The Worst Things We Saw at Fun Fun Fun Fest 2015
Wu-Tang Clan at Fun Fun Fun Fest
Photo by Roger Ho
That's On Me: By pure coincidence, I ended up setting in the media tent across from someone who was supposed to be interviewed, according to their PR person, by the Houston Press. Life is weird like that sometimes: you choose a place to sit because your feet hurt, and you end up sitting across a stranger that is supposed to talk to someone like you. And in that moment I felt bad because I didn't want that person to be feel like they were wasting their time. So I did the only thing I thought I could do: I started asking them questions. Bad call. What was meant to be a gesture of "sorry this is weird, let's try to make something out of it" became me, I assume, coming off like kind of a clueless dick. So, to Future Death: please accept my apology. You guys were really good at The Sidewinder, once I found out what you sounded like.
The 300: I made the choice to leave the fest early on Saturday so that I could for sure get in to The Sidewinder to check out Moving Panoramas. This was a wise choice, because they were opening for Future Islands, and the booking gods put that show featuring a band that was one of the biggest of the festival in a room that only holds 300 people. The line outside the club ended up being massive, as you might expect, with at times hundreds of folks standing around, hope springing eternal that they might against all odds get in. Me? I left so that someone who might want to see the headliners could have my spot... and also because the floor outdoors at The Sidewinder is hella uncomfortable. I love the idea of FFF Nites, but I wish you didn't have to sacrifice fest time to get a good spot for the night.
— Cory Garcia
Wu-Tang Clan: With a lineup as stacked as Fun Fun Fun Fest, it still became abundant at the Blue Stage on Saturday night that everyone was waiting to see what kind of set Wu-Tang wou;d bring. Almost every band and fan at the fest had grown up on them, so it seemed a safe bet to think they would be the premiere headliner of the whole weekend.
Instead, they produced a set which was largely contrived and built from broken parts of a massive whole. With the absence of Method Man, Ghostface Killah, and Raekwon, the set devolved into the Wu-Tang B-listers spitting their stuff in a half-drunken haze, trying desperately to seem cool in the wave of much more vital and relevant trends. While I'll always have respect for Wu-Tang, they need every living member to thrive. Otherwise, is it even Wu-Tang?
Delays on Saturday: When I finally made it through the gate and got to see live music, I felt properly compensated. Yet, still, it felt like a cop-out that the festival needed to “resod” ground in the fields around Auditorium Shores, forcing a rain delay which held off the festival for over an hour.
Not only did this force the earliest bands to get bumped, but it showed a distinct lack of planning aptitude on the part of the festival organizers. They had access to the same weather forecasts we did and could have easily predicted the downfalls. Instead, they chose to make fans wait outside in the cold and rain.
It was a scenario I felt like had been promised would not happen again after last year. Then, for an hour,it did. This sort of shoddy planning and scheduling was old last year, much less after a promise to keep control of the audience. At this point, you might as well move them to Oakland.
— Corey Dieterman
Photo by Greg Giannukos
Wu-Tang Clan, Hold The Clan: With the exception of Ghostface Killah, Method Man, and Raekwon, this version of Wu-Tang is exponentially less nothing to fuck with. I mean, they are definitely legends, and they can get away with one missing member or two, but three of the best dudes in the crew? C'mon son! I ran into a friend walking away from the stage, with a disappointed look on his face. "I'm rapping every other line cuz those guys aren't even there!" he told me. Gza's solo spoken word set on the Yellow Stage earlier in the day was something different and amazing, as he dropped lyrically powerful poetic lines and existential stanzas onto the engaged and curious crowd. He left us with such lines as "The vibrations of the universe is the background to the sounds that we call music." I would have much rather sat through him saying stuff like this over and over than their actual performance.
SchoolBoyQ: Although the Top Dawg Entertainment lieutenant's was still pretty great, it was nothing like the raw, hardcore Schoolboy that played this same stage and festival three years ago. Back then he was fresh off the heels of his Habits & Contradictions album with the smash hit "Hands On The Wheel". He spent most of that time bouncing around the stage without his shirt on. Flash forward to this year, and it was a more subdued Q wearing a dashiki. He also stated that he was trying to kick a cold or the flu, so his DJ filled in some time playing Kendrick Lamar tracks. I gotta admit though... seeing "Shabba" and "Work" performed live is simply astonishing.
— Marco Torres