Bayou City

The Best Things Overheard at FPSF 2016

*** Who had the best time ever at the festival? Probably LA Clippers center DeAndre Jordan, who was seen hitting the Quan at the Mercury Stage during Tory Lanez and A$AP Ferg's set, as well as during Trae Tha Truth's set. The Houston native was all smiles as he stood onstage and waved to the crowd all while Snapchatting away.

*** “Four shots of Fireball before noon was a mistake.”

*** “So this is where mediocre quarterback play happens.”
– pointing to NRG Stadium

*** “I’m too damn old for a three-day festival.”
– dude who couldn’t have been more than 25, referencing ACL Fest

*** “Who’s Built to Spill?”
– the '90s child in me died a little after hearing this

*** Overall, the Mars stage felt like Romper Room. The worst, sadly, was during kick-ass DJ Zeds Dead, to the point that it almost ruined portions of the set. Kids at music festivals need to learn the ropes and stop acting like such little dicks. It's not cool to aggressively push your way through the crowd when an "excuse me" would get you the same results. I actually yelled at a kid, "Dude! Take a softer approach!" which at first made me feel old, but then made me feel rich in the wisdom I've gathered over my years of festival life.

*** “The stars at night are big and bright!”
[All of FPSF claps in response]
“Works every got-damn time.”
– Big Boi of Big Grams

*** “That’s gonna be me when I have kids.”
– teenage girl who saw me walking through the festival with my seven-year-old

*** Chicano Batman is amazing. They sound like Ritchie Valens playing Lowrider Oldies. And yes, that is about as awesome as they sound.

*** Spotted: A kid in a vintage Reagan/Bush '84 tee

*** The "No Totems" rule made the fest incredibly more comfortable. At first, when rave totems were on the rise, they were amusing and funny and a great way to find friends. But like anything else, they got insanely played out and annoying. It was a joy to actually be able to see the stages this year.

*** Shout-out to the cute couple near the Neptune stage who were dancing to Leon Bridges's amazing voice and old-school sound. You guys were getting down in the most wholesome way possible. Kudos also to everyone in the crowd for Preservation Hall Jazz Band. It was refreshing to see so many fans of real, honest music played on traditional instruments instead of the electronic everything that the rest of the lineup suffered from.

*** “Deadpool!!!”
– guy rocking a Deadpool T-shirt and wearing a Deadpool mask

*** The Chainsmokers weren’t exactly the most memorable act on FPSF’s Sunday slate, but at least you could dance to them. Not everybody did, though. While the Chainsmokers blasted out a couple of radio hits and added some beats to some old-school “rock shit” they grew up with (The Killers), I saw a trio of teenage girls dancing their butts off to somebody’s phone instead. No earbuds, no speakers, just jamming out to some inaudible nonsense tinkling out of a Galaxy S. I sort of hope it was the Chainsmokers.

*** When the beat dropped on the first Chainsmokers song, the water spigot in the crowd turned on, spraying everyone within 20 feet of it, perfectly timed to the music. Not sure if it was intentional, but it was hilarious.

*** A couple behind me screamed for Doug Martsch of Built to Spill as if he were Justin Bieber.

*** Local artist Patrick Renner's art installations were an awesome way to usher in the crowds at the front gate. Houston fell in love with Renner's work when Funnel Tunnel was on Montrose Boulevard, and were happy to see his local art represented at their hometown fest.

*** Fun fact you may not realize if the bulk of your concerts are witnessed in Houston: When EDM artists come to the H, they often slip in dirtier, grungier hip-hop samples than they do in other cities. The community knows that Houston loves some skanky-ass rap, and for that, you should feel proud.

*** “It doesn't matter who you vote for because you just paid money to watch a bunch of pinkos from Sweden play."
— Refused singer Dennis Lyxzén

*** Crooked middle fingers to the shaved-chest doctoral candidate who kept saying, “Play some punk shit! Play some fuckin’ old shit!” between Refused’s songs. He didn’t yell it. He didn’t say it to anyone in particular. He just kept grousing to the cluster of people immediately surrounding him while a legendary band making its first appearance in Houston took breaks from making the rest of the fest’s acts feel like wimps. Their new stuff sounded great. They were absolutely killing it, and this guy is whining about not hearing songs from the ’90s whose names he can’t even remember. I’d removed myself from his negativity by the end, but when they finally played “New Noise,” I bet he went off, like, super hard.

Somewhere over the rainbow, in between Mac DeMarco's meh set and Trae Tha Truth's ripoff show lay the Malibu Beach House. In between these two disappointments was a real live pot of gold: a pop-up performance by Matt and Kim, up close and personal. The duo's Saturday night concert (one of the best of the fest) cemented them as the world's most fun band, and Sunday afternoon's intimate performance only drove the point home. It's impossible to be in a bad mood while watching a Matt and Kim set. They are a fucking party.

“How do you guys deal with swamp ass down here? It’s like it’s wet and itchy all at the same time.”
— Kim of Matt and Kim

First of all, I want to thank Fresh And Clean Media for the larger media tent they were able to provide this year. Thanks also the AC for making sure we didn't overheat. It was actually too cold on Saturday evening, enough that I could see my breath in front of me. It was downright frigid at one point that some of us had to leave or else suffer from hypothermia. Luckily, the settings were lowered on Sunday to normal. Talk about a first-world problem!

“You must evacuate and take shelter before it comes again. Head to the exit before it gets too bad.”
– A security guard pleading with the passively oppositional crowd after the rain had stopped

Against Me! doing a stellar rendition of The Clash's "Train in Vain," just songs before they were rained out. What a moment!

“It smells like a zoo.”
— upon arriving at Day 2

“What happens when DJs get arthritis?”

Written by Selena Dieringer, Clint Hale, Jack Gorman, David Sackllah, Nathan Smith and Marco Torres
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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray