The Austin, Texas based music festival, Fun Fun Fun Fest, is set to return this year on November 7th – 9th at Auditorium Shores. One of the most diverse festivals in the U.S., FFF Fest is known for mixing genres of all kinds to make one of the most unique lineups of the year. I’m not kidding; whoever organizes this festival must be flipping through a book full of musicians with their eyes closed and pointing randomly to choose their acts. It’s such a mixed bag that when I first saw it, I was scratching my head in confusion. I thought that it was a joke lineup poster, but when I realized it was one hundred percent legit, I grew extremely jealous of every person living in Texas. Now, without beating around the bush any longer, here are the top seven acts to catch at FFF Fest.
7. King Diamond Hold onto your seat, because one of the most electrifying names in metal is heading to Texas! That name is the one and only King Diamond. This Danish heavy metal band was formed in 1985 by vocalist King Diamond (yes, that is his real name) and guitarist Andy LaRocque. The band was just supposed to be an offshoot of their former band, Mercyful Days but it turned into a full-on project after gaining success in the heavy metal scene. Many artists have been influenced by the wild and, at times, terrifying style of playing and showmanship demonstrated by King Diamond. Just looking at King Diamond himself is enough to rally the crowd into a frenzy. With a new album that has yet to be titled on the way for 2015, anticipate a rowdy, heavy set from one of the craziest bands in heavy metal history.
Recommended Tracks: “Welcome Home”, “Arrival”, “Sleepless Nights”
It’s no party if its not a Girl Talk Party! Out of all the sets at the festival, you can be certain that mashup master Greg Gilles (AKA Girl Talk) is going to bring the dancing. Specializing in the art of mashups and digital sampling, Girl Talk’s set will be a different live experience altogether. Everything from Kanye West, Carrie Underwood, and Busta Rhymes have been sampled by the infamous producer. Having released five LP’s and toured around the world, Girl Talk has a finely tuned yet sporadic live show that mixes flashing lights, streamers, and a full-on party on stage. Girl Talk may joke around in interviews, but when it comes to live performances, he is a serious contender for set of the weekend.
Recommended Tracks: “Play Your Part(Part1)”, “Tolerated”, “Shut The Club Down”
One of the more famous artists on the bill, Wiz Khalifa is the closest thing you will see on this lineup that could be considered “mainstream”. Having gained huge amounts of fame in early 2011 from his third studio album, Rolling Papers, that had popular singles such as “Black and Yellow” and “Roll Up”, Khalifa has been a hip-hop staple ever since. Currently touring his 5th full length album, titled Blacc Hollywood, Khalifa is playing sold-out venues around the U.S. to thousands of people on his Under The Influence tour. His popularity has grown from respected artist to celebrity in just a matter of years. While he has the eye of the public on his every move, this does not stop his ability to perform on a world stage level. Expect a high energy set filled with hits from beginning to end. Let yourself be taken away by Khalifa’s stoner hip-hop and enjoy the ride.
Recommended Tracks: “We Dem Boyz”, “So High”, “Black And Yellow”
One word can describe this veteran metal outfit, and that word is “legend”. UK metal act Judas Priest has sold over 45 million albums worldwide in their 40 plus years as a band. They have been widely recognized as one of the greatest metal acts of all time as well as pioneers of the genre. Known for their operatic vocal style, black leather costumes, and ferocity on stage, JP is one of the biggest surprises of the festival. Not one to tour the states on a regular basis, JP has made a surprising and special exception to destroy the eardrums and rattle the bones of everyone in attendance at FFF Fest. You may leave their show battered and bruised… heck, maybe even unconscious… but you will never have felt so alive. Expect this set to be one of the best and be ready for the massive mosh-pit that will undoubtably be happening.
Recommended Tracks: “Breaking The Law”, “Electric Eye”, “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming”
This is another band that has created their own legendary status. Neutral Milk Hotel is one of the most talked-about indie rock bands in the world. They went from obscurity to international fame in a very short window of time. Led by lead singer/guitarist Jeff Mangum, NMH is recognizable by their experimental folk rock sound. What should be most noticeable is the fact that the band has recently reunited for a slew of touring dates around the world. Indie rock fans everywhere jumped with collective joy when it was announced that NMH would be getting back together for a greatest hits tour. The band’s live shows are slick productions with little to no improvisation, but if you are there to relive childhood memories, then maybe that is a good thing. Even though they are not previewing anything new, NMH’s reunion show is not something you should miss and a solid set from the indie rockers will be sure to leave you in high spirits as you exit the festival.
Recommended Tracks: “In The Aeroplane Over The Sea”, “King Of Carrot Flowers Part 1”, “Two-Headed Boy”
There are few bands who are as universally liked as Washington based indie rock band Modest Mouse. Coming in as a replacement headliner for Death Cab For Cutie, MM is prepared to deliver one of the highlight sets of the entire weekend. MM has developed a reputation for seamlessly mixing older material with more recent work that, in turn, make crowd-pleasing sets. The guttural shouts and roars of lead singer/guitarist Isaac Brock, along with a formidable array of instrumentation, has shot MM to the top of everyone’s festival bucket list. With no new records on hand, the band probably will stick to playing their greatest hits and, if you’re lucky, they will whip out a few B-sides as well. “Unexpected” is what you should be anticipating from a MM show and while it is nice to know what a band will play at times, not knowing makes for an air of mystery. Do not miss one of the all-time indie greats perform at FFF Fest, you may regret it later if you do!
Recommended Tracks: “Float On”, “Dashboard”, “King Rat”
1. Nas Performing Illmatic In Full Sometimes, going back to your roots can be a good thing. This becomes even more apparent with legendary rapper Nas‘s most recent tour. The debut album of the Brooklyn native, titled Illmatic, has become one of the most critically-acclaimed hip-hop albums in history and is widely considered to be one of the greatest rap albums ever recorded. Lyrically, the album is as raw as the streets of New York and Nas describes the poverty, gang rivalries, and hardships faced by its inhabitants with thunderous beats and a flow that is unmatched. Illmatic is, in a sense, a spoken word diary of life in the projects of Brooklyn. With Nas as a headliner, there could even be the chance of a special guest slot. Crazier things have happened, and Nas wasn’t even headlining the Coachella Valley Music Festival when he brought out fellow New Yorker, Jay-Z, as a special guest. The hip-hop virtuoso has already established himself as a powerful live performer and with the inclusion of his most popular album and a slew of other hits, Nas is ready to steal the show.
Recommended Tracks: “If I Ruled The World(Imagine That)”, “The World Is Yours”, “N.Y. State Of Mind”