FFF9 Highlights: Day Three

FFF9This is it! The day you’ve all been waiting for! The end of our FFF! Brian shot great photos, and we all had a blast.  Thanks, of course, to Giant Noise and Transmission for the privilege of allowing us to cover your festival. Hope everyone had a great time.

BGray – Sunday was a day of reflection, a day with less stress. I had a few things I had to shoot, Gardens & Villa was the first. They did not disappoint, sounding better than ever, big wooden flute. No songs stand out, they are all so good live. Great festival band, they could play my party. The bro from Pissed Jeans scarred himself. Much Like Modest Mouse the day before, I gave Foxygen a second chance despite that crap show at The Mohawk last year. Sam France sung the pendulum radically in the other direction to a Jagger/Cave stage persona, but unfortunately the music still suffered. Hint: sing into the mic. Dum Dum Girls were charming. Gorilla Biscuits had the monster crowd at Black Stage. Yo La Tengo sounded great, but was, dare I say it, boring. I checked out some of Flying Lotus‘s cool projection show set up before having a word with Graham on the way out the door. Well done, nice recovery after Friday set backs. …and damn you, Sky Ferreira for missing your flight. “You’re Not The One” 🙁 Chelsea Wolfe sent me into a dark trance. Or I was just really tired. Thanks, FFF9.

Nicole – Day three dawned with the unreality that I had already been Fun festing for two days and nights and my blissful weekend was almost over. I began the day with This Will Destroy You, who got the day rolling with their power ambient rock that had me swooning a little from the grass just outside the crowd. Gardens & Villa sounded great, but I needed a little bit of a change of pace and so I checked out the Air Sex Championships over at the Yellow Stage and got exactly what I thought I would as well as a little more that left me near tears in laughter. Next up was the ever-talented Angel Olsen, whose underrated voice and vibes were perfect for the afternoon. Foxygen were exceedingly entertaining, even if they didn’t sound so grand. Dum Dum Girls are consistently Dum Dum Girls. My surprise of the night was Yo La Tengo—this three piece consisting of veteran rockers brought back the guitar solo—Ira Kaplan used his guitars’ feedback to melt our faces, though maybe a little too much. Failure’s exceedingly loud bass and bass drum had my entire body shaking…in an uncontrollable, not good kind of way that had the dude’s Mufasa hair in front of me quaking. Despite the short twenty minutes wait for the headliner on the Orange stage, I was fading fast, but had inched my way to the front and didn’t want to leave the crowd. Here is when Lady Free Hostess saved me. Nestled in the bottom of my bag, like a golden over-processed beacon of hope were two Twinkies, smashed and decimated, but still containing those million grams of sugar that I needed to power through. And power through I did: Fun Fest ended for me with the folk rock gods Neutral Milk Hotel, who I’d seen before but still floored me with their musical talent and infectious energy. It was the perfect end to a near perfect weekend of music and fun. Take me back!

Nathan.Lankford – Sunday was just the perfect day all around.  The weather was relaxing, and the vibe had settled into nothing but enjoyment for all. Wanted to see Crooked Bangs, but I’m not quite up to par on bus scheduling so I missed all but a song. I started off my day with locals This Will Destroy You, who brought their instrumental post-rock to the Orange Stage.  Perfect start.  Then I caught Gardens & Villa and Angel Olsen in quick succession before dipping my toes in the proverbial rock waters.  Pissed Jeans lived up to the excitement they’ve been building with their recent reissue. Energetic set with maximum energy music.  I was skeptical about going to Foxygen, but all the cool kids were doing it, so I followed.  Now, the performance was excellent, and I know the local photographers were grateful of such an energizing shoot, but the sound was still awful…contrary to their records, the live show is all shtick. So I went to see Deafhaven, not really having heard much of the band, other than hype. My only explanation is that it was a black clad band playing Explosions in the Sky covers, but adding a hardcore screamer to the mix. That was not what Hot Water Music brought, however, they brought me some nostalgia, and I loved every minute.  I don’t think there was a beardless hipster in the crowd…nothing but old dudes jamming and screaming along. Then I moved on to Yo La Tengo, who I might have to say are one of the most entertaining festival acts, period.  There’s something about their indifference towards pandering to the audience;; they do their thing, combining noise and melody, and you can’t really say anything else. Then I ran around like a mad man. Caught dark popstress Chelsea Wolfe, then Rocket from the Crypt, then Failure, then Flying Lotus.  The light show for FL alone was worth the admission and hype.  Now comes the hard part…I should have easily given into seeing Neutral Milk Hotel as the day’s highlight; it was a strong set, and filled with enough history to make everyone warm inside, but that wasn’t my perfect moment.  In between sets, I wandered over to the Yellow Stage to watch J. Mascis.  I love his voice, and his guitar playing, but I didn’t expect him to cover Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You.”  It was the perfect song for a perfect moment, and it completely made my festival. I’ll see you again next year FFF, if you’ll have me.

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