FunFunFun Fest -- Austin, TX -- November 2nd-4th, 2012
Friday, Nov. 2nd
Kvelertak (partially out of order)
Torche (pretty sure complete, partially out of order)
Across the Shields
Snakes are Charmed
Charge of the Brown Recluse
Municipal Waste (pretty sure complete, partially out of order)
Headbanger Face Rip
You’re Cut Off
Thrashing’s My Business and Business is Good
The Fatal Feast
United Forces (SOD cover with Billy Milano on vocals and Danny Lilliker on bass)
Unleash the Bastards
Born to Party
Errors in the Signals
Silence is Deafening
The Wolf I Feed
When All is Said and Done
Nazi Punks Fuck Off (DK cover)
Suffer The Children
Converge (incomplete/out of order)
All We Love We Leave Behind
On My Shield
Axe To Fall
Empty on the Inside
It’s Like That
Here We Go
Beats 2 the Rhyme
King of Rock
Down wit the King
(mini DJ set from Jam Master J’s kids)
Walk this Way
Saturday, Nov. 3rd
Red Fang (incomplete/out of order)
Hank is Dead
The Sword (incomplete/out of order)
The Veil of Isis
Hammer of Heaven
The Hidden Masters
Eyes of the Stormwitch
How Heavy This Axe
The Shape of Punk to Come
Refused Party Program
Rather Be Dead
Summerholidays vs. Punkroutine
Hook, Line and Sinker
Refused are Fucking Dead
Life Support Addiction
Worms of the Sense/Faculties of the Skull
Sunday, Nov. 4th
Devoid of Redemption
An Offering of Grief
Given to the Grave
Between the Buried and Me
Fossil Genera - A Feed from Cloud Mountain
Friday, Nov. 2nd
Upon arriving at the festival I headed straight to the black stage to catch Kvelertak. The only time I had ever seen them was during SXSW 2011 so it was great to have these Norwegians back in Austin. They are really powerful live and a fair amount of people in the crowd seemed to know the songs. A nice early afternoon pit even got started in the baking sun. Their blackened hardcore death'n'roll amalgam is so awesome and I really like that they don't sing in English.
Torche was up next, and while they drew a larger crowd there was no mosh pitting for their sugary sweet sludge offerings. Torche is always a blast to see play and this daytime festival set was no exception. This was my first time seeing them since Harmonicraft came out, so seeing those songs plus the always heavy as a ton of bricks ‘Charge of the Brown Recluse’ were the highlights of Torche’s set for me. I didn’t see any Torche stuff in the merch area and was bummed because I really wanted one of those Descendents style “Torche goes on tour with Converge” shirts. I went to grab food, then came back to the black stage to meet up with some people before Municipal Waste. Our group hung out and chatted while the Dwarves played. I don’t know their material, but they are of course a solid punk band who’s been at it for years and the FunFunFun punk crowd was having a good time.
Municipal Waste played next and punks and metalheads alike came out to drink and mosh in the thrash party atmosphere MW creates. After ripping a few new songs and some tried and true crowd favorites the special treat of the set came when Billy Milano took the mic and Danny Lilker played bass for a rendition of their classic SOD song ‘United Forces’. So now since I’ve moved to Austin I’ve seen Billy Milano do vocals for this song twice, the other being with Rigor Mortis. There were plenty of pits throughout their set and at some point some kids threw a trash can into the circle. It was only the first day of the festival, but the sun was hot and the ground was dry so the dust clouds emanating from the constant circle pits was making a bandana covering your mouth and/or drink a necessity if you were at the black stage.
After MW finished about half the crowd cleared out and it was obvious that Napalm Death does not have the wide appeal of the previous black stage acts of the day. Fine by me, it was that much easier to get close after procuring a fresh can of frosty cold beer and a box of water. (yes, they had cartons of water b/c they are environmentally friendly; and only $2) Considering they were limited to a festival length set, I was very happy with the song selections. I really love Utilitarian and the grind legends did not disappoint in the live performances of those tracks, despite fighting with some sound issues. Danny’s drums sounded shitty throughout the set, but by about a third into the set they at least got the levels mixed much better so that you could actually hear Mitch’s guitar. For me, Barney’s stage banter never gets old.
By the end of ND’s set the left side was starting to fill up with people in anticipation of Converge. They really are the perfect kind of band for this festival; both metal and hardcore punk appeal along with the track record of stellar albums and life affirming live performances. It was still daylight when Converge played, but they do that magical thing where a massive field of a few thousand people feels like a small dark club somehow and Jacob Bannon seems to be right in your face even though he’s several hundred feet away.
I watched about half of Tomahawk’s set. Mike Patton was not as animated as I expected him to be, but that might partially be due to the equipment issues that he was having during the beginning of the set. Trevor Dunn was wearing a ridiculous Nikki Minaj shirt which was pretty funny whether he was being ironic or not.
I then worked my way back to the other end of the festival grounds to the yellow stage to catch Earth. While I was on my way I passed the blue stage where The Black Lips were playing a special set and the were announcing a special guest on stage with them and it ended up being Val Kilmer. Terrence Malik was shooting something for an upcoming movie where Kilmer's character fronts a band. So that was odd. Once I got to the yellow stage Earth had a long sound check, but it was well worth the wait. They were extremely powerful and hypnotic/psychedelic as hell.
After Earth I walked over to the blue stage to see Texas rap legend UGK’s Bun B. The crowd was hyped up and going wild for Bun’s rhymes and the banging dirty beats. I then went over to the orange stage to check out another legend in the world of hip-hop, Run DMC. They ran through a kinda short set of hits only to take a break to bring out Jam Master Jay’s kids for a short DJ set of their own; which was pretty cool. Before I left the festival grounds I went a watched a few minutes of Dillion Francis and he had the college dubstep kids and glowstick wielding ravers worked into a frenzy.
After the music at the festival proper finished for the night I walked over to a new venue downtown, Holy Mountain for one of the FunFunFun Fest Nites shows. I caught local band Curse the Heavens followed by Southern Lord’s Enabler (who were just as awesome as they were on the Black Breath tour this Summer) before calling it a night and heading home.
Saturday, Nov. 3rd
Saturday before going to the festival my fiance and I went to get lunch at a place on the east side of downtown called Sputnik. It’s basically a dark dive bar that has awesome burgers and good local beer on tap. So there is no waitstaff, you just order at the bar and sit down. So we walk up to the bar and place our orders and I’m waiting for my beer and I turn around and Pallbearer is sitting in the booth right in front of me. They were in the middle of eating, so I didn’t want to interrupt them at that time. They left after some time and when we finished eating they were sitting outside the bar. I told them I was a big fan and looking forward to their Sunday set. They were thankful and seemed surprised to be recognized. So that was fun.
When I got into the festival grounds on Saturday I made it to the black stage right as Red Fang was getting underway. Red Fang is one of those bands that I like the sound of and always enjoy live, but I’ve never picked up their records, so I don’t many specific songs. They had great energy and drew a decent sized crowd for 2pm under the sun.
After Red Fang I went to get a beverage and when I was on my way back to the black stage there were a ton of people walking the other way; time for Brutal Truth. The combination of the sun beating down on the crowd and blasting grindcore is apparently not what people were in search of while nursing hangovers and/or seeking out some mellow music. A Brutal Truth show without any technical issues doesn’t exist in my experience and this time Danny was having some problems with his bass; resulting in shoeless Kevin Sharp needing to run his mouth on the mic for a bit which is always entertaining. Sharp could’ve been a mistaken for a native Texan with his ever-present cowboy hat, if it weren’t for his Primate shirt. I enjoy Brutal Truth live but I don’t know their material, so sorry for no setlist.
After BT I walked over to the yellow stage for a few hours to catch some non-music acts. First, the politically charged spoken word / poetry of Saul Williams, whom I had been interesting in seeing for a while and I was really impressed. Next was a stand-up that I had never heard before, Doug Mellard, and he was really fun and he even stage dove in the middle of a couple jokes. He was followed by The Daily Show’s Wyatt Cenac. As a New Yorker Wyatt started by touching on the hurricane and then did some really funny political stuff. The comedy headliner of the day, who you would know from Mr. Show and Arrested Development, was none other than David Cross. As another New Yorker he also talked about the hurricane a bit before delving into his material. Cross was awesome and I’ve been a fan of his for over a decade since watching Mr. Show back in high school.
Once the comedy was done for the day I made a trek across the river to downtown to get some dinner. When I return to the fest I went back to the black stage for local stoner favorites The Sword. They were awesome as always, but I was moving through the crowd and back to the bar during their set, so I totally lost track of what they played. A mix of new songs and old favorites made for a great set.
Finally I closed out the day watching another round of high school nostalgia in Refused. The Swedish hardcore post-punk outfit ripped through a set of material heavily leaning on The Shape of Punk to Come, which was to be expected and welcomed. I really couldn’t have asked for a better set and their onstage energy was explosive. They rivaled Converge, Napalm Death and Fucked Up as the most intense black stage performers that I saw over the weekend. While there was a portion of the crowd that only reacted when they played New Noise, you can’t fault them for catching one of these rare Refused reunion shows. By the time Refused finished I was not up for any night shows.
Sunday, Nov. 4th
Sunday I got there early to catch Pallbearer and while the sun was once again punishing it was well worth sitting through the heat to watch the Arkansas doom 4-piece. With only 30 minutes they played three songs with little stage banter. Of the now 6 times I’ve seen them in less than a year I can say that this was among the best that the whole band and Brett’s voice in particular sounded. Their new drummer was good and plays with the intensity that their music needs. If only Pallbearer’s crushing dark doom cloud could’ve given the crowd some shade. Oh well, a sunburn and aching eardrums are a small price to pay.
I then left for a little while again and when I returned went straight to the yellow stage for some more comedy. This time Eugene Mirman was up, he’s the voice of the son Gene on Bob’s Burgers and is a hilarious stand-up. After Eugene was the man who should’ve played at 4:20, everyone’s favorite stoner comic, Doug Benson. I listen to his Doug Loves Movies podcast regularly and have seen him do stand-up before, so I knew what I was in for. The tent was overflowing with people and the band on the orange stage amused a heavily stoned Mr. Benson, but he held it together and did some hilarious material.
Back to the black stage for some prog metal fun fun fun with Between the Buried and Me. Again, considering it was only a festival set and they have a new record out, I can’t really complain about their set list. The sound guys were really on their game and BTBAM sounded the best of the 3 times I’ve seen them. They attracted a younger crowd than a lot of the black stage bands, but that’s great to be exposing the prog stuff to a young crowd. They mentioned that they were just in Europe 16 hours before they got to the fest and were playing Japan the next day so they were happy to spend their one day in the US at FunFunFun. That’s one hell of a tour schedule. Can you say jet lag?
After BTBAM I walked back across the grounds to catch …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead on the yellow stage, but they were having issues setting up. So, I got food and went to check out Araabmuzik on the blue stage. He’s a crazy DJ that primarily uses an MPC drum pad to bang out the beats and samples live on stage. It was quite impressive. I then went to the orange stage and waited for Explosions In The Sky to start. They were pretty mind blowing live and with the backdrop of the city behind them it was a surreal show. Much different than seeing Slayer on the same stage the year before. I only stayed for about half the set since I wanted to go to the black stage and see Fucked Up. Talk about a total change of intensity. I mean both EITS and Fucked Up are intense bands, but in totally different ways. The night on the black stage closed out with Turbonegro doing their thing, which is right up the hipster-metal contingent’s alley. Don’t get me wrong, Turbonegro was good fun and another perfect band for this fest. Again I didn’t feel like going to night shows and with the work week starting in less than 10 hours I took my leave of FunFunFun 2012.
Last edited by smearCampaign; 11-06-2012 at 05:52 PM. Reason: added review
10/19 The Tallest Man on Earth
11/5 Titus Andronicus
11/22 The Vaccines
Apropriate name, this must have been fun as hell!
8/6 - SubRosa
Very bad ass Milano was there. What does he even do now? I haven't heard his name in awhile. I saw him w/ M.O.D. play w/ Madball probably 4 years ago or so and hadn't even heard from him since. Guessing M.O.D. is no more as well.
8/14 - Nine Inch Nails
9/16 - Prong
10/23-26 - HHFF
10/28 - Mike Watt
10/29 - Melvins
11/7 - 7 Seconds
The Sword's set is incorrect. But not too bad. I know they closed with Winter's Wolves and opened with Barael's Blade.
Turbonegro really needs to do a full tour.
|between the buried and me, converge, kvelertak, municipal waste, napalm death, pallbearer, red fang, refused, the sword, torche|