Mas Ysa – I wandered over to the Blue Stage on Saturday thinking that, based on the name ‘Mas Ysa’, I could get ready for some calico-inspired world music, or some progressive tribal jam band. I was instead bathed in the refreshing and cathartic waters of30-year old Canadian Thomas Arsenault, who played an amalgam of new wave, 80’s pop, folktronica, all beneath his emotive voice. Songs “Why” and “Shame” are odes to the uniqueness of the unabashed experimenter, Mas Ysa.
Reputante - An offshoot of the band Ash, James Levy and Tim Wheeler carry their talents into a band that eschews the laissez-faire essence of the The Strokes and the new wave pop of Culture Club. The infectious synth jingles and Casablancas-esque baritone in the vocals make the band Reputante absolutely irresistible.
The Bots – L.A.-based brothers Mikaiah and Anaiah Lei are just 18 and 15 years old but their lo-fi punk transcends their youth as they carry themselves like veterans. Vocalist/guitarist Mikaiah holds court onstage like a champ, writhing and shredding in Hendrix-esque fashion, while keeping his composure through his vocals. Songs like “Bad Friends” about Mikaiah’s time spent in a gang and the grunge-heavy punk diddy “Northern Lights” show this group’s raw power shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Fat White Family – Here is an outrageous garage rock band who take on the aesthetic of a backwater incestual clan of Ozark rednecks, but are actually a raucous tribe of South Londoners, who pour heaping amounts of soul into their punk psychedelia. The torrid bachannal of stage antics and their down and dirty soul music allowed them to endear themselves to the Austin crowd.
Blue The Misfit – The hottest rapper out of North Texas at the moment. Blue the Misfit was literally the first act to play on Friday at FFFest and he set the bar high for following acts with his lyrical deftness and personable stage presence.