Fun Fun Fun Fest: MGMT and Bad Religion Cap A Great Saturday

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Oh, the decisions. As was the case last year, Fun Fun Fun's Saturday schedule forced some hard choices; today's toughest might be Washed Out and Deerhunter's simultaneous sets, thought there are plenty of other conflicting sets. But one of the things that makes Fun Fun Fun great is that the three main stages are just a minute's walk apart. There's some sound bleed, but it's hardly noticeable except between songs.

A few short recaps from last night:

Man Man
The exuberant experimental Philly group's influences are all over the map, an odd mix of soul horns, trippy Rhodes and saloon-style piano and melodies that at times bring to mind old-timey vaudeville and gypsy music. I hadn't gotten into them before, but I get it after seeing them live, maybe because it had a kind of tribal percussion feel to it.

Dirty Projectors
The coed Brooklyn collective sounded great on the Orange Stage, giving the poppy, folky songs and brittle metallic riffs from Bitte Orca a larger-than-life sound. "It sucks we're playing at the same time as GWAR," singer David Longstreth remarked; fun as GWAR was, the Projectors' was by far the more interesting set, even without costumes.

I was disappointed that I didn't witness any blood- or other fluid-spewing during the three songs I checked out. The experience up close must be different, but from a distance it looked like old farts in ridiculous costumes--though it's impressive they're so nimble at laying out tight, sleazy riffs despite the bulky outfits.

With a great light show and polished performance, this was definitely the highlight of the night even if the material mostly came from the oddball Congratulations, which sounds to me like Ween doing '60s psych rock. Live, though, the contrast between the sound of material from great Oracular Spectacular and its follow-up wasn't quite so sparse--though it was clear from the explosive reaction to "Kids" and "Time To Pretend" which was the crowd favorite.

As intriguing as his beats are, watching the guy create them live just doesn't have the same appeal as watching a full band play. The crowd was fairly sparse, too--only the die-hard hip-hops chose him over MGMT.

Bad Religion
I'm way late getting into these guys, but consider me a convert. After MGMT's super-cool set, it was great to see some old-school dudes rock so hard, going all the way back to the beginning for closer "We're Only Gonna Die"--which sounds so much more relevant and urgent than 99.9 percent of the crap that passes for punk these days.

Up today are Polvo, Washed Out, The Hold Steady and a triple headline bill of A-Trak, The Descendents and Mastodon to close the Festival this year.

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