Check out Daily Texan Multimedia's video recap of Fun Fun Fun Fest 2012.
An army of bandana-covered fans marched through dust-covered Auditorium Shores for the offbeat Fun Fun Fun Fest to see the 150 artists that performed over the three-day period. Headliners included Run DMC, who reunited solely for the festival, Public Image Ltd., fronted by ex-Sex Pistol Johnny Rotten, and Scandinavian punk bands Turbonegro from Norway and recently reunited Refused from Sweden. Running from noon to 10 p.m. each night, artists played four stages — Black, Blue, Orange and Yellow — separated by genre (metal, rap/techno, rock and comedy, respectively.) Each stage was broken into two separate stages to streamline artist traffic, minimizing breaks between music to merely five minutes.
The two legendary MCs reunited under the Run DMC moniker for the first time in 10 years to close out the orange stage Friday night. Performing classic such as “It’s Tricky” and “King of Rock,” the hip-hop duo displayed the fast-paced, in-your-face style of rapping that they pioneered almost 30 years ago. It was an emotional comeback, with a moment of silence held for DJ Jam Master Jay, whose murder prompted the group to disband. However, in a consoling manner, two of his sons, Jason “Jam Master J’son” Mizell Jr. and T.J “Dasmatic” Mizell performed in his place.
The Massachusetts hardcore metal band began their set with “Concubine,” the lead track on 2001’s Jane Doe to the delight of crowd-surfing fans. The barrier between the stage and audience became indistinguishable as security fought a constant battle to keep audience members from climbing over. The mathematic polyrhythms drove the crowd into a frenzied circle pit, kicking up an impressive amount of dust into the air. After playing songs from their latest release, All We Love We Leave Behind, the band ended with “The Broken Vow,” with vocalist Jacob Bannon throwing himself into the crowd.
The reggae new wave singer appeared on the Orange Stage with an expertly coordinated backing band that engaged in unified dances while wearing matching costumes. Performing old hits like “L.E.S. Artistes,” from her debut album Santogold, she also focused on newer material from Master Of My Make-Believe, released earlier this year. The easily relatable lyrics sung in Santigold’s nasally treble voice over new wave music caused a dance party in front of the stage.
Saturday | Kreayshawn
Photo Credit: Pu Ying Huang | Daily Texan Staff
The only other time Refused has played in Texas was in 1996, right before they broke up in 1998. The 14-year interlude proved worth the wait. Their five minute synthesized soundscape intro had the anxious crowd uttering visceral screams and starting multiple slow claps in hopes of generating enough momentum to bring the band on stage. Refused wasted no time, diving headfirst into the anthemic “The Shape of Punk to Come.” Vocalist Dennis Lyxzén’s expertly timed jumps and flamboyant performance likened him to Mick Jagger.
The audience at the Yellow Stage was spilling out past the edge of the tent as fans packed in to see headliner David Cross. Remembered for classic roles such as actor Dr. Tobias Fünke on Fox’s “Arrested Development,” Cross’ 35 minute comedy routine opened with a timely mention of his experience with Superstorm Sandy. “I actually saw pictures of my car floating away on Tumblr,” Cross said. “I’m rich though, so I can buy a new one.” Cross also touched on a variety of subjects, such as getting a couple’s colonic with his wife, toeing the line between funny and inappropriate the entire time.
Seattle based folk-pop band The Head and the Heart finished the tour for their first and very successful album on the Orange Stage. The band gave an incredbile, energetic performance, moving around from microphone to microphone. At one point, drummer Tyler Williams emerged from behind his drum kit and took a lively sprint around the stage. The band closed with hit-song “Rivers and Roads” in which violinist Charity Rose Thielen gave a soul-filled vocal solo, before leaving the stage nearing tears. The Head and the Heart’s emotional performance was a definite festival highlight.
Sunday | Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Photo Credit: Pu Ying Huang | Daily Texan Staff
The post-hardcore band from Grand Rapids, Michigan performed a high-energy 40-minute set at the Black Stage. Beginning with two songs off their 2008 release, Somewhere At the Bottom of the River Between Vega and Altair, the band shifted gears and played six songs from Wildlife, released last year. La Dispute’s style was evident in their performance of “A Letter,” a slower song with spoken-word vocals influenced by author Vladimir Nabokov. Vocalist Jordan Dreyer never stood still, constantly running in circles or jogging in place. During the closing song, “King Park,” fans disregarded security and jumped over the barrier, trying to get on stage before they were forcibly pulled down.
Singer Tiffany Lamson fronted the relatively new indie pop band behind a miniature drum set, adding additional percussion when she wasn’t playing ukulele. Reminiscent of Norah Jones, her powerful vocals maintained a vague feeling of solidarity over the band’s somewhat chaotic and noisy soundscapes. The pinnacle of their performance was their single “Meantime,” showcasing a taste for interesting rhythms, playing on the upbeat and shimmering keyboard lines.
Printed on Monday, November 5, 2012 as: Festival heavy on rock, rap, laughs