Austin is a music hub; every year I read about SXSW and Austin City Limits, and wish I could get down there for a festival. This year it worked out and I was able to attend FunFunFunFest. Like one of my faves, Rifflandia in Victoria B.C., FFFF is set up the best way a music festival could be: open-air festival by day, small multi venue festival by night. This gives you the best of both worlds: you get to enjoy the outdoors unrestricted by lines(beer line not incl.) and float from stage to stage following the sounds that excite your aural senses. At night, hop on a bike and get to know the city as you catch a few of your favourite bands up close and personal in local bars.
My first night in Austin I was invited to a Red Bull Soundselect party to pick up my pass and enjoy some free food and drink. I took advantage of the free-flowing Tito’s Vodka and made friends with some Red Bull girls. Forgot all about the free food. That night I was escorted around Dirty 6th to catch a couple of the opening night performers. It was pretty metal-heavy where we went, but had a blast nonetheless.
Friday, my cousin Travis and I hit the park at mid day. It was non-stop hip-hop from the eccentric lip-synching, dancing, Montreal producer, Lunice; to the hard-hitting combo of Killer Mike and El-P with Run the Jewels.
Later on, we flashed back to the 90s with Atmosphere and then were entertained by the self-proclaimed hardest working man in hip-hop, 2 Chainz. Sprinkled in between we caught shows by Yelle, Dinosaur Jr., and DFA1979.
FunFunFunFest has these after parties, and keeping with their simple way of naming things, the after parties are simply called “Nites”. The Nites are free with a festival wristband. This is my favourite part. It doesn’t get much better than riding around a city at night on a bike, intoxicated, with hundreds of others, bouncing from dive bar to theater to community hall to witness some up-and-coming artists perform live in an intimate venue. That night we struck gold with performances by San Fermin, Blue the Misfit, and my festival fave: King Tuff.
King Tuff performed at Red 7. For the first 15-20 mins we were stuck outside in line being taunted by the muffled sounds surf rock and the energetic crowd from behind closed doors. Just after midnight, the one-in-one-out policy finally rewarded us with our entrance and we dashed inside the packed joint. I got into the pit and found another friend with a camera in there just trying to survive: it was raucous, sweaty and physical. They jammed on hits from their latest, Black Moon Spell, and closed down with crowd favourite Anthem off their self titled record.
Saturday I was on my own. I met a tinder chick and we hung out most of the day, but I wasn’t totally into the line-up. I kicked it off with weirdo synth-pop band from Brooklyn, ASTR. Shortly into their set I bounced and found my way over to see King Tuff play again on a big stage. They performed the same set to the T, but it was about 80% as good with a bigger crowd, at 2PM, in the outdoor setting. Canadian rockers, METZ performed one hell of a show screaming and shouting their way into the hearts of the metal fans in Austin that day. From Australia, the cute Courtney Barnett killed us with her grungy guitar riffs. For the rest of the night the blue stage was king with Z-Trip bringing some vivacious vinyl hip-hop beats, to Nas’ Illmatic, to Girltalk’s wild dance party.
Sunday was low-key. First we settled into the Yellow tent with almost three hours of hilarious comedy featuring the entire cast of the tv show Silicon Valley. Next we heard weirdo beats by Flying Lotus, performed entirely behind a screen and light-up glasses. Rocket From the Crypt and Neutral Milk Hotel took us way back. At night we caught Sky Ferreira being sexy, but not very stupendous at the Belmont . Finally after waiting over an hour to come on, and feeling slightly gyped, we ended our FFFFest with Foxygen. Cleary coked out of his tree, the singer fussed about sound and timing and everything looking like the biggest premadonna I had ever seen. With his shirt off and his scrawny pale self bared for the world but his eyes hidden behind layers of make-up he put for an interesting show. We left the venue tired but stoked on a great weekend overall.
More photos on Obeezy Photo facebook page.