Fun Fun Fun Fest – The Black Stage

The Sword

It’s almost my birthday (I’ll be 34 … yeah, I’m old) so that can only mean one thing: Fun Fun Fun Fest! While I’ll be making the rounds at all the stages this year, I’m going to concentrate on the Black stage for the moment and give you my opinions on who you should be checking out among the faster, louder, and heavier acts playing at Auditorium Shores this weekend.
On the more metal side of the FFFFest spectrum this year check out Austin’s The Sword (Sat at 8p) with their sonic epics, Burning Love’s balls out metal (Fri at 12:30p), Red Fang’s heavy, stoner-infused tunes (Sat at 1:55p), and an old favorite of mine: Converge (Fri at 5:15p). Hailing from Massachusetts, Converge were a major player in the hardcore scene of the early 90’s. Their lightning fast onslaught of guitars coupled with enormous, bellowing vocals are a big part of what came to define the Hydra Head Records sound. While not entirely rare, they don’t play live too often so enjoy it while you can.

For your classic hardcore fix we’ve got Off! (Sat at 4:45p) and Youth of Today (Sat at 6:20p), both bands hailing from or having connection to the first and second waves of hardcore and providing that angular aggression that the genre is known for. For a more classic punk sound check out Denton’s Riverboat Gamblers (Sat at 4p) or Austin’s own Flesh Lights (Sun at 11:50a). While Flesh Lights rep that Austin garage punk style, Riverboat Gamblers have a more updated sound, similar to punk revivalists Dead to Me.

Rounding out my list on a more modern hardcore tip are 90’s Pacific Northwest punks Seaweed (Sat at 5:30p), the melodic wall of sound that is Torche (Fri at 2:15p), La Dispute’s anxiety-ridden, technical hardcore (Sun at 2:50p), and last but not least Sweden’s legendary Refused (Sat at 8:50p). Having reunited earlier this year, Refused are perhaps best known for their brazenly titled final album The Shape of Punk to Come. Released in 1998 it just seemed like pretension at the time, but in the nearly 15 years since, it’s proven true more than once. With plenty of bands having referenced their explosive song structures and hoping beyond hope to ever play nearly as tight, Refused’s reunion this year has been huge in the punk and hardcore world and I’ve been eagerly awaiting their appearance at FunFunFunFest.

– Brian

Editor’s Recommended Nites shows for fans of the Black Stage:
Fri @ Holy Mountain (former space of the Beauty Bar) – featuring Burning Love, Power Trip, & Fight Amp
Sat @ Holy Mountain – featuring Retox, Regents, La Dispute, & Sainthood Reps
Sat @ The Parish – featuring Liturgy, Black Tusk, & Royal Thunder
Sun @ Red 7 – Outdoor – featuring Ceremony, Bleached, & Violent Bullshit