Austin’s Fun Fun Fun Fest is one of the cities big three music festivals that brings attention to the flavors of the city. Celebrating its sixth year, the fun festival showed its audience an eclectic variety of music that validates why Austin’s title as “Live Music Capital of the World.”

Fun Fest proved to be an eventful and exciting weekend filled with music and comedy acts. Friday’s performers included bands such as Bane, TV Torso, Yacht, The Thermals, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Four Tet and Austin’s own Okkervil River.

The underlying buzz in the air was whether people were going to see Passion Pit or Public Enemy, since both acts were scheduled to perform at the same time. Public Enemy drew in a crowd whose individual motivations for seeing the hip-hop group seemed to differ. Devoted fans knew the lyrics to all of the songs, while others admitted to just being excited to see Flavor Flav, the television personality.

On the opposite side of Auditorium Shores, Passion Pit took the Orange Stage after having been off tour for nearly a year. Lead singer Michael Angelakos soon admitted that he had been sick and sipped on hot tea between songs, which made for long awkward pauses and a quiet crowd. Perhaps it was because the band hadn’t performed in so long or because Angelakos was still recovering, but the performance was mediocre in comparison to their two sold-out performances at Stubb’s in spring 2010.

Ra Ra Riot, Cecil Otter, Spoon, Dan Deacon, M83, The Damned, Wugazi, Youth Brigade, Trash Talk, Neon Indian and Major Lazer were included in Saturday’s line-up of well-known musical acts.

Festival goers filled the Yellow Stage early in the evening to see Neal Brennan, the lesser known co-creator of “Half-Baked” and “Chappelle’s Show.” While Brennan was comical, his material was unmemorable—especially because most of his jokes were racial, a topic commonly used among most comedians—and his delivery seemed awkward and rehearsed. But the crowd seemed amused and satisfied to see the man who was once Chappelle’s writing partner.

Rapper Kool Keith was a welcomed last-minute substitute for the injured Rakim. As the single “Blue Flowers” played in the background, the crowd roared in approval when Keith said that he was going to go into his persona of Dr. Octagon.

Other standout performances on Saturday included M83, Ra Ra Riot, Girls and Neon Indian. Spoon, the Austin based band, played much of their latest album “Transference” and capped off the night with an encore.

Fun Fest hosted many once in a lifetime opportunities including a performance by “space-rock” band Hum. Inactive since 2000, Hum recently announced a few tour dates including Fun Fest, their final performance of the year. Fans talked about how this show was bittersweet to them. They were happy to see Hum live, but they didn’t want it to end because they wouldn’t know if they would ever get to see them perform again. Hum gave a special kind of encore when band members stayed after the set to mingle with their fans.

Comedian Brian Posehn inadvertently upstaged himself when he mentioned what an enormous Slayer fan he is. Fans were already energized for Slayer’s upcoming performance that they began to call out for Slayer in the middle of Posehn’s set.

Slayer closed out the festival as crowds chanted and a handful of fans crowd surfed as they chanted “Slayer” into the night.

As the first year Fun Fest was held at Auditorium Shores, as opposed to the usual location at Waterloo Park; however, the downside to Fun Fest was felt as soon as ticketholders walked through the park gates—the ground consisted primarily of sand and dirt. With a slight breeze and thousands of feet between stages, the sand and dirt created a dusty hue that lingered in the air throughout the three-day festival. After the first day, people were already complaining on the festival’s Facebook page about coughing up dirt that had turned to mud. By Saturday, most people wore bandanas, scarves and mouth masks to shield themselves from breathing in the flying particles.

 

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