Bayou City

The Worst Acts of FPSF 2016

Referring to the crowd as "essentially a FEMA camp," Modest Mouse began their set off-color. Now, I'm not one to hold stage banter against artists (unless they mistake our fair city for Dallas), but vocalist Isaac Brock's faux pas only served to emphasize the band's disappointing showing. Modest Mouse reimagined and reinterpreted a number of their songs Saturday night, which they of course had every right to do, but the final product was underwhelming. Brock seemed to be in a rush, as if he just wanted to get the set over with and retire to his trailer. Near the end of their headlining set, the band began playing "Ocean Breathes Salty." It wasn't sped up or revised, and the opening chords put some pep back in the crowd's collective step...until Brock abruptly ended the song, saying, "Nah, fuck that noise. I didn't eat shit all day," and performing "The Tortoise and the Tourist" instead, abandoning a beloved classic for a run-of-the-mill track off last year's Strangers to Ourselves. What the hell, guys? MATTHEW KEEVER

Sound pollution was a significant problem all weekend at the fest, but it felt particularly bad on Sunday, when performers on the Mars and Mercury stages often felt like they were competing. There was really only one way that game could end: The Mars sound system overpowered Mercury’s pretty easily, and it sucked a lot of the fun out of some of the sets over there. I wasn’t completely buying Yung Lean’s sad-sack raps to begin with, but it was damn hard to settle into the groove when Mac Miller was ruining eardrums with aggressive, supersonic bass, like, 100 yards away. Free Press Summer Fest should examine its NRG layout, determine how it found itself in the middle of an unintended white rap battle and take the steps necessary to ensure that kind of wack shit isn’t a concern in the future. NATHAN SMITH

So you love hip-hop and couldn't wait to see Trae the Truth? Well, hope you got to his set on time. Despite the fact that Trae was only slotted for a 50-minute set to begin with, he left the stage with 25 minutes to spare. Dude — that was literally half of your already-short set. In a seeming effort to soften this blow, he went out on a decent Screw sample that everyone (naturally) loved. But adding insult to injury, the five minutes before the Screw sample were spent debating which song to play. So, what is the total actual set here, like 20 minutes? Not cool. These people are out in the rain and heat waiting to hear you, and you only gave them 20 minutes? What if someone had to pee? *poof* The whole set would have been over! SELENA DIERINGER

Psychedelic rock is having a fantastic moment, with bands like Tame Impala and Wavves stretching traditional definitions of the genre into new and interesting territories. Mac DeMarco is not one of these artists. Plainly put, his whole set felt lazy. It was somehow equal parts self-indulgent and idle at the same time. Nothing was quite enough — the vocals were half-assed and the guitar felt languid, all of it too self-important for one to care. But the shittiest part of this set was walking across the fest over to Trae the Truth just for him to stop playing at the same time, making Sunday's 4:10 p.m. block the low point of the weekend. SELENA DIERINGER
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