After two serious days of Fun Fun Fun Fest-ing (plus some serious after-partying) day three began a little rougher than the first two, with exhaustion starting to set in, but there was simply too many good things happening this third day not to power through. Yet again the weather was mild and pleasant, perfect for festing. First things first: to conquer this damned impossible yellow tent.
Sometimes you have to camp out and sit through some acts you’re not as familiar with to get a good spot for what you do want to see. From the crowds throughout the weekend, it seemed absolutely necessary to get a spot to see comedian Sarah Silverman, who was sure to be a huge draw. Fortunately that camping brought with it some great comedy from both knowns and unknowns in a great afternoon of comedy.
Doug Mellard was back after appearing for the first time at this festival a year or two ago, but the trouble is, he was using some of the same jokes he used back then…perhaps Louis CK’s commitment to new material every year spoils a person. Knowing the punchlines makes it a lot less funny. Next was Bridgette Everette, who correctly surmised that while none of us knew who she was before, we’d all remember her when we left. This plus-sized comedienne, who’s appeared on Amy Schumer’s sketch comedy show, wore a sequence-covered dress she ripped off during her opening comedy song, revealing a sheer toga-esque dress underneath while constantly flashing herself. It was a strange mix of one-liners and hilariously dirty songs such as “Little Nippy Titty.” Most of her act can’t be repeated here because it’s enough to make a sailor blush, but you have to give her credit for being so bold and honest, putting herself out there. She ended her act by sitting on the face of a male from the audience.
Up next was Rob Delaney, winner of Comedy Central’s ‘Funniest Person on Twitter’ award, stopping by to do a standup set while out touring his new book. He was quite thrilled to be doing standup after so many monotonous book engagements, saying it “felt like a warm Jacuzzi” compared to interacting with the press. His jokes too were for the most part too coarse to be repeated here but rest assured he is worthy of his award with great one-liners and laugh out loud punchlines to his stories, including his misadventures while recovering from breaking both his arms after drunkenly driving into a wall.
Finally the time had come for the woman of the hour, Sarah Silverman. She had a sheet of paper with her, as she warned the audience she was trying out new material. Amidst all the incredibly foul-mouthed jokes she’s always commented on religion and social issues. However, this set seemed like it was especially charged with socio-political commentary, including women’s reproductive rights, marijuana legalization, and corporations’ rights that seem more important than our own. Being a very liberal town, the Austin crowd cheered wildly at her jokes/commentary, which seemed to surprise her (though she could’ve just been playing coy) as she said, “You guys are the best, I wasn’t sure how this was going to go over.” Don’t worry, you’re just as funny as ever and have extra political punch to your jokes, which makes them all the more potent.
It was great to learn while exiting the comedy tent that the Dismemberment Plan were running late, though frustrating for many others, especially when a few songs in lead singer Travis Morrison told the audience that due to the delay they had to cut a few songs out, However this didn’t stop the quirky indie rock heroes from putting on a spirited set, including fan favorites “You Are Invited” and “The Ice of Boston.” Songs from their new album ‘Uncanney Valley’ blended well with classic tracks; “Let’s Just Go to the Dogs Tonight” in particular sounded great with the line “I’m just glad you’re here,” seeming especially potent given their comeback. Let me stress again, if you like indie rock with weird humor and noisy tendencies, give them a listen.
Due to a last minute scheduling change, one of my most anticipated acts of the day was upon me sooner than anticipated: Deltron 3030. This show was absolutely epic in every sense of the word. There was an orchestra, full band (including The Mars Volta’s Juan Alderte on bass), Kid Koala working three turntables, Dan The Automator, and of course Del The Funky Homosapien. Wearing a tuxedo with tails, Automator conducted the orchestra and hyped up the crowd making sure we knew our cues for call and response sections of each track.
The set featured songs from their new album ‘Event II’ including “Melding of the Minds” and “Nobody Can,” both of which sounded even better live than on the record. People seemed to enjoy these new songs, but it was the classics that really got the crowd pumped. The group tore through “Virus,” “Mastermind,” and “Memory Loss” with vigor usually reserved for exciting new tracks, not songs they’ve probably played countless times before. In a surprise move the group closed with a song the whole audience could sing along to: the Gorillaz hit “Clint Eastwood.” After all, 2/3 of the people on the song were there, so why not just let the audience fill in for Damon Albarn? And sing we did with absolute fervor, capping off one of the most outstanding highlights of the entire weekend.
Still awestruck, I made my way over to catch some of MGMT’s set while grabbing a bite to eat. My pre-festival fears were founded: their set was…meandering. Losing the plot just like their last two albums. There were plenty of others who felt this way to a certain extent because the only time large portions of the crowd reacted to the music was when they played singles like “Kids” and “Electric Feel” from the first album. It just makes you wonder how long they will keep getting such high billing before people realize the emperor wears no clothes.
All of this mediocrity was immediately erased as the opening riffs of “Hell Awaits” from Slayer roared into our ears. The entire set was a take-no-prisoners onslaught of classic tracks from the thrash metal kings, playing deep cuts from ‘Show No Mercy’ and ‘Hell Awaits,’ even throwing in an Exodus cover. For the most part the band kept quiet between songs, except to occasionally thank the audience or whip us into anticipatory frenzy for the next slice of brutality to bleed from their blood-splatter designed guitars.
Saving the best for last the band closed their set with crowd-pleasers “South of Heaven” and “Angel of Death” as they unfurled a giant banner honoring their fallen bandmate Jeff Hanneman, calling him the Angel of Death in a spoof of the Heineken logo. It was a surprisingly touching and light-hearted thing for a band as tough as this, but very appropriate, causing universal cheers throughout the audience as we all shouted in the departed guitar hero’s honor.
For the second year in a row Slayer closed out Fun Fun Fun Fest in spectacular fashion, giving the audience an unforgettable show of old school killer cuts. It breaks my heart to not have witnessed Jurassic 5, especially since the press has been raving about their show, but the hard rock guy in me just couldn’t pass up seeing the metal legends one more time, knowing this will likely be one of the last times we ever have the privilege to witness this group shred our eardrums. People left the festival cheering and still in high spirits, despite all the fun coming to close until next November. Once again Fun Fun Fun Fest was a qualified success, bringing together so much diverse and incredible music in one park for a magical weekend.
Sarah Silverman & Slayer’s Tom Araya Photos by Matthew Danser
Deltron 3030 Photo by Isaac Solomon
Slayer bird’s eye view Photo by Ashley Garmon
Written By Jarad Matula
OurVinyl | Senior Writer