Live Review: Fun Fun Fun Fest

Austin, TX // November 5-7

Austin’s Fun Fun Fun Festival is one event that truly does live up to its name. This year Transmission Entertainment pulled together a crowd pleasing line up of indie darlings and punk rockers that was so tight, 2010 marked Fun Fun Fun Festival’s first ever sell out. It’s no wonder, with the likes of Weird Al Yankovic kicking things off and a surprise reunion of punk rock legends Descendents enticing people to part with their hard earned cash. This festival has a lot more than music on the agenda, too, just to further insure that the festival-goer does indeed have a fun fun fun experience.

Given this event’s underground nature, it’s no surprise that you’ll find yourself flanked by more mohawks, tattoos, and Doc Martens than tie dye and dread heads. In addition to the music, FFFF featured an air sex competition, a full on half pipe, and various other fun fun fun odds and ends including a mustache kissing booth, interactive screen printing of official festival merchandise, and beer pong for prizes. Fun Fun Fun Festival’s headlining band GWAR even roamed the grounds on Saturday to the delight of a mob of metal heads.

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The Casualties brought their hard punk to the black stage, leaving fans screaming along. Outrageous, Israeli punkers Monotonix brought the most over the top performance of the day, thrashing about the stage to fuzz laden guitars and boom-boom bam drum beats over froggy-throat semi-strained punk vocals. Lead singer Ami Shalev provided a big thrill for the crowd by scaling the yellow stage’s adjacent rock wall and then promptly free-falling face-first into the hands of the crowd. The musical breakout performance of Saturday, though, came from The Gories, who one could easily have mistaken for icons The Kinks.

Sunday was especially fun because the bar was set high and early in the day by off-the-wall Japanese comic punk sensations Peelander-Z. The band is well known for their animated and interactive shows, and they did not disappoint this year. The Japanese rockers started by crooning a punk rock version of “Old MacDonald” and climbing the rafters of the black stage. They even took to full body bowling and played one ditty from within the audience in the wake of their resulting pathway. These guys picked up where GWAR left off, roaming the festival grounds and posing for photos. Another particularly noteworthy performance came from Nortec Collective of Tijuana, who has managed to permeate the indie scene with the unique sounds of Norteño techno/electronica. Fun fun fun might be an understatement; Transmission Entertainment – kudos.

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