RefusedFun Fun Fun Fest, Nov. 3
The three-and-a-half-minute ascending hum that preceded the Refused's hair-raising Fun Fun Fun headlining set was nothing compared to the 14-year gap between the release of their last album and its subsequent tour. The wait proved well worth it. Kicking off with the title track, the reunited Swedish hardcore band detonated selections from The Shape of Punk To Come and 1996's Songs To Fan the Flames of Discontent like they owed it to themselves. "It's a tricky thing getting a band back together," singer Dennis Lyxzén revealed, pointing to his bandmates. "People are always skeptical, but the most skeptical people were these fucking clowns up here." He explained how an invitation to play a festival named after a Big Boys song ("Fun Fun Fun") compelled them to extend their short reunion into a worldwide tour, which ends next month in Sweden. "That's the reason we're here, because of you people. It sounded awesome. We needed to go to Texas." Festival booker Graham Williams appeared elated, watching from onstage and singing along throughout the set. Lyxzén's gymnast-Jagger dance moves and heartfelt speeches drew applause, but it was the group's patented hold-and-release eruptions of screaming and distortion that made the crowd go wild under the flashing white lights of the Black stage. The sinuous intro to signature tune "New Noise" was capped by thousands shouting the song's rhetorical first line: "Can I scream?" The following moment, a powerful drop into almighty musical rage, cemented an all-time FFFF highlight.