Having been a huge advocate for the Fun Fun Fun Fest ever since I discovered it in 2009, I will say I’m a little disappointed in the line-up this year. I really, really wanted to see At The Drive-In! That being said, it always takes a little time to fully comprehend the list every year. In 2009 I was drawn to Austin for the throwback bands like Gorilla Biscuits, Face to Face, Danzig, D.R.I., The Pharcyde and The Jesus Lizard, but I also discovered some great live acts such as Lucero, Fucked Up, Crystal Antlers and Atlas Sound. The next year I was so looking forward to Bad Religion, Slick Rick, Suicidal Tendencies and Descendents, but OFF!, Delorean, Kylesa and High on Fire blew my mind!
In 2011 I felt like FFF had blown their load on a bigger venue, and on booking Slayer (a band I’ve seen countless times), but the three days I spent down at the Shores proved to be the best fest yet. I predicted Future Islands, Danzig, Death Grips and M83 would emerge as highlights, but it was Grimes, Okkervil River, Henry Rollins, Lykke Li, Odd Future and the various nite sets that took the prize.
This year, possibly my last due to a commitment to myself to quit the festival scene altogether, will probably be no different than the rest. The move to Auditorium Shores proved the festival could grow without losing its identity, so I’m not worried about the venue. Booking Run–D.M.C. proves they still have a pulse on what kind of headliners are expected. The Blue Stage is stacked pretty well with hip-hop past, present and future, and my lack of interest in most Orange Stage acts is probably more a reflection of my changing tastes than those of the people running the show. But this year, it’s all about the Black Stage — Kvelertak, Deafheaven, Pallbearer, Litergy, Earth, Baroness, OFF!, Lagwagon, Between the Buried and Me, Refused, Fucked Up and Converge are all pretty exciting!
So, I guess my biggest complaint about this year is that I’ve seen most of these bands before (and so many are FFF repeats). With the exception of Run–D.M.C., there’s no huge, exciting throwback act for me to get all nostaligic for either. But, like every year before, there will be acts that come out of nowhere to knock me on my ass! I will discover new bands, rediscover old bands, be disappointed by some, and blown away by others. I am also really looking forward to the Nites announcements, as they were an extra treat last year and helped justify the higher ticket prices.*
No matter what, Austin is always a great time! So any excuse to get down there is a good excuse for me!
RUN-D.M.C., A$AP Rocky, Girl Talk, De La Soul, Etienne De Crecy (Cube), Bun B, Starfucker, araabMUZIK, Dillon Francis, Rakim, Danny Brown, The Octopus Project, Trust, Tanlines, DMC, Kreayshawn, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Astronautalis, Schoolboy Q, Charlie XCX, Penguin Prison, El Ten Eleven, Class Actress, Anamanaguchi, Diamond Rings, Nite Jewel, Nick Waterhouse, Nicky DA B, AD.D+, Mustard Pimp, Daughn Gibson, Gold Fields, Icona Pop, 10 Yr, Orthy, Feathers, Love Inks, Baauer, American Royalty, Vockah Redu
Santigold, Public Image Ltd., Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Head & The Heart, Explosions in the Sky, Superchunk, Real Estate, The Black Angels, Lucero, Minus The Bear, The Promise Ring, Surfer Blood, Deerhoof, Paul Banks (Interpol), Bob Mould (Performing Copper Blue), WHY?, Atlas Sound, Sharon Van Etten, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Omar Rodriguez Lopez, Cursive, And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, Givers, Helio Sequence, Twin Sister, Nouvelle Vague, Diamond Rugs (Black Lips/Deertick/Los Lobos), Dum Dum Girls, Titus Andronicus, Beach Fossils, Brendan Benson (Raconteurs), Doldrums, Disappears, Giant Sand, Yellow Ostrich, The Jezabels, A Place To Bury Strangers, Fang Island, Foxy Shazam, Deathfix, Cult of Youth, Balmorhea, The Golden Boys, Ume, Not in the Face, Hundred Visions
Refused, Turbonegro, X (Performing Los Angeles), Fucked Up, Against Me!, Tomahawk, WAVVES, Seaweed, The Sword, Converge, Youth of Today, Lagwagon, Between The Buried & Me, Napalm Death, Nomeansno, OFF!, The Briefs, The Spits, Baroness, Braid, Municipal Waste, Japandroids, Valient Thorr, Torche, Dwarves, Liturgy, Earth, Riverboat Gamblers, La Dispute, Peelander-Z, Red Fang, Devin, Cheap Girls, Deafheaven, Kvelertak, Burning Love, Pallbearer, Joyce Manor, Power Trip, The Young, Tia Carrera, Flesh Lights, Residual Kid
David Cross, Hannibal Buress, Wyatt Cenac (The Daily Show), Doug Benson, Saul Williams (Spoken Word), Eugene Mirman, Jon Benjamin, Tig Notaro, W. Kamau Bell, Duncan Carson, Mortified Sessions, FFF Dating Game, Battle Rap Royal, Air Sex Champions, Ramin Nazer, Doug Mellard, Chris Cubas, New Movement Sketch, Altercation Punk Rock Comedy Hr, Kevin Seconds (Spoken Word), Joe Sib, Wrestling, Veggie Hot Dog Eating Contest, A Taco Cannon, A Weird Al Tribute Band, A Fucking Magic Show, & Literally Dozens of Other Comedians!
* the key is to buy tickets early. I paid about $40 a day vs. the normal price of about $60 a day.