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A band performs on the Black Stage at Fun Fun Fun Fest on Nov. 10 last year.

Photo Credit: Shweta Gulati | Daily Texan Staff

Fun Fun Fun Fest is upon us again, overtaking Auditorium Shores this weekend with a multitude of headliners and smaller, lesser-known gems appearing at the Black, Blue, Orange and Yellow stages. Here is The Daily Texan’s list of not-to-be-missed shows this year:    

Black Stage


Who: Iceage
When: Saturday at 4:05 p.m.
Iceage, who were originally one of the most cathartic and noisy post-hardcore bands in recent memory, have changed into something much more dynamic with their newest album, Plowing Into the Field of Love. Infusing stronger Gothic influences while incorporating the likes of horns and violins into their music, Iceage forged ahead with a more mature sound. The band was already a force of nature when it performed previously, so it will be interesting and well-worth it to see how the set changed to fit Iceage’s new style. 

Who: The Bots
When: Sunday at 12:45 p.m.

Brothers Mikaiah and Anaiah Lei make up the Los Angeles grunge rock band The Bots, who released their first full-length album, Pink Palms, just last month. New to the music scene, the two produced their first album when they were still in grade school, and they have since performed alongside renowned bands, such as the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The album draws on punk, rock and some blues and folk influences to create a modern and energized garage
band sound. 

 

Blue Stage

Who: Run the Jewels
When: Friday at 4:15 p.m.

Although technically only formed in 2013, Run the Jewels have decades of experience behind them. The duo is the coming together of southern hip-hop extraordinaire Killer Mike and New York City mainstay El-P. Together, they make hip-hop that is even more intense, brutal and unrelenting than they do on their own. Their latest album, Run the Jewels 2, manages to build on everything they accomplished with their self-titled album from last year. It’s a grimier, crueler and bleaker collection of tracks, with the spitfire in each verse more palatable than ever.    

Who: Yelle
When: Friday at 6:15 p.m.

French techno-pop duo Yelle has taken the world by storm since their 2005 MySpace debut single “Je Veux Te Voir” became an Internet hit. They have been producing upbeat electronic pop albums ever since, influenced by an ever-present Euro-pop house music vibe that is universally accessible, Francophile or not. Complètement Fou, their 2014 album release, is perhaps the duo’s most relaxed, defined effort so far.

 

Orange Stage

Who: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
When: Saturday at 4:40 p.m.

Since 2007, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart have been one of the most consistent indie-pop bands in the United States, from their distortion-filled debut to the now jangle and dream-pop influence on this year’s Days of Abandon. No matter which direction band mastermind Kip Berman and his cohorts head in, the result is still just as hook-filled and glorious as it
was before. 

Who: Angel Olsen
When: Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

Angel Olsen is a wonderful mixture between old Americana and new indie singer-songwriter, with her trademark crooning vocals and understated acoustic harmonies. Her latest album, Burn Your Fire for No Witness, was released this year and is a far cry from her debut in 2010, which explored much heavier basslines, reminiscent of garage rock. Olsen’s stage presence this year, at shows such as SXSW in the spring, has consistently been described as understated and intimate but
never restrained.

Who: Foxygen
When: Sunday at 3:35 p.m.

Psychedelic rock band Foxygen formed in 2005 when the Los Angeles based duo started releasing home-recorded albums during high school. Foxygen recently released their third album, ...And Star Power. Although they call their music experimental, this album is reminiscent of classic rock bands such as the Rolling Stones and The Kinks, both of whom Foxygen has cited as
major influences. 

 

 Yellow Stage 

Who: Majical Cloudz
When: Friday at 7:20 p.m.

Majical Cloudz is the electronic duo of Matthew Otto and Devon Welsh. It’s a simple setup, with Otto producing the band’s melancholic beats and synths while Welsh emotes his sparse but emotionally filled lyrics. The band manages to turn what would be a terribly boring set into something far from that, conveying every piece of pathos in their songs in a live setting, frequently causing complete silence to fall over the crowd and tears shed.

Friday | Anarchy Championship Wrestling

Photo Credit: Pu Ying Huang | Daily Texan Staff

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.

FRIDAY:

Run DMC:

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. 

Converge:

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.

Santigold:

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


SATURDAY:

Refused:

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.

David Cross:

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.

The Head and The Heart:

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

SUNDAY:

La Dispute:

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.

Givers:

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.

 

Fun Fun Fun Fest 2012 from The Daily Texan on Vimeo.

Printed on Monday, November 5, 2012 as: Festival heavy on rock, rap, laughs