The "little fest that could" is growing up right before our eyes, and this year — now in its eighth incarnation — Fun Fun Fun Fest has reached an adolescent heyday. If you were tuned in to hip-hop, punk and metal during in the '80s and '90s, the fest might be your heyday, too, thanks to a mix of first-time performers and returning headliners.
In this Fun Fun Fun preview, we take a look at a host of old-school, throwback headliners gracing the festival's stages this weekend. Embrace your awkward teenage self and revel in these five old-school delights.
No stranger to the spotlight, or the name change, Snoop Dogg has been reincarnated twice as of late: first, for a reggae stint as Snoop Lion, and just this week as Snoopzilla for a new funk project. Cheesy name changes aside, it's hard to argue with his smooth, laid-back hip-hop sounds that have been a force in the genre since the early 1990s. Ease into the festival with a "Gin and Juice" Friday night.
With 30 years of rock under their belts, the latest lineup of Misfits (sans Danzig) are connecting to a growing fan base — one that's looking for the raw roots of punk. Punk rock's original "monster squad" — albeit with new faces — delivers hardcore sounds and raw theatrics. (No French onion soup here.) Make a late-night trip to Elysium to catch the Misfits tear up the famed corner of Seventh Street and Red River.
A punk rock product of '80s adolescent disenchantment, the Descendents burst onto the scene in 1982 with Milo Goes to College. The band's' catalog of short, power-punk anthems fed the hunger of nerdy outcasts while shunning the Top 40 sounds of the era. Channel your dormant teen angst and meet these Fun Fun Fun Fest alumni at the Black Stage on Saturday night. (You can also brush up on the band's history at a Drafthouse screening of Filmage this week.)
The Blue Stage offers a rare chance to get back to the basics of West Coast rap with a headlining appearance by Ice-T. He was a figure in the genre in the '80s, but his 1991 release, O.G. Original Gangster, established him as a genre pioneer. Controversy aside (think back to 1992's "Cop Killer"), Ice-T's mainstream appeal solidifies his place as hip-hop royalty.
Sure, Slayer has rocked Fun Fun Fun Fest before, but if the fest has taught us anything, it's to catch the masters while you can. After the Danzig disaster of 2011, Slayer became the savior of the weekend, delivering a solid thrash-metal set of "songs about death, destruction and Satan." Slayer returns to close out this year's festival with a headlining slot on Sunday night. If you missed the metal before, this is your chance for redemption.
Fun Fun Fun Fest takes place November 8-10 at Auditorium Shores.