UPDATED Free Press Summer Fest: The Worst Things Inflicted Upon Us, 2013
Wille D and Scarface, minus Bushwick Bill
Photo by Marc Brubaker
UPDATED (Monday, 2:05 p.m.). Regarding the bottled-water situation and prices, with comments from FPSF director Omar Afra. See "Water Rights" on Page 2.
Geto Boys Get an "Incomplete" The absolute and definitive one goddamn thing I was truly looking forward to seeing at this year's festival was a reunited Geto Boys unleash their fury in the shadow of the downtown skyline. Regardless of the circumstances of Bushwick Bill's absence, and despite a still-tremendous effort by Willie D and Scarface, my biggest "must-see" quickly turned into my biggest disappointment and heartbreak of the year. Here's hoping it doesn't take another ten years before we see all three rappers perform together in Houston once again. MARCO TORRES
Twenty minutes after the Geto Boys were scheduled to perform, I began to wonder what could be happening backstage. I wondered what would happen if the show didn't. Scarface and Willie D eventually came out, but Bushwick Bill was a no-show. I was excited to finally see the former two rappers onstage together, but it disappointing that a third of the group was absent. Scarface and Willie D's show great, but the Geto Boys are a three-piece, and I came to see all of them. MATTHEW KEEVER
Mom-Jean Cutoffs... Seriously? The worst fashion trend I saw at the festival entailed young ladies wearing high-waisted, mom-jean cutoffs. Unless your name happens to be Lynda Carter, this is an unflattering look for your body type, and there aren't enough moccasin boots in the world to make it work. Judging by the sheer number of ill-fitting pairs I saw both days, though, this is probably the only kind of shorts that Forever 21 sells, so I guess we're all out of luck. NATHAN SMITH
Not For My Junk There wasn't really much to be negative about this year. Got hot? I went in a tent or in the shade. Beer cost too much? I drank tons of free water and felt the better for it. Got hungry? I ate Cracker Jack'd. I did wear bad shoes on Saturday but I was lucky enough to meet a girl who introduced me Monistat chafing cream, which I will be adding to my survival festival kit next time. Of course that's after loudly announcing while buying it that "this is for my feet, not my junk." APRIL BREM PATRICK
Waste Not, Want Not? The portapotties (is that how you spell that?) were overflowing -- like legitimately overflowing -- while Iggy Pop was playing. I don't need to spell out why that's the worst thing ever; it's pretty self-explanatory and really, really gag-inducing. Surely someone could have thought that shit out better, pun fully intended. ANGELICA LEICHT
Photo by Marco Torres
Kitty Pryde So I guess I'm glad I skipped TV on the Radio to go catch Kitty Pryde. I knew I would have to report on something bad from FPSF, and by 7 p.m. Sunday I was impressed by everything. I had nothing until I saw Kitty Pryde.
Look, I am always the first girl to encourage other women to pursue anything, particularly a male-dominated field like hip hop. But seriously, Kitty Pryde was terrible. She didn't believe in herself at all, and it was uncomfortably evident by her performance. Girl needs some confidence... and a lot of practice... before she takes it to a big stage. SELENA DIERINGER
Kitty Pryde (Again) I like to give everything a chance (there's a reason I've seen Nickelback and LMFAO in the last year), even when others warn me against it. Now, I don't really have an opinion on her music or her lyrical abilities, but Kitty may be one of the worst performers I've seen in ages.
Is there an opposite of energy? People where there to see her, yet she could only get the most aenmic of response from those assembled. Maybe she's better in the club, but I don't expect I'll be there to find out. CORY GARCIA
Bring Back the Super Happy Fun Land Stage There's a lot of things to bitch about with a festival like FPSF. The heat, the lack of outlets to charge your phone, the beer prices, the fact that water is a commodity to be charged money for, the bathroom lines, the heat, the heat, the heat.
But all that is typical fest stuff. What irks me is that there was no Super Happy Fun Land stage this year. That led to an appalling lack of Houston's strangest and most interesting experimental bands on the FPSF schedule. Where's the weird, FPSF? [There was a SHFL puppet trailer near the Mars stage -- Ed.] COREY DEITERMAN
Still Summer I realize everyone is tired of hearing the same old complaint, but said same old complaint is repeatedly cited for due reason: There is no -- as in zero -- reason to hold an annual two-day outdoor music festival in Houston, Texas in June. It's too damn hot. Period.
I think water should be cheaper. Actually, I think it should be free for press and media. (There, I said it!) Lastly, I loathe those "Fuck you, Houston's awesome" T-shirts. I saw so many of them this weekend. Sorry, but that slogan makes me cringe. NEPH BASEDOW
Water Rights UPDATE (Monday, 2:05 p.m.): According to FPSF director Omar Afra, Summer Fest charged $2 for a 12-ounce bottle of water in 2012, as opposed to $3 for a 24-ounce bottle of water this year. The festival also tripled the number of free-water stations and made several pallets of free bottled water available at the entrances, he said. Afra went on to say that he was the only FPSF official who went onstage to thank the crowd, and that his gratitude was sincere.
It's a pretty damn good festival when my chief complaint is the following, so let me get that out of the way right off the bat. I'm well aware that this is the "first world problems" equivalent as far as festivals go.
That being said, last year cold water was $1. This year, it was $3. Now, FPSF did still provide life-saving free water stations -- much to my chagrin, after prematurely tweeting otherwise -- but even still.
The festival has gotten more and more successful, and it's a shame its success has to manifest in a price increase for something as basic and necessary as cold water. The people of this city have made every single Summer Fest a huge success, and to have that response feels like a big ol' middle finger. We heard some FPSF personnel take the stage and verbally express their gratitude to the crowd, but actions like this do not back that supposed gratitude up. JOHN SEABORN GRAY
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