Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Fun Fun Fun Fest

Fun Fun Fun Fest could have been setting itself up for a great deal of criticism with a name like that, but the festival certainly lived up to it. It is well known that Austin harbors great music and holds amazing festivals. Each year, Austin City Limits and SXSW bring people to Austin from all over the world to the city, but Austin's best festival might just be its smallest. Sure, nothing can really live up to SXSW, but setting that aside, I think Fun Fun Fun Fest gives ACL a run for its money. FFFF is geared towards the fans, putting similar artists on the same stage, which means that fans will get to see more of what they like, and less filler. Sure, ACL brings in the bigger acts, but I would much rather see more quality bands than one or two bands with a bigger fan base.

Day 1's biggest surprise came when Final Fantasy was joined on stage by Cadence Weapon and Dan Bejar to sing An Actor's Revenge by Destroyer, after Final Fantasy had already played the song once through. Being a massive Destroyer/ Dan Bejar fan, it was one of the best moments of the weekend. Final Fantasy certainly made a fan out of me, seeing as how I had never taken the time to become familiar with his catalogue

Everyone who has ever seen an Of Montreal show knows that they don't really know what to expect until it happens. This was certainly the case for their FFFF performance. This time through, the band has ditched the ladder and multiple outfit changes, but came with a contortionist, a man in a tiger mask, and a new bass player. Since their show wasn't on such a huge stage, the band had to scrap its lit platforms that have been seen on this tour, but the band was still just the same minus some of their technical theatrics. They were still as tight as ever, even through a light outage on stage. They seemed a little confused, but played through it anyway. It seemed as if their set was being cut short, but they came back on stage to play a spectacular version of Prince's Purple Rain

I know that The New Pornographers are pseudo legends in the indie world, but I haven't gotten to know them at all. I've taken time to listen to off shoots of the band like Neko Case and Dan Bejar's Destroyer, but I've never listened to them as a whole. Despite not knowing them at all, I was pleased with their performance. However, the most engaging songs were those written by Bejar, that I knew by heart like Jackie Dressed in Cobras and The Spirit of Giving. I can't say that I was particularly pleased with the way those songs sounded with the full band, but they are still pretty damn good. 

If you've been a reader of the blog since the beginning, you know that Explosions in the Sky is one of our favorite live bands. We aren't keeping it a secret. Fans have such an admiration for the band because they give everything they have to their on stage performance. They woo the crowd with hypnotizing notes and their aggressive stage presence. Their hour long set at FFFF certainly made up for the 30 or so minute set at Wall of Sound a couple of months ago. 

Day 2 came to a pinnacle when Battles took the stage. The band came way out of the way to play their set and they did not disappoint. Their churning, mostly instrumental songs left the audience in a trance for the better part of an hour. The band played with mostly rented equipment since their stuff was waiting for them at their next stop on the tour and they had a tight schedule, but that didn't slow them down at all. When fans asked for a set list, they just pointed to their temples and said that they had been playing the same set for over a year now, but their songs still seemed as fresh as ever. Not only were they the best performance of the day, but they were also the nicest guys backstage.

Polaroids taken by Kayleigh will be up soon!

FFFF Day 1

Final Fantasy

Dan Bejar w/ Final Fantasy and Cadence Weapon

Okkervil River

Of Montreal

The New Pornographers

Explosions in the Sky

FFFF Day 2


Mates of State


(All photos by Trent Lesikar)


volaresiren said...

hey, daniel said he saw you taking pictures. he wanted to say hi, but you were too far away.
but hey, they came out great.
ps. is the lady from MoS pregnant...or was her shirt blowing in the wind?

Anonymous said...

Monike! I didn't see him at all but he did tell me that. Oh well... She is pregnant, and its a girl...I think...