Even though this year’s Fun Fun Fun Fest found it at Auditorium Shores for the first time rather than its traditional Waterloo Park origins, the organizers did their best to maintain an alternative vibe to your run-of-the-mill extravagant festival. And while I regrettably missed the textbook drama that came with Danzig on Friday and then the sickness of Slayer on Sunday (what was I thinking?), I was able to catch some quality shows on the dusty banks of Ladybird Lake on Saturday.


Given that the festival is smaller than one like ACL, you’re able to survey performances without having to commit to a stage in fear of being left behind the massive throng of aggressive camelback owners. This freedom allowed me to graze the grounds, pingponging from stage to stage while feeling like I was actually part of the audiences and not just behind them.

Although I was bummed Rakim wasn’t going to make it because he broke his foot, Kool Keith slipped into his timeslot without missing a beat. I did enjoy seeing the elder statesman of horrorcore live, but I gotta say, I can’t really get into these hip hop medleys. If your beats are really eclectic, maybe, but in this kind of setting especially, it just sounded rushed.

Donald Glover’s alter-ego, Childish Gambino, on the other hand, mindfully took his time introducing each track, treating each song off his new album like a newborn he can’t wait to show you. It paid off too; he totally had the audience in his hand, hamming it up, waving excitedly to the crowd and articulating like he was doing Shakespeare. I was weary to see his live set (the whole actor/comedian-turned-musician thing), but he really held his own; the dude’s definitely working for it. His band was also real funky. There was a point where the computer was malfunctioning, and without missing a beat, the crew jumped onto a great freestyle. Now, given that this dude is Hollywood, it may have all been set up. But if that’s the case, great acting!

I had not planned on sticking around for much of Lykke Li, but I stayed because her set was one of the few that had real well-thought out thematic character, making me forget I was at a festival for a minute.

The Damned was entertaining as hell, and I definitely wasn’t drunk enough to capitalize on the Major Lazer set, but overall a fantastic year once again. My vote for next year? Get members of the Dungeon Family to perform Rico Wade Presents…Da Connect in full and then, like, Luniz. “I Got 5 On It” would sound so good out there.

 – Submitted by John Parsons, Music Design