10 Must See Bands at FPSF 2014

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I love FPSF. Every year, I get a little flack from my friends who insist it’s just gotta be too hot for a Houston festival in June. With the air-conditioned tents, I always find FPSF far more bearable than Austin’s fall mega-fest ACL, where there’s no escaping the heat. We live in Texas, so yeah, it’s a little warm. But FPSF’s craft cocktails, outstanding beer options, and A/C tents make the festival no problem to beat the heat. Assuming that you, like me, wouldn’t think twice about missing this great lineup from this up-and-coming festival that does it right, year after year, here’s a list of 10 bands you should make sure you see. Keep in mind, I’m assuming I don’t need to tell anyone not to miss Wu-Tang, Vampire Weekend, Twin Shadow, or Jack White. Some of the acts here may also go without saying, but I tried to skip headliners at least. Have fun, and if you’re out there, follow us on Instagram, we post high quality images while on site. See you out there!

1. Tune-Yards – Sunday – Neptune Stage – 3:50

This is one of the bands I’m most looking forward to seeing at FPSF this year. I’ve never seen them, and all I hear from friends who’ve seen them recently is that they’re sharper than ever and phenomenal in a live setting. It will be theatrical and explosive and colorful and I wouldn’t miss it if I were you.

2. Wild Moccasins – Saturday – Mars Stage – 1:00

With Zahira Gutierrez at the helm, Houston-based band Wild Moccasins are unhinged and energetic live. They put on an excellent show, delivering synth-tinged indie rock songs. You’ll be impressed.

3. The Tontons – Saturday – Mars Stage – 2:10

We’ve raved about the Tontons for years now, and have watched the band’s career reach higher and higher tiers of notoriety and esteem. Frontwoman Asli Omar is a ton of fun to watch live, and the rest of the band has steadily become tighter and more dynamic. See them.

4. Childish Gambino – Saturday – Mars Stage – 7:00

Although Houston is all about that dirty southern rap, Childish Gambino is sure to find some fans with his blend of intelligent rhymes and culturally relevant lyricism. Seriously, he may not be an original gansta, but the kid can spit.

5. Ishi – Saturday – Mercury Stage – 6:10

We were floored the first time we saw Ishi. The guy’s got a huge beard and epic dance moves. It’s something of an unexpected juxtaposition, and the neon sunglasses and animal print pants only serve to further the confusion. Don’t worry, you’ll be so blown away by the sonic onslaught, you won’t think about it.

6. Destruction Unit – Saturday – Venus Stage – 2:00

Destruction Unit, well, destroyed their set at Psych Fest. (Sorry, I had to.) The band kicks out a furious aural assault of distortion and dissonance. It’ll be one of the most cacophonous sets of the weekend. If you like it loud and gritty, don’t miss this one.

7. Sylvan Esso – Sunday – Neptune Stage – 12:50

This is the best way to kick off the fest’s second day. Make sure you stay up early and get your dance on early with Sylvan Esso’s smooth sounds and steady beats. Their song “Coffee” (and its video) are as addicting as the drink itself.

8. Jana Hunter – Saturday – Jupiter Stage – 12:40

Hunter is from Houston. Although some people may not remember that, as she hasn’t lived there in some time. This booking, perhaps more so than any other, showcases how in touch FPSF is with their city’s roots and the artists that have called Houston home.

9. Flatbush Zombies – Sunday – Jupiter Stage – 5:50

Flatbush Zombies may be a quirky rap group in terms of their style and content, but they have plenty of edginess, so they’ll be right at home with the Houston crowd. Houston is a hip-hop city, and this is an act you shouldn’t miss.

10. Lauryn Hill – Sunday – Mars Stage – 4:50

You wouldn’t actually think about missing this goddess of hip-hop, right? I didn’t think so, but I had to put her name on this list. So completely stoked to see her. Also, while FPSF nailed virtually everything about this year’s fest, we really think she should switch spots with Edward Sharpe. She’s royalty.

About author
Bryan Parker is a writer and photographer living and working in Austin, TX. He is the founder of blog Pop Press International and print journal True Sincerity and recently released his first book, a volume on Beat Happening in the 33 1/3 series.

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