Aftermath: Fun Fun Fun Fest In Austin Day 2 - Metallagher, Street Dogs, Lucero, Crystal Castles, Gorilla Biscuits, Danzig
Day two of Fun Fun Fun Fest began with a slow and steady rain shower that turned into an all-day headliner. As we walked the ground and felt the rain soak into our clothes we started getting ACL flashbacks. Before we knew it we were walking through acres of mud and muck, albeit clean muck, free of reconstituted fecal matter. That's always high on our list of priorities. Metallagher on the small Yellow stage on the south side of the venue pretty much made up for the rain in our eyes. The band is a Metallica and Gallagher cover band, donning wigs playing covers of some of Hetfield and company's best tracks. Their lead singer wields a sledgehammer and lays waste to large round fruits just like the real Gallagher, in between sporadic bouts of "comedy" with sample topics including "Ehh-rabs," women and bathroom difficulties.
Over on the Black stage, Street Dogs were dishing out working-class street-punk to the soggy punk masses. Led by former Dropkick Murphys singer Mike McColgan, the band retains the spirit of the output he released with his old group, without their new borderline hokey Celtic garnish. The Dogs are streamlined to a sharp point, plus it's just fun punk rock. McColgan let Aftermath know backstage that they will be hitting Houston on December 9 at Walter's with fellow street-punks the Krum Bums. As the sun was going down in the park, Lucero was tuning up their gear in the rain. The wet weather was a perfect match for the bands new soul-inflected direction of last months 1372 Overton Park. It gave the material an even somber tone. The expanded group now includes a horn section, partially poached from Black Joe Lewis' band. The same rain that elevates the Lucero set also cancelled the rest of the day on the Yellow stage, forcing the King Khan & BBQ Show to play a free show later on in the night at Red 7 a few blocks away.
Heart of Glass: Canada's Crystal Castles
Canada's Crystal Castles brought out the nu-rave scene on the central Orange stage close to 8 p.m. Lead singer Alice Glass is captivating as hell live, becoming merely a screaming black-haired blip onstage amongst the trio's lasers and strobe lights. Glass is every much the more aggressive Karen O. of the coming-of-age tween set, with her performance less about shock and booze and more about anger and pessimism. We trekked over to the Black stage a few minutes before the end of the Castles set to get a spot for Danzig set out and to see the end of the Gorilla Biscuits. Anthony Civarelli is still an empowering frontman capable of whipping hardcore crowd up into a healthy mosh. That side of the Black stage felt very much like a family reunion compared to the rest of the festival. Cuts from 1989's tough-guy hardcore classic Start Today still manage to resound two decades after their release.
Got to have a "Mother" for me: Danzig
Danzig has been a spotty performer in the last five years or so as the years have assuredly taken their toll, but the man can still command respect because of his utter God-like status amongst Goths and punkers alike. It's just a shame that he cannot always return the warmth, and having ten security guards up at the front of your stage swatting down the digital cameras of your fanbase does nothing to help your image. Even still, the Danzig we saw last night was on point, even talkative with the crowd. That's more than we can say about his tantrum last year at the House of Blues. This Danzig joked with the crowd and even at instance instructed us to scream so loud that "even Houston could hear." (See guys, not everyone forgets about Houston.) Closing out his park-curfew skating set with "Mother," Danzig delivered exactly what the crowd wanted, even if we may never get the Misfits and Samhain set we all think we deserve. So when's South By Southwest again? Really, only four months? Sweet Jesus...
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