Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fun Fun Fun Fest 2011: Day 2 (Part 2)

Cold Cave

Oh Cold Cave. What happened? To be completely fare, it really wasn't Cold Cave's fault that they had a terrible show. They were set in the mid afternoon, which was discovered to be a terrible time for them because they can't use lights or even the dark to amplify the mood of their songs. So instead it just looked liked three guys standing there making moody synthy music. To be fare Wesley Eisold and Dominick Fernow played with passion, especially Fernow who played his synth more lively aggressively then I think I've ever seen anyone play it. Still, it wasn't enough, and I left early...


...and went straight to see M83 pull it off right. Of course M83 is much better suited for big, wide open festival crowds and doesn't need a certain atmosphere to work like Cold Cave's. Still, it was impressive to go see a band truly pull off a festival show. And pull off a show they did. While I'm sure their set would have been even more impressive if their lights would have been working, they still manged to bring their songs to life. All of M83's songs are really anthems, but their scope is sometimes forgotten until they are placed in a live setting. It was big and audacious, and just what I need after Cold Cave's set.

Childish Gambino

If Community ever gets cancelled (and let us pray that never happens), Donald Glover can look forward to a process career in hip-hop. It felt like Fun Fun Fun Fest was his coming out party. Augmented by a four piece band rather than his usual laptop, Glover/Childish Gambino was in full force all throughout the set. Cycling through his old indie rock mixtape stuff to his newer, more focused material, Childish Gambino never lost a beat. He let the emotions and humor of the songs pour out, but never treated the set like a joke. Near the end of the set he crawled on top of the amplifiers and just glazed intensely into the crowd as the band played on, both saying “I can’t believe this is happening” and “Damn right this is happening”. And that moment, more than anything sums up everything Childish Gambino was about during his set.


What do I need to say? The best show of Fun Fun Fun Fest, hands down. Spoon's slightly small touring schedule these days can make people forget that what a force they are live, but no one leaving their show that Saturday night would be forgetting that fact anytime soon. Decking the stage in genius lighting via strings of light bulbs, Spoon proceeded to rock harder than those bulbs could ever glow. It was one classic song after another; the likes "Got Nuffin", "Don't You Evah", "The Way We Get By" all played with the same vigor as the other. They even pulled in a horn section (which frontman Britt Daniel announced with glee) for the likes of "The Underdog" and "Jonathan Fisk". They were just stupendous, pulling off a fierecness that was equally dazzling. Midway through their five (!) song encore, Daniel's declared "We don't know what song to play, we didn't think we would play this much". Of course Spoon was giving more than they had planned. It wouldn't have been Fun Fun Fun Fest, and they wouldn't be Spoon if they hadn't.

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