Free Press Summer Fest Re-Cap

So this past weekend I made the short trek over to H-Town for the Free Press Summer Fest put on in Eleanor Tinsley Park.  It was a hot weekend with a little bit of unwanted rain thrown in to make it even more humid than usual in the metro area.  The weather unfortunately caused me to miss some major acts during the weekend, but nonetheless I still had a decent time.  Follow the jump for more and a few photos.

I’m gonna start off by saying that I’ll keep this short and simple since, as I said earlier, I missed some live sets because of the unbearable weather.  I mean seriously, how cursed can a mo fo be?!  ACL festival = rain.  Fun Fun Fun Fest = rain.  Summer fest = rain + unbearable heat/humidty.  I just can’t catch a break with the flippin’ festival weather.  So yeah me being a huge wuss when it comes to rain caused me to miss acts like Lucero, The Watermarks, and Michael Kingcaid on Sunday.  Then some minor traffic issues and ridiculous heat mixed with that famous Houston humidity made me miss Wild Mocassins, Miniature Tigers, and Many Birthdays on Saturday.  My bad festival promoters.  I still got nothing but love for ya.

So Saturday I managed to at least catch sets by Kid Sister, Detroit Cobras, and a closing set by Girl Talk.  And I left being pretty unimpressed by all three acts.  Kid Sister seriously seems like a pretty amateur version of M.I.A.  I could see some middle school kids being into it, but not me.  I was also left a little confused by the garagey rock/pop band Detroit Cobras being billed in such a late slot and in-between a hip-hop set and a DJ set.  I know plenty of Austin bands that would have made the short drive down and would’ve been a much better fit in the time slot.  To make matters worse, the band seemed pretty disinterested with the rowdy crowd.  Oh and Girl Talk?  I respect the man’s mash-up style if I’m in a club, but I don’t need to watch him press play on his computer.

Sunday was a MUCH better day music wise.  My musical find of the weekend goes to Uh Huh Her who sounded a bit like Metric with more of an 80s vibe to their sound.  I’d recommend checking out their tunes “Say So” and “Explode”.  Fast forward a couple hours of me hiding out in the media tent because rain melts me and we return with a set by Stars.  The Canadians of course ruled the overcast afternoon with some old highlights like “One More Night” mixed in with a few new tunes to get us fired up for their upcoming LP.  Slim Thug and Bun B then took the stage with Bun B stealing most of the show from Slim Thug.  No hate for ya Slim, but Bun B got the crowd involved with some beach ball kicking, super soaking and plenty of hands in the air jams.  Plus Slim, you gotta stop singing over your own vocal tracks; it just sounds bad brother.  Festival closers Flaming Lips then brought the house down with their usual visually and sonically pleasing live show.  I’ve seen the band before and have always appreciated their efforts to get the crowd going with confetti, balloons, and band members walking onstage out of a giant vagina.  That’s right, a giant vagina.  Keep on keepin it real Wayne.

I’ll wrap this up by saying that Summer Fest has come a long way over the last two years.  Festival producers and promoters have really started to make progress with stage placement, vendors, and keeping decent prices on food/beverages.  I would recommend taking a look at some of the booking and lineup placements.  You can’t really throw dance hip-hop stuff right after garage rock when you aren’t offering a better option on another stage.  I also like the hillside set up of the park, but a summertime festival on a hillside may not be the best.  How about a spring festival?  I think that would alleviate some of the incredibly hot weather and extreme lack of shade.  Oh and no water bottles?!  You’ve gotta be kidding me right!?  You don’t allow water bottles, claim to have fill up stations, and then instead sell that shit for $2 a pop?  Get a clue.  Other than that, you Houston kids have a good thing going, and with a few tweaks, could have a truly awesome indie festival.  Keep up the good work!

Below you can see a few pictures from the weekend.  My sorry self wasn’t allowed in the photo pit area so no close ups.  I did get to meet Wayne Coyne and that was super cool.

One comment

  • I hereby demand that all bands begin their sets by emerging from a giant psychedelic vagina.

    I’m a simple man with simple needs.

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