Summer Fest Saturday: A Sizzler With Beirut, Big Boi, Black Joe, Fucked Up, Sharon Jones, Ween & More

Ed. Note: We're not done yet...

MORE OF SUMMER FEST Reviews: Last Night: Weezer At Free Press Summer Fest Summer Fest Sunday: Peak Fun With B L A C K I E, Hayes Carll, Guitar Wolf, Yeasayer, Robert Ellis & More

Slideshows: Summer Fest 2011: The Crowds Summer Fest 2011: National Acts Houston Bands at Summer Fest 2011 Private Party with Big Boi and Crown Royal

Chris Gray: I think the quickest way to sum up Summer Fest, environmentally, is in fact biologically: In eight hours at the festival Saturday, hydrating continuously with mostly water, I made my own water once, shortly before Beirut. Sunday, in seven hours on only water, I did not see that horse until well after I had gone to Leon's Lounge to piece together my thoughts and pick over The New York Times.

Saturday, my musical blue ribbon goes to Rusted Shut's Don Walsh screaming "Kill! Kill! Kill!" for several minutes (or what seemed like several minutes) over lurching Frankenstein guitars and Ralf Armin's wandering tenor sax. This was going on at the same time as, high on a hill up above, Buxton was enchanting dozens of doe-eyed fans with an otherworldly blend of Bill Monroe and Bright Eyes.

There was more - Big Boi's double-time barrage of OutKast hits, some chosen by the crowd; Indian Jewelry's chopped-and-screwed approach to droney dance music (was that Blondie I heard?); Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears' scorching soul, bumped up to a gospel plane by Dallas' the Relatives - but those two bands, at precisely the same time, made a perfect microcosm of both the city and Summer Fest: It's a big, sprawling motherfucker riddled with pockets of psychosis and beauty.

Houston: You're soaking in it. Strap in.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
The Houston Press is a nationally award-winning, 31-year-old publication ruled by endless curiosity, a certain amount of irreverence, the desire to get to the truth and to point out the absurd as well as the glorious.
Contact: Houston Press