5. SlayerTurning around from photographing Slayer and seeing a dude in a wheelchair crowd surfing all the way up to the stage was easily a festival high point. This was hands down one of the most epic things I've ever witnessed at any fest or concert in my entire life. I was in awe of A.) This guy and B.) The jubilant metalheads smiling ear to ear as they passed him forward while violently headbanging to the positively lethal "Die By The Sword." Never did I think I'd get such feels from a heavy metal show. Also, I want to go on the record as saying that if I ever go deaf, my hearing loss can be traced back to this fateful Slayer set. 4. Nik Turner's Hawkwind Riding that King Khan high, I schlepped my fun (fun fun) ravaged self over to Red7 to see if I could catch a just-added Killer Mike FFF Nites performance. Turns out, I'm not good at paying attention to detail and the show, meant to make up for a disastrous daytime performance by the rapper that had been cut short due to sound issues, had taken place at 10. It was now 10:45. Womp. Luckily, as is often the case at music festivals, this was a happy bit of scheduling confusion kismet. Taking the stage were Austin hardcore gems, Wet Lungs, who just about blew the speakers off the walls and shook the beer right out of my can. Great as they were, though, the real score here was Nik Turner's Hawkwind. Seeing this 73-year-old legend clad in glitter facepaint scream-singing his space punk tunes into a mic with a saxophone strapped around his neck as his backing band ripped on their guitars at crazy high decibel levels was honestly inspiring. He's 73, you guys. What a magical badass this guy is. If you're curious, you can head over to the Ten Eleven tonight and see them for yourself. Photo by Isis Madrid 3. Daniel Johnston This was simply lovely. Ever since being turned onto Johnston after seeing Jeff Feuerzeig's "The Devil and Daniel Johnston" documentary back in college, experiencing this mythical indie rock creature in person has been on my musical bucket list. One time at SXSW I was thisclose to catching him at Hotel Vegas but a mix-up with a Nobunny set left me Johnston-less, still. (Nobunny totally rips live, though, for the record, and I'm happy about the way that mixup turned out for me. Another point, fest kismet.) Johnston was utterly adorable and had the crowd happily nestled in his humbling Johnston cocoon. From a touching rendition of "Hide Your Love Away" to crowd favorites a la "True Love Will Find You in the End," "Devil Town" and "Speeding Motorcycle" Johnston was the music fest equivalent of a cool glass of water. He was exactly what everyone in the oftentimes hellish Yellow tent needed: a pleasant, soothing, refreshingly honest bit of music. Photo by Isis Madrid 2. King Khan and the Shrines King Khan is truly like no other front man out there. Clad in bedazzled hot pants and a cape, the energy bomb that is Khan knows how to turn a show into a party. This set was easily the most fun I had all day. It should be no surprise, though, as King Khan and the Shrines are surely anything but newbs. They've been making their garage-punk-voodoo-soul mark around the globe since forming in Berlin back in 1999. Their popularity is certainly reaching a fever pitch these days, with more and more dance happy fans pledging their alliance to the master of psychedelic punk and his vivacious band with every gig they play. Count me in. 1. The Men If I saw them at midnight at their North Door show on Saturday night, that can count as day three, right? Because, let's be real, I did not make it to their early afternoon set on Sunday... Grimy, dirty, punk as fuck. Brooklyn's The Men took the cake this weekend for the hardest set you could bop your head to. The four piece outfit has really come into its own this year, with their latest,"New Moon" transporting them from straight up punk-land to punk-land with a chance of tighter tunes. While the catchy riffs and hooks could be considered an improvement (unless you prefer the messy distortion of their early stuff, which is cool too), the scuzz remains. After all, that's the heart of this uber talented group. If you ever get the chance to see these dudes live, do it. Seriously. Go.
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