The Good, The Bad and the Damned:
day 2 in Austin, Nov. 5, 2011
by Michael Passman
Fun Fun Fun Fest ’11 opened up with a blast. The dust didn’t settle for Day Two. It kicked up.
Luckily, sponsors both large and small gave out bandanas to make a scene
somewhere between Straight To Hell and Sandanista. Unfortunately, no such thing exists for
For those who skipped the late night festivities from Friday or
were able to get up and nurse themselves to life with Topo Chico and tacos,
they were treated to the likes of Shapes Have Fangs, Blackie, and Future
Islands. T-Bird and The Breaks hit The
Blue Stage at Two with a rousing, high energy, set of swingin’ soul that got
the crowd moving. (Go here to see our report from Day 1.)
Bird and The Breaks: Blue Stage
Later that afternoon on The Black Stage, ‘80s death metal men
Dead Horse reminded everyone it’s never too early to put in earplugs with a
furious set of guitar thrash and pounding drums.
2: Dead Horse: Black Stage
Chamber pop darlings Ra Ra Riot took the Orange Stage a half mile
or so away shortly afterwards and wowed the now almost awake afternoon crowd.
3: Ra Ra Riot: Orange
Going on simultaneously was Cold Cave on the Blue Stage and
Johnny Pemberton on The Blue Stage. With
things in full swing Saturday and a much larger crowd, it was harder to
navigate as easily, but I got back over to The Black Stage to catch Paint It
Black, which felt like an ‘80s hardcore punk show, despite the large stage, the
growing dust, and the lingering aroma from Danzig’s prima donna antics the
night before with Den Yernin’s intensity and readiness to bring the wall down between
the stage and the devoted crowd.
4: Paint It Black: The Black Stage
5: Dan Yernin uniting with the crowd, Paint It Black: The Black
A hurried jaunt back over to The Orange Stage brought Girls, a
slower tempo Cali act known for songs of love, heartbreak, and pizza. The mic stands and organ were fully adorned
with fresh flowers, the back up singers grooved, and I’m always a sucker for a
Rickenbacker guitar. Co-lead Christopher
Owens strumming on his Maple Glo was a little personal treat for the weekend.
7. Christopher Owens, Girls
Before I knew it, it got late.
It was time for ’77 UK punk legends The Damned! They took The Black Stage at nine and owned
it and the crowd from start to finish.
The Damned have gone back and forth over the past 15 years from small to
mid size clubs. I’ve seen them in both
in the late ‘90s. Despite their always
semi goth leanings, they felt like a punk band stuck in a goth club, and looked
that way, too. The addition of an
keyboard player and Dave Vanian’s return to his true inner showman brought the
crowd to life. There was a home for
everyone during songs like New Rose, Neat Neat Neat, their wailing cover of The
Stooges “I Feel Alright”, a song from the seminal ‘80s Black Album, and the
closing “Smash It Up”. The crowd was
completely mixed and elated. In
legendary punk rock fashion, the crowd became one. Phenomenal.
8: Damned One: Dave Vanian
Two: Captain Sensible
Three: The Damned (1 + 1 + 1= Damned, Damned, Damned!)