We realize that not everyone has the good fortune of living in the great state of Texas, but between SXSW, Chaos in Tejas, Rites of Darkness and Austin's anti-ACL, Fun Fun Fun Fest, we feel the Lone Star State has got the lock on kickass music festivals and and you're really missing out if you haven't made the trek down for at least one of them.
If you're fortunate enough to make it to Austin this weekend for Fx3, use this guide to help you decide who to see, where to park and (duh) what to eat.
On the one hand, there isn't Slayer. On the other hand, you're not tired yet. Whether this is you first or fifth Fx3, the first day is not slacking at all. We're here to help you sift through the crap and make the most out of the festival.
Onward into battle.
Let's get this parking thing out of the way first and foremost. There isn't a whole lot of it, and while that may sound like your average day in Austin, festival situations tend to make things wacky. The organizers strongly encourage you take alternative transportation - they've got a whole guide here with info on bike parking, shuttles, bus routes, and how to not get towed. Nothing is less metal than getting towed.
The first band worth seeing on Friday are Doomriders, a.k.a. when Nate Newton of Converge decides that he wants to ROCK. “Come Alive” and “Bear Witness” to one hell of a wake-up call. Espresso ain't got shit on these dudes. Immediately after them, From Ashes Rise will pillage the Shores. If you couldn't stay awake for Tragedy during Chaos, this will make up for it. From here, you can go one of two ways. If you're got something to prove and want to settle it in the pit, Bane will help you through the process. In the immortal words of Sarge D: YOU'RE MOSHING! But if you wanna freak, Omar Souleyman may be more your thing. The Syrian musician makes infectiously catchy dance tunes that worship at the altar of the Casio. Missed him during Chaos? You just got a second chance. If you want the dance party to continue, Big Freedia (also a Chaos veteran) will do that and more. Erick's got the scoop on her in his expanded non-metal recommendations. There's a small lull after the Queen of Bounce (Russian Circles = YOU'RE SNOOZING!), but when it comes to closing off the night, Fx3 could not have done a better job.
On the Black Stage, you've got Danzig Legacy. Here, Glenn himself will dust off tunes from the Misfits and Samhain, in addition to his solo material. Better yet, he'll bring out Doyle for the Misfits tunes, and unless Richard Branson wants a reunion, it's as close to one as you'll get. Whether someone decides to spill ashes on his stage or not, as what happened at Danzig's first Fx3 in 2009, it's still going to be a show for the ages. As far as we're concerned, it's still Halloween. Concurrently on the Blue Stage, Public Enemy will be showing the young'ins how it's done. I saw them last year in Chicago, and while the show was poorly promoted, they put on a sold-out-quality performance. Flava Flav still has it even after his VH1 haze, leaving no inch of the stage unused. Cuts like “By the Time I Get to Arizona” and “Fight the Power” are as relevant today as they were when they first shut the game down. Whichever path you choose, disappointment is not in the cards.
Afterwards, come party with us at Red 7 (that is, if you have a wristband - totally serious, you will NOT get into any aftershows without a wristband) where we'll catch encore performances from Doomriders and From Ashes Rise. And without barricades, those nuisances, things will be wilder for sure. Making exclusive appearances will be Orange County grinders Phobia, local death metallers Mammoth Grinder, and the ever powerviolent Mindless. We ain't frontin' – you better come out. You might even catch us grabbing a slice at Hoboken Pie once we've out-flossed everybody in the club.
Check in with Saturday and Sunday picks in the next couple days.