Live Music Review: A Few Reasons why Fun Fun Fun Fest 2010 was the Best Yet
As much as we like South by Southwest and Austin City Limits Festivals, FunFunFun Fest has become our favorite local, Austin music festival. For the past two years, we have covered the independent music festival at Waterloo Park and delighted in discovering new bands (a loftly goal that only this festival has successfully reached), great fan experience and most important, fantastic music. Some of our favorite acts include Weird Al Yankovic, Jean Grae, A-Trak, Yelle (shout out to Tolly Mosely and Rachel Silva), Deerhunter, Monotonix, P.O.S. and Devin the Dude.
The smaller (but high quality) scale of the festival ensures fans get value out of a ticket price that is both reasonable and considerably less expensive than ACL or SXSW. The relatively small size of Waterloo Park meant easy access to all four stages, shorter walks to the restroom, food stands and vendors. The food was quite phenomenal too. As journalists who never sleep our favorite was the Iced Lightening from Progress Coffee.
Our first stop for entertainment was Weird Al's sublimely good set Friday evening. Properly, Al's highlight's came at the encore with renditions of "Yoda" (in Star Wars Jedi costumes) and a great medley that included "Another One Rides the Bus". Weird Al was weird alright. He was also entertaining, funny, brilliant and good. Very good. He was an excellent choice to lead the Friday evening bill. We shot some video of Al singing his famous Michael Jackson spoof "Fat". Check out the video on the left sidebar.
We hustled over to Beauty Bar after the show to catch DJ sets by FFF Fest artist, Dam Funk and local, DJ Chicken George. After dancing what was left of our legs off, we headed back to HQ to plot our Saturday attack.
Saturday, Day Two of FFF Fest was led off by Devin the Dude who brought along a crew of harmonizing singers to sweeten the weed infused set (there was a considerable cloud over the Blue Stage crowd). The sunny, mild temperatures seemed to bring out the best in Devin's laid, back, jazz-inspired style. The party definitely started right on Day Two. We shot a photo of Devin hanging back stage (see slide show).
Monotonix's insane, audience included set was one we eagerly anticipated ever since we read Ashley Cass' review in Covert Curiosity last year. The garage punks from Tel Aviv lived up to the hype. Singer Ami Shalev was already balanced atop a pseudo stone column preparing to jump into the crowd [video] massed underneath him as we arrived late to the Orange Stage. What followed was a set performed in the crowd or more accurately, ON TOP of the crowd. At one point, our friend was holding up Yontan Gat with a the help of a few other fans while Gat soloed on his guitar. It took some effort to work out just WHERE the band members were playing from at any given time. Monotonix can play some fun punk music, but the emphasis is on the stage antics here.
We bumped into the queen of Austin bloggers, Tolly Mosely backstage Sunday where she reminded us not to miss Yelle at the Blue Stage. The French singer's set was the best electro-dance pop we've seen since LCD Soundsystem last June. Her great voice, enthusiastic stage presence and superb DJ support provided for a pleasing, energetic set. Our tally of new acts we've seen has increased by several including the cute as a button, Yelle. She's on our grooveshark account now.
We finished Fun Fun Fun Fest by skipping the Descendants in favor of A-Trak. After the high-energy Yelle performance, we were looking for more dance tunes. A-Trak provided with huge bass, sparkling lights and some of the best DJ work since Nu-Mark graced the same stage last year. A-Trak's legend states he won a world DJ competition at age 15 and never looked back. After witnessing his deftness on the turntables, there is no doubt. The man is talented.
Read more live music reviews on Greg's Blog.