November is upon us and you know what that means in Austin, Texas…other than the fact that we don’t have temperatures in the 90s anymore. It means the best music festival in Texas, Fun Fun Fun Fest, is once again upon us! Now in its eighth year, the festival returns to Auditorium Shores, boasting the most diverse music lineup of any festival in America and one of its best lineups yet.
You’d think there wouldn’t be enough room in such a music-centric city as Austin for another festival, but you’d be wrong—this festival and ACL couldn’t be more different. Other festivals may get more of the Billboard/iTunes chart-toppers, but this festival not only has the knack for reuniting long dormant bands (Dead Milkmen, Hot Snakes, Run DMC), but they also target more respected, cult favorite bands. Plus, they feature comedy, extreme sports and even have a taco cannon! What’s not to love?
Each stage is color-coded instead of named after sponsors, it features like-minded music, so if you love a particular type of music you can stay put; if you are rushing to see a performance you don’t have to think to hard where it will be. In this festival preview, let’s take a look a some of the most exciting bands of the weekend, but instead of giving you a day-by-day of what to expect, it will be the best of each stage, so you can figure out which stage has what you’re looking for—and we’ll leave the logistics to you.
Orange Stage – Indie/Alternative Rock/Headliners
Johnny Marr – The infamous guitarist from the Smiths performs a solo set, which should be on everyone’s list. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never heard his material, the debt pop and rock music owes him and his signature guitar riffs is reason enough to stop by and clap for the man and listen to some of his music.
Snoop Dogg – Whether bangin’ out gangsta rap classics like “What’s My Name?” “Tha Shiznit” or giving you reggae jams to sway along to as Snoop Lion, this man’s music was the soundtrack to a whole decade plus of house parties and will certainly turn auditorium shores into one big party as well.
Deerhunter – This band’s psychedelic-tinged indie rock is something that has to be experienced to be believed. Ingest your favorite libation, zone out and become with these hypnotic tunes.
The Dismemberment Plan – These guys were one of the biggest indie rock bands of the 90s before indie rock was a thing. Their album ‘Emergency & I’ is classic and if you want to hear a song that rocks and has a great sense of humor, listen to “The Ice of Boston.” You never know how long this band will stay reunited; catch them while you can.
Slayer – What’s to say that hasn’t already been said before about the world’s most renowned thrash metal band? Yes they were here last year, but this year should be extra pleasing to fans. In honor of their dearly departed guitarist Jeff Hanneman, the band plans to play a full set of “old school classics.” So break out your ripped up black t-shirt and denim jack covered in patches.
But what about MIA and MGMT? Neither have been very good since their debut album, so there are probably other bands to check out instead. But if you must, go enjoy the songs from when they made music that engaged with people. Yes, I said it.
Blue Stage – Electronic/Hip Hop/DJ
Lupe Fiasco – From rapping about giant robots to lampooning rap culture and using a Skylar Grey hook to comment on 9/11 and other hot button issues, this is one of the most forward-thinking and talented MCs in the game.
Ice-T – Yes, that guy from the cop show and ‘Ice Loves Coco’ used to be considered dangerous gangsta rap with his controversial single “Cop Killer.” Will he perform this song? Would it be about himself since he now portrays one on TV? We must attend and find answers to these important questions.
Deltron 3030 – Del The Funky Homosapien, Dan The Automator, and Kid Koala reunited this year like a Voltron of hip hop awesomeness with the excellent ‘Event II.’ This performance promises a full orchestra! It’s the only way to do these epic, futuristic rhymes justice, so this is one the absolute cannot miss sets of the weekend.
Jurassic 5 – They are underground hip hop legends. And odds are they’ll be a lot more fun and respectful than De La Soul were last year, so that’s reason enough to check them out.
Black Stage – Punk/Metal/Hardcore
Pelican – Throw in the best elements of Explosions in the Sky, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Boris, and you’ve got Pelican. They’re instrumental, they’re heavy, and they’re incredible.
The Descendants – The opportunity to see one of the most highly regarded classic punk bands in concert is even more exciting than getting to see X last year. ‘Everything Sucks’ and ‘Milo Goes to College’ are cornerstones of the genre and it will be a thrill to see these veterans show everyone how it’s done.
Gojira – Obligatory obnoxious American comment: “Who knew a bunch of French guys could rock this hard?” Well they do and you should check them out. Their earth-shattering brand of metal appeals to modern hardcore fans and old school metal fans alike. Like their namesake, they desolate cities and your ear drums.
Yellow Stage – Comedy Stage
Patton Oswalt – He’s one of the funniest comedians out there today, not counting Louis CK, of course. But you’ve probably seen him on Conan and other late night shows. He also does the voice over for the 80s comedy The Goldbergs. See him and laugh, it’s good for you.
Tenacious D – Having seen them earlier this year at SxSW, it’s safe to say the comedy rock duo still have what it takes to rock your socks off. Their songs are incredibly catchy, they make you laugh and of course it’s just fun to watch the two of them interact and have fun on stage. Their latest album may not live up to the monumental first record, but JB and KG are definitely a do not miss for this weekend.
Sarah Silverman – Arguably the biggest comedian at the festival this year, you probably know her, whether it’s from her hilarious special ‘Jesus Is Magic’ or even just as the voice of the female glitch protagonist of Wreck It Ralph, Sarah’s set will not be one to be missed. You’ll probably be shocked, horrified, and cracking up all at the same time…while feeling guilty about it.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg my friends! There are so many good acts at this festival this preview could go on for pages. Check out the full lineup here.
As of writing this, tickets are still available from the festival’s website.
But that’s not all folks! There’s also FFFNites, night time shows from great festival artists across Austin, for absolutely FREE! Check out the Nites lineup here.
Check back after the weekend for a full review of the festival and extensive photo gallery.
Written By Jarad Matula
OurVinyl | Senior Writer