance wise or music wise, so I went to catch Kozelek and Sun Kil Moon do their thing. Sure, there were moments when some extracurricular bass found its way across the field, but I found Mark to be both humorous and humble. His performance was spot on, and though soft, made for a perfect afternoon in the sun. Grabbed some lunch, hit up Blood Brothers, and teenage angst never sounded so grand. They were who we thought they were. Then I hit up Genuwine, who I’m convinced did little more than dance to Michael Jackon and do an improv song about a towel. Caught Yelle after that. Just imagine Joan of Arc from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, only sexier and with great beats; it was entertaining and worth every minute. DFA 1979 seemed disinterested after a few tracks; I’d seen them a decade ago, plus, and it looked and sounded like a bunch of old dudes trying to rehash, so I walked across to catch a bit of Dinosaur Jr. That was worth it, though I wish the sound had been better; J. could have had a way huger impact on the docile crowd. And finally, I caught Majical Cloudz. That set was one of my favorite of his, having caught all his Austin performances, ever. He seemed more extroverted, encouraging the crowd to “soft mosh” as we all watched him perform from the crowd. One of my top 3 sets of the whole FFF.
BGray – Dana Falconberry kicked my day off correctly. It was a level set to allow me to be ready for the rest of the day to let it build up in energy. Sohn had a nightmare soundcheck, but redeemed with a gorgeous set; for fans of Active Child. Knapsack and Mineral brought the big sounds of 90’s grungy arena rock anthems during the amazing afternoon weather. I then hit a peak again with Amon Amarth’s Viking metal; long hair, gutteral, head-banging. Things chilled with Sun Kil Moon, but I jumped right back with the double lead singer punk rock of Blood Brothers. This was rad. Both guys out front had an energy level that was remarkably face-punching. To be honest, I took a lull during the Death From Above 1979 to Dinosaur Jr. swing when Majical Cloudz saved me. It was so cool, slow but stressed, a community feel that prompted Devon to join the crowd and then have everyone sit in a circle around him. Special stuff. Alt-J’s people had the photographers pushed out of the photo pit, quite rudely, after just one song of shit lighting. #dicks I think Halford was lip-sync’ing to a live track, but that may be my bitterness of not being allowed to access the photo pit. (Should have photo copied it bruh -ed.)
Nicole – Friday was the weakest day of the triage of Fun in terms of lineup for me, so when I had to wait an hour and a half (apparently that was a short amount of time to wait) to get my wristband from will call I wasn’t royally pissed, just ready to fest. I made it in right on time to catch Sun Kil Moon’s Mark Kozalek take on his biggest demon—other bands’ sound bleeding into his set, which he sadly didn’t throw a fit over. I bounced around to each stage for a bit, but my top acts at the festival were Death From Above 1979 and Dinosaur Jr., both of which brought the rock and roll and the energy that is needed for such rocking and rolling. After snoozing through Alt-J, who sounded pretty, but were a little redundant, I booked it over to The Belmont to catch San Fermin play a ridiculously amped up set which had the crowd hooked while the 8 members of the band squeezed on the small stage gave it their all: watch out for this band. I stayed after for Courtney Barnett’s set, but was a little underwhelmed and left before it was through, letting exhaustion beckon me home. Regardless, day one of The Fun was filled with music and debauchery as I began my love/hate affair with the tantilizing temptress of Free Hostess.
RayRay – I have many of the same sentiments as my counterparts here though I didn’t make it for Dana Falconberry in time due to a hang up trying to get the wife’s ticket. Heard a little of Peelander-Z who just seem to get on stage, make noise, and jump around like idiots for 35 minutes. Also tried the yellow stage at this point and was just sort of baffled as to what was taking place. A rap battle with some really terrible rappers? Knapsack sounded great with the vocals powering through like the old days. Mineral was impressive once again and even better and tighter when compared to their Mohawk show. Tried Run the Jewels with Lankford and yeah, don’t get it. DJ with a lot of yelling and screaming. Just because your bass is loud as hell, doesn’t make you the next big thing. Sun Kil Moon was aight, but not really the best festival band. Wish Kozelek would have made more of a scene about the bleeding over sound. Blood Brothers was the band of the day for me. Tons of energy and an engaging performance left me wondering why they might be considered a guilty pleasure. Stay together for the kids. Genuwine was…. uhhhh… interesting? No, it was dumb. For what, 10-15 minutes his DJ just played some Michael Jackson songs and he humped the air while ripping his shirt off. Pass. Yelle really wasn’t doing it for me today so I caught most of the Death From Above set. I was closer to the stage and was impressed with the performance despite the vocals being a little strained. A slow festival day for me that would be improved on in day two. Blood Brothers easily being my highlight of day one.