11/06/12 12:44 PM
if you missed it.
Adam PfleiderThe final day of one long weekend. I had awoken soar and spent from a long Saturday. It was worthwhile to stay out a bit later to see Sainthood Reps, La Dispute and Regents tear apart the new Holy Mountain venue in Austin. Given the extra hour, I just couldn't make it to Retox, which I'm highly bummed about missing. With a little sleep, I headed back to the park for one final day of glory. Between Fang Island, The Promise Ring, Japandroids and Fucked Up - there was a lot of rock and fun to be had.
I got to the park early to catch what I thought was Fang Island's set moved up, but instead I got to see UME, an Austin based rock outfit that tore up the early afternoon. There's been a lot of buzz about this band not only around town, but nationally as well. There's a noise-garage feel to the three piece that just washes over you. To sum it up bluntly: It's Courtney Love with class and style.
After wandering for water, some friends and I made it front and center for Fang Island, who even in the blistering sun, put on an intense live show, even tossing a free vinyl out to the crowd. Whether or not you feel like Fang Island shifted their sound drastically, added more vocals, personal complaints I've heard, etc. - you still have to love these guys. I don't think Major is a step back, it's just a different spin added to the party mix.
Okay, so I wanted to see A Place to Bury Strangers, but I decided to go hangout with Sainthood Reps and La Dispute before the guys left to hit the road. I walked up on Liturgy, who, I just don't get it. It was awful. Everyone around me thought it was awful. I'm not sure what I was watching. It sounded like a backing track to some dilapidated haunted house ride. Am I missing the praise here?
The guys in La Dispute put on an intense show. I know that I know the guys, so you can spew all over my bias, but it's great to see them getting the recognition they're getting, and I'm excited for their slot on the upcoming Hot Water Music tour. They never disappoint. I hung out a bit afterwards, met Alex Garcia-Rivera of Give Up the Ghost, talked a bit about how it used to be and how it is now, and then I ventured out to watched Japandroids. Unfortunately the bright setting sun was killing a bit of my enjoyment as it was coming down directly behind the black stage, but the set was great nonetheless. It was one of the biggest crowds of the weekend at the black stage as well with just as much dust being stirred up as there was during some of the weekend's more heavier acts.
Long live rock and roll in any form.
So here's the deal. I'll be completely upfront and honest about my actions before The Promise Ring. Maybe it was because we were front and center having to begrudgingly sit through Deerhoof (and before you smirk back, I like Melt-Banana), but my friends and I got pretty hammered. So when The Promise Ring took the stage and opened with "Size of Your Life," it was college again when I discovered the band, and I was again drunk and being emotional about a girl sitting and listening to Wood/Water. If that's not nostalgia, I don't know what is. It was a great time, and an even greater set list to back it up.
I was sobering up during Lagwagon's set. While the band wasn't a major notch in my teenage CD holster like NOFX, New Found Glory, No Use For a Name or The Vandals were, there's something about that sound that brought me back. I think that's a powerful thing when looking back at your timeline of music discovery, that a specific sound can do that to you. It was a set full of laughs and punk rock and for a minute I thought I had to get up at seven the next morning to catch the bus.
I ended my weekend with Fucked Up's phenomenal set. Apparently the band played in Japan the night before, so to have the set they had was mind blowing. This is my fourth time seeing the band, and I'm sad to see them hang it up. Of all of punk rock's frontmen that should be remembered, a lot of praise should be given to Damian Abraham. He gets in that crowd and just gives off the most inviting and positive vibes any I've ever seen out of any punk band. After quite a weekend, this couldn't have been a better way to end it.
Thank you to Transmission Entertainment for having me again this year. This is my Christmas. It never gets old and is always full of surprises. Dustin HarkinsAfter arriving late for day 3 (I got distracted by breakfast and football…dammit) I caught the tail end of set on the orange stage, and their loud, abrasive noise combined with their chaotic live show made them a sight to witness. Really, really wish I could've caught their whole set. Next, for the first full live set of the day, I headed to the black stage to watch A Place To Bury Strangers' , who performed with a wall of sound despite only being two individual people. They were the band to watch on the black stage that day, as their critically acclaimed rock and roll dominated the afternoon easily. Japandroids
I caught about 3 songs of set, which was probably about a third of their set considering they opened with "White Walls". Their precision is almost inhuman; while they didn't have much stage presence, would anyone expect them to? They came here to play, and they definitely played. The chemistry between every member of this band is mechanic, with Blake Richardson’s drums and Dustie Waring’s guitar setting a constantly shifting rhythm confusing every metal fan headbanging along while the other members followed them flawlessly, making it look TOO easy. Between The Buried And Me's
After a bit of BTBAM I headed straight to the blue stage to catch the second half of , who replaced Rakim (who had to cancel) after their bus incident on Friday. Accompanied by Le Butcherettes vocalist Teri Gender Bender, Rodriguez-Lopez played very well and looked like he was having much more fun than his (understandably) negative energy he brought during the At The Drive-In reunion sets earlier this year. It was easily forgettable, though, and nothing to write home about. Then again, maybe Omar’s just spoiled us throughout the years. The Omar Rodriguez-Lopez Group
Following ORLG's set was , and I truly had no clue what to expect from his performance, despite having all his releases and hearing a ton of his rap production throughout the years. Would his set be araabMUZIK Electronic Dream heavy, involve his rap production, or be a mix of the two? It turned out to be none of those, as araabMUZIK proceeded to DESTROY the MPC throughout his lengthy-yet-still-too-short set. The revolutionary producer played a constant stream of live remixes that he chopped to bits before demolishing them with his insanely precise beats that any man, whether using an MPC, drums, or even a pre-programmed beat would at least break both hands trying to keep up with.
After araabMUZIK, Pasemaster Mase proceeded to spin some old A Tribe Called Quest/Native Tongues before the other two-thirds of took the stage to bring rap back two decades in the best way possible. They made up for what Run-D.M.C.’s sound guy had butchered two days ago and exhibited their legacy, bringing hip hop nostalgia to its peak. Their delivery was on point, not the craziest live show by any means but it was fun to witness. De La Soul
On the black stage, was playing during De La Soul, and frontman Damian Abraham spent a large majority of their performance right against the barricade in front of their fans to thunderous approval. The six-piece punk band ran through favorites from Fucked Up David Comes To Life and The Chemistry Of Common Life alike, and were a perfect way to end my weekend, as work at 7:30 AM the next day was to cut it off early before catching Edward Sharpe or any of the other ending acts.
Transmission should be proud. Very, very proud. Fun Fun Fun Festival stepped it up in a large way this year, from getting reunions out of Refused and Run-D.M.C. to showcasing more interesting newcomers like Danny Brown and Power Trip. It was a culmination of the shape of music to come, and Fun Fun Fun Fest did a great job of making the future look promising.