Fun Fun Fun Fest Day 3: Afrikaa Baambataa, Alvvays, Andrew Jackson Jihad, Ms Lauryn Hill
The final day of Fun Fun Fun wasn’t packed with music for me. Most of my day was spent in the media area waiting to do interviews. I did make it out to see a few good sets, including two I’d been waiting for forever.
First I saw Afrikaa Baambataa do a DJ set that got more crowd interaction than a regular performance. Afrikaa brought his crew amd they did a great job getting people hyped up. They brought a bunch of dancers from the audience up on stage for a B-boy B-girl dance off that included a dude dressed up as a lion!
It was a couple hours before I made it back out to see some of Alvvays set on the orange stage. I’d been meaning to see them, but every time they’ve been to Chicago I’ve had something else to do. They sounded good and gave a nice sendoff to the sun as it started to dip as they ended their show.
Andrew Jackson Jihad stole the day with a dizzying display on the smallest of the Fun Fun Fun stages. They blasted through some of their best numbers, “Kokopeli Face Tattoo,” “Do Re Mi,” and a special “Linda Ronstadt” dedicated to Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Leatherface actor Gunnar Hansen who just passed. They also played a brand new song (Eagle something. Golden Eagle? American Eagle? I can’t remember) that was very good.
At 815, when Lauryn Hill was scheduled to perform, she was not on thr stage. To the shock of no one. A DJ came out and got thecrowd going playing cuts from the 90’s and early 2000’s. I guess dancing to House Of Pain was supposed to make us forget that the show was going on 15 minutes late, but we knew.
As a big fan of Hill’s MTV Unplugged performance, I enjoyed hearing some of those songs fleshed out with a full band behind her. “Mystery Of Iniquity,” “Mr Intentional,” and especially “Peace Of Mind” were brilliantly arranged and worked perfectly. Eventually she got up off the couch where she was seated playing guitar and launched into some of her better known hits. The version of “Ex-Factor” she played unleashed a fury of guitars as her band tried to outdo the original’s Carlos Santana. They succeeded in that and I was blown away.
We left the VIP/Media area up front where Lauryn Hill fans were dancing and getting crazy and sat at a table behind the soundboard for the rest of the set. Hill’s voice was smooth as ever, and the sections where she was rapping were fast and hard-hitting. She definitely hasn’t lost a step despite not releasing a studio album in almost 20 years.
And that ended the Fun Fun Fun. We had a good time and saw a lot of great music (and some not so great). I also ate frozen bananas at a place called Bananarchy all three days, and I don’t regret it at all. They have one called The GOB and if you’re ever in Austin I recommend hitting them up.