Meteorologically, we kept it real, folks
because music festivals with good weather are for pussies.
Once again, Shugs and I brought with us to the festival the worst weather possible.
People were all “OMGWTF the hurricane is coming!” In reality, hurricane Rita would have brought sweet relief, but decided to pass us by. Tease. Instead of her promised thunderstorms, we sat in 106 degree heat and 7 thousand percent humidity.
By day it was way too hot and way too humid. Austin felt like Phoenix and Atlanta’s bastard lovechild. By night it was a scene out of thunderdome. Dust flying everywhere, people had odd bits of clothing tied around them to brave the elements- then there were the dudes in hockey masks, driving around in dune buggies firing shotguns in the air and stealing tankers of gasoline. And um, they sounded Australian.
It felt like basic training for hell.
I have now named Shugs and myself, “The Concert Goers of The Apocalypse.”
Next year I think we’ll bring the pox.
BUT… The music… was incredible.
Death Cab For Cutie
The after parties (smaller shows, intimate venues) actually make the festival, though. Thursday we saw Thievery Corp at Stubbs BarBQ. Awesome venue. Feels like a college party.
After the show we were getting tacos when a girl in front of us drunkenly blurted out “OMG that’s the ugliest shirt I’ve ever seen.”
Incidentally, I was wearing Heidi’s least favorite shirt- it has pineapples on it. That’s as much as you need to know.
I’d like to tell you that I immediately said “that’s funny, because you’re the prettiest dude I’ve seen.” and then got the crap kicked out of me by her boyfriend.
But it didn’t occur to me for a couple minutes- after I had wasted my retort on something forgettable and tame. While beer tends to increase the courage, it also slows the wit.
Friday we managed to weasel into the sold out Walkmen show at this little club called Parish. Before the show I was lukewarm on the Walkmen- I became a true believer. They brought it- even a bit edgier then their recorded stuff, and much edgier than their festival set. In their encore they started taking requests and belted out (I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone. I seriously contemplated moving to Austin.
Saturday I went back to Stubbs to see Wilco. a-maze-ZING. It’s taken me a while to warm up to wilco, being a devout Jay Farrar/Son Volt fan- gotta back up my boy. After Friday I decided Jay can fight his own battles. Wilco owned Stubbs and ACL.
Austin itself has a great scene. As far as the people the food and the businesses are concerned I can’t think of a better place to host ACL and SXSW.
But the weather I could do without. Walking around with a constant wedgie that feels like a soaked warm washcloth can tend to put a bit of a damper on things.
But of course next year I’m sure I’ll do it again.