SXSW Free Show

Every March, my adopted home town is host to a huge music and tech festival. And sometimes, during this crazy week, President Obama comes to our capital city as well.

A lot of Austin-ites seem torn on SXSW (South By Southwest)- some rent out their homes for the week and flee, others stay home with Netflix and avoid the traffic, and other embrace the tons of live music, conferences, panels, crazy events, and people visiting and looking for a great time. I usually fall somewhere in the middle… I tend to avoid craziness as it is, as someone who doesn’t like crowds. One time I made a huge mistake and went running at Town Lake during the massively popular Kite Festival (So many children! So many kites!) so I usually stay away from the majority of Austin’s big festivals. Plus, there are TONS of festivals here, so if you miss one there will be more!

This year, however, I went to my own long-awaited two day event (more on that tomorrow #headgumapalooza), and saw one of my favorite bands FOR FREE at Auditorium Shores with my SXSW Guest Pass! Better yet, they were only playing because the original headliner DROPPED OUT and this band happened to be on tour nearby in San Antonio.

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Scott had texted me around 3 PM from work asking if I’d be up to go to a concert… at 7 Pm. I was like, whoa, impromptu plans! Running was out of the question, and I got busy downloading my Guest Pass and get my makeup on. Scott picked me up with just enough to get downtown…. Or so we thought.

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Scott & me before the show!

I typed in the address on my iphone, just in case Auditorium Shores wasn’t the place I thought it was, and my map told me “Mapping to this location unavailable.” I was like, what? I had Scott use his, and he got the same message. While pulling onto the crowded rush hour highway, I checked the map again. It predicted 2 AND A HALF hours of traffic to get downtown to the heart of SXSW. I’ve never seen so many red checks indicating traffic, and have never gotten a message like that before. We only live ten minutes from downtown!

We hopped on Lamar and couldn’t believe all our visitors from LA somehow managed to bring their worst-in-the-nation traffic with them (ha ha, just kidding). In twenty minutes, with back roads, we were downtown and cruising to our destination. We knew where to park (on a little side street) and due to President Obama’s visit, PARKING WAS FREE!

It was easy to get into the big fenced off field next to Town Lake, and there were tons of people were there. It was gorgeous out. There were food trucks, people laying on the lawn, and a band playing on the stage. This outdoor space is where 4/20 Fest , Eeyore’s Birthday, and Fun Fun Fun Fest are held (see? I told you Austin is like festival capital!!).

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How cool is that? Austin’s skyline behind the stage

I had dinner from a food stand. The “hand pies” by Boomerang’s are sold in Whole Foods, so I trusted the ingredients, and they had a vegan option! It was curried veggies. We had about 40 minutes before the band we were there to see came on, time which flew by.

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Sat by the water to eat dinner

Then we moved towards the pack of people to find a spot to watch the show. There was a VIP tent next to the stage and a huge screen. We decided to stand kind of far back even though this is one of Scott’s all time favorite bands (whereas I only got into them last year) because Scott, a guitarist, could tell from the soundcheck that this was going to be a LOUD, awesome show.

Then it was 8:15 and the band took the stage, jumping right into one of their heavier songs.

We saw Deftones!! One of the best bands of all time!!

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They performed for an hour and forty five minutes. It was incredible. We stayed the whole time even though standing like that was tiring & the temperature dropped after dark. I would have stood for three hours if Deftones would have gone on that long! They are a hard rock band that has been around for decades and are massively popular and successful. Their music spans genres and their songs are unpredictable and enchanting. Three of their members are Latino, and they are very popular here in Texas. Their San Antonio show was the first to sell out on their tour! I also have to say that their lead singer Chino is probably my favorite singer of all time.

If you haven’t heard of Deftones, I would recommend you check out some of their popular songs on YouTube. My favorite song is Diamond Eyes.

It was amazing to see this band live! They were definitely the coolest band I’ve ever seen live. Then again I’ve seen mostly classic rock groups doing last call tours…

Best concert you’ve ever seen?? This was mine!!

-Taylor

 

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