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FFF Fest day 1 recap: Mineral, Run the Jewels, Knapsack, Judas Priest, DFA 1979, Blood Brothers & more

words by Andrew Sacher / photos via @bvaustin

Mineral / Run the Jewels / King Diamond fans @ FFF Fest 11/7/2014

A photo posted by BVAustin (@bvaustin) on


A photo posted by BVAustin (@bvaustin) on


A photo posted by BVAustin (@bvaustin) on


Austin’s annual music festival Fun Fun Fun Fest kicked off on Friday and, apart from the line troubles stemming from its new location, featured a stacked lineup like always, spanning punk, metal, hip hop, dance and more, with plenty of the old as well as the new. On top of that you could walk by wrestling matches, BMX competitions, standup comedy and more fun.

Over at the Orange Stage early on, Knapsack and Mineral repped ’90s emo. Knapsack had reunited in 2013 and initially said that was it but fortunately they still had more in them and came back for this, while Mineral have been on a reunion tour for a couple months. The two bands pulled from totally different sides of the spectrum. Knapsack’s punky songs were the more “fun” of the two, and those guys looked like they were having a blast on stage too. Mineral on the other hand brought the delicate guitars and post-rock crescendos, giving the crowd something to zone out. Both bands played like the seasoned veterans they are, but they’ve still got that youthful spirit that music like this came from.

After that on the Blue Stage came two veterans who are pushing things forward, Run the Jewels, the collaborative project of Killer Mike and El-P that sounds entirely modern. They take the hardcore rap that both of them came up and revitalize it with futuristic beats that doesn’t really sound like any of the other hip hop at FFF this weekend. Both Killer Mike and El-P have a fair share of serious songs, but they have fun with RTJ — including some lighthearted Sun Kil Moon ribbing — and got the crowd going harder than anyone else I saw that day.

The Blood Brothers

A photo posted by BVAustin (@bvaustin) on

Then the Black Stage made it feel a little more like 2004 as post-hardcore maniacs The Blood Brothers came on, followed by dance-punk duo Death From Above 1979, both of whom expressed mutual admiration for the other from the stage. The Blood Brothers have been reunited this year, have only played less than 10 shows so far, and they’re still the totally wild band that made Burn Piano Island, Burn. It only took seconds for the front of the crowd to turn into a crazed mosh pit which one of their singers spent about a third of the show in.

While Blood Brothers was all old favorites, DFA1979 put out their first new album since their 2004 debut this year and played a lot of that. It pretty much just sounds like their older material though, so the whole thing sounded like classic Death From Above. Plus by then the sun had set and their light show was killer, lightup elephant trunk faces included.

Going back further in time was the headlining set on the Black Stage from Judas Priest, who brought 40 years of metal to their hour and a half set that had zero dull moments. Priest gave classic after classic and even when they worked in stuff from their new album they ripped as hard as the old favorites. Rob Halford is still the amazing frontman you’d want him to be, and really the whole band was on fire — even the new guy Richie Faulkner they have on guitar. I’m usually iffy when the young, recently-added member of a legendary band tries to show off at all, but that dude shreds.

We’ll have a recap of the rest off FFF Fest 2014 (as well as full picture sets from all three days) soon. Meanwhile, you can check out lots more pics on the @BVAustin instagram.

UPDATE: Day 2 recap HERE. Day 3 recap HERE.

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