Fun Fun Fun Fest, Day three: Festival fatigue, Cloud Nothings and tearing up to Daniel Johnston

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By the third day of Fun Fun Fun Fest, I was suffering that typical strain of festival fatigue. I had a slow start to my day and finally trudged through the gates around 3:30 p.m..

First stop was the Yellow Stage, where the Air Sex Championships were in full swing. While there were still a fair amount of attendees, it was the emptiest I had seen the tent all weekend. Go figure. People making tender love to air on a stage can only be entertaining for so long, so I soon skedaddled over to the Blue Stage. 

 

Electronic guru XXYYXX drew a diverse crowd, from the college bros in Hawaiian shirts to ladies clad in Slayer leggings and even Ukulele Guy, whom I saw at several different shows, strumming along and dancing. The set started strong – the crowd was dancing, the speakers were bumping and the good vibes were flowing. Unfortunately this roll soon sputtered out of steam. The music lost its groove and I heard the Black Stage calling my name. 

I admit to not knowing much about Cloud Nothings prior to seeing them at FFF. I’ve read the name on lots of buzz sites and concert bills, but had yet to actually listen to their music. Needless to say, the move from Blue to Black was a good one. Cloud Nothings’ noisy punk shook me loose from my festival fatigue. I happily rocked my head along all the way to the end of their set. With my batteries recharged, I wandered over to the Orange Stage.

Washed Out started their set late, which was consistent with many other acts at the stage. The mood was, well, washed out. Washed Out himself (a.k.a. Ernest Greene) noticed the stagnant ambiance and told the crowd to get moving. Luckily the tunes got groovier and the audience did too. 

My night’s hands-down highlight was seeing Daniel Johnston on the Yellow Stage. Even after spending nearly the entirety of my life in Austin, I had yet to take one of the several chances I’ve had to see this legend play. There are few festival experiences I’ve had that I cherish, and this was one of them. From hearing “True Love Will Find You In the End” to a cover of The Beatles’ “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” and finishing the night with an a cappella sing-along to “Devil Town,” it was a show that I’ll always remember. As the tent emptied, fest goers cried and hugged each other. I myself may have teared up just a little baby bit, or maybe it was just the stars in my eyes.