FFFX: Team ATH Recap

FFFX BannerThere was a lot of talk this year comparing Fun Fun Fun Fest to ACL this. Perhaps it is the proximity with the second weekend, perhaps the tenth anniversary. FFFX returned to it’s original home with a few tweaks to the layout to accommodate demands by Parks and Recreation department. I understand the city wants to protect the competing interests investments, but without events like FFF, this land is kind of under-loved. Let’s get through to the thoughts from our team that had boots on the ground and away from the grounds, too.

FFFXNathan: Fun Fun Fun has always been one of my favorites. There’s an intimacy to the setting, the crowd. A sense of belonging. As usual, the fest fulfilled those goals, offering friends, familiar faces, booze and a few acts to swoon over. Musically, my winners of the weekend mostly came on Saturday. Joanna Gruesome lived up to every expectation I had, especially when they graces the large stage (rather than just the 611 stage that seemed to a touch to small). They were energetic, frantic and one of the best sounding acts of the weekend. Another Saturday winner was, for me, the Charlatans UK. There’s something about the simplicity of great songwriting…no bullshit, just good songs. Some things that let me downAntemasque. Sure, seeing Travis with Cedric and Omar was cool, but the songs just aren’t there, and neither was Cedric’s voice. It wasn’t awful, but didn’t stand out. Then there was Speedy Ortiz. I’m still waiting for someone to explain this one to me. The songs are alright, but there’s nearly nothing to watch live. BORING. Bonus winner…Skinny Pop. I’m sure a few weeks from now it will be reported to not be healthy after all, but for the festival, it did just enough to prolong hunger and provide a tasty treat.

Toro Y MoiNicole: I’m relatively new to Fun fest; last year I made my inaugural visit to Auditorium Shores and after that wonderful weekend of music and Twinkies and overall blessings I vowed to return year after year, and it’s safe to say that this year strengthened this bond tenfold. It seemed like everything was against my attendance the festival this year–several big acts cancelled and my other job wouldn’t let me take off work, rain seem impending in the forecast… but then I got to the fest and everything was right with the world. Toro Y Moi welcomed me to the grounds with their funky psychedelic jams, getting the crowd dancing in the light drizzle and winning my Friday. Second to this set was a scantily clad Peaches, who brought out a giant inflatable penis and then crawled inside it to sing a lewd track, had an adorable couple get engaged, and fired off the taco cannon. Herein lies the very spirit of Fun Fun Fun Fest: great and entertaining bands, a chilled and intimate atmosphere where you’re hanging out with weird like-minded individuals and having a blast so that it feels a whole lot less impersonal than other festivals. Saturday’s winners were King Khan and The BBQ show and Moving Panoramas and Alvvays’ nite set at a packed to the brim Sidewinder. As for Sunday, Fuzz were great despite some bass string issues, Chromeo had everyone from the front of the stage to the back shaking the last of their weekend energy to the fullest, and Parquet Courts over at the Parish were weird and punky as promised and ended my fest with a bang. All in all, it was a great weekend and I’m already looking forward to next year–love you long time Fun Fest.

FFFXRayRay: Another Fun Fest has come and gone, and festival organizers have yet again proven why they are the best fest in town.  The ease of finding my friends, the intelligent festival layout, and of course the killer lineup every year, makes for an enjoyable time by all on site.  I saw a lot of bands this weekend, but here are the ones that impressed me most…. Peaches entertained as always with two giant vaginas this time.  Parquet Courts killed the black stage.  Joanna Gruesome definitely killed it with their new screaming singer at both Fun Fest and at Red 7 on Friday night.  American Football gave me the warm fuzzies of nostalgia at the Fest and then again on Saturday night when I had to see them again at The Parish.  Also enjoyed Alvvays and Growlers back to back on Sunday to ease us into the evening.  On the flip side, I’d say these guys left a bit to be desired…  As Nathan said, Speedy Ortiz left me wondering why they are so popular after letting me down again after seeing them during SXSW.  Also thought Broncho offered a fairly meh set.  Just nothing to get excited about I guess.  Hey as always, Fun Fest killed it yet again and I can’t wait to see what they’ll bring us next year.  Oh and major props to Pueblo Viejo in the media area, that is some seriously good shit.

FFFXBGray: The real winner this weekend? Dad rock. You heard me. From Ride‘s anthems of noisy radness to Jane’s Addiction‘s nostalgic Ritual to Cheap Trick proving they are the best band in rock and roll (yes, I did get one of Rick’s guitar picks), if you were a dad, dad’s age, kid of a dad that listened to jams, you won the weekend. L7 added the lady-bits version of dad rock. Chromeo had to be my highlight for the festival experience with the spotlight and mirror guitar antics, sweet dance moves and those light-up legs, it was the dance party we deserve. Props to Peaches for bringing out the vaginas in the first three for us photogs to enjoy. CHVRCHES‘ Lauren Mayberry was tagged by yours truly as being mortified on stage the first time I saw them. My how times have changed; she has become a dynamic performer engaging the crowd from elevated risers and making *gasp* eye contact. I’ll echo Alvvays and Growlers had the best back to back, Alvvays particularly delivering on a festival smile. TY’s baby mask during Fuzz‘s set, legit creepy. But I cannot get close to explaining how cool I thought Charlatans were. Super alt-dad rock. I mean, the Gallagher’s owe their livelihoods to that group of bands out the Charlatans‘ scene back when. The smug delivery of lyrics, the Hammond organ swirling in the background, the metronome rhythm section all added up to some great festival memories. Kudos to Lauryn Hill for being on time, if you call fifteen minutes of a DJ asking if you were ready on time. Finally, I am fed up with the fascination over Future Islands. The speed skating dance and guttural roar that stomps on lyrics while the rest of band stoically marches through songs does NOTHING for me. Sorry.

Finally, get ready for photo ‘splosion. I’ll link it up here and post galleries a-plenty to the news feed.

All the photos, check it.

3 comments

  • I was going to see Speedy Ortiz in Boston in a couple of weeks, but after this review I will skip them. Deerhunter is playing the next evening and I am REALLY looking forward to that show. I am one of those Dad rock dudes…I saw L7, Janes, and Cheap Trick in the 80’s and 90’s and most of those songs are just eternally cool. OK, maybe not L7, but they did have a minute when Butch Vig got a hold of them…anyway, great review!

  • Oh and seeing Parquet Courts is on my bucket list…

  • James—this is my third time to see them…each time hoping it’s been a one off bad show, but they’ve never been up to par. Not that I’m one to judge, but they just seem like a run-of-the-mill indie rock act.

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