Despite the dirt and dust Fun Fun Fun Fest lived up to it's name and provided some tasty treats for the punk rockers. I showed up later than planned on day one, around 5:30, due to hitting the records stores and bars all afternoon. After grabbing a Foster's 24oz, which was the only choice besides Miller Lite (WTF!) I headed straight for stage 3, where I camped out for the remainder of the night.
I ended up catching the last half of Municipal Waste's set. I haven't seen a mosh pit that ferocious in years, and it kept up it's intensity in front of stage 3 (punk/hardcore) pretty much for the remainder of the festival. Municipal Waste seem to be a pretty fun band, but a little of that brand of hardcore can go along way with me.
Next up were Integrity, which much like Municipal Waste, I can get enough of really quick. They were followed by the highly anticipated Adolescents who kicked off their set with No Way and ended up playing through most of the ST with some other bits and pieces thrown in here and there. The crowd sing-a-long with Ameoba was fucking rad. A lady in front of me turned to me and said she'd been listening to the Adolescents since she was about "this high" with a big smile on her face and motioning with her hand way down low, and that about summed it up.
All immediately took the(b) stage and played a perfect set which included all the pop-punk classics, including Sex in the Way, Pretty Little Girl, Simple Things and She's My Ex. A good time was had by . . All. Despite rumors floating around the crowd, no Descendents songs were played, which is cool with me, because this was an All show.
Headlining day one were the Dead Milkmen, who came out way more powerful than I had expected. While the Milkmen have a lot of fun and sing about the most goofiest of shit, they mean fucking business when they hit the stage. They kicked things off with Punk Rock Girl and got that one out of the way quickly. I found it interesting that half the crowd were high schoolers or college age kids, and were singing along to every song. There is hope for the future! And it also made me feel not so damn old. Highlights for me during their set were Smokin' Banana Peels, Stuart and Methodist Coloring Book.
Sunday night I showed up just in time to hear Joey Shithead and crew slam into some true hardcore DOA blasts from the past that showed many of the newer bands how it's done. After DOA's intense, non-stop set, some goofy fucking band with a singer that talked to much rock star played, and then came out the the Cro-Mags(Jam). While not the original lineup (missing Harley Flanagan and Paris Mayhew thus the moniker with [i]Jam[/i] added) the crowd was nonetheless treated to an overwhelming wall of hardcore noise with a good amount of traditional 80's politico speech making by singer John Joseph. I could have done without a lot of that, as much of it came across as dated, but what the fuck ever, We Gotta Know was the shit.
I know a lot of folks like Bouncing Souls, but they're not really my can of beer, so I headed out to drain the big lizard in the backyard and get another brew in preparation for what would be a transcendental set by the Bad Brains.
The Bad Brains were probably the first true hardcore punk band, with the exception of maybe the Misfits, that I truly got into. Theirs was one of the first hardcore sounds that actually struck a chord with me, and played a major part in developing my ear for punk. I remember seeing photos of H.R. and Bad Brains in Thrasher and thinking those were some cool motherfuckers, and after all this time nothing seems to have changed. They represented, and H.R. answered the question posed by one Austin paper as to whether he would "bring it". He fucking "brought it", and more.
This show was a long-time coming, and was the main reason I travelled 7 hours to Fun Fun Fun. While there were some great acts playing, I probably wouldn't have made the trip if it weren't for the Brad Brains. That being said I did have a great time hanging with a couple of very good friends and enjoying the Austin Scene, which was all icing on the cake.
All of this combined with some beautiful weather and I couldn't have asked for much more from a festival. And with the exception of one incident, that of being accused of stealing beer from the beer line (give me a fucking break, the customers where the only ones getting ripped off in the beer line) the folks in Austin were a nice and friendly group of people, and I'm ready to go back next year.
P.s. I want to apologize for the terrible quality of the photos (in forthcoming links). My compact camera was no match for the lack of lighting on stage and the dust particles floating in the air.
Fun Fun Fun
Fun Fun Fun
Fun Fun Fun