Saturday, September 15, 2007

Austin, Tx - Day 2

I got up this morning at about 10:30 and only because my roomate Josh woke me up by slamming the bathroom door. But that's the way it is. So I groggily got out of bed, showered, and joined the crew downstairs. We were going to head over as a group to breakfast but half the crowd didn't feel quite up to it yet. They stayed behind by the pool and I joined the more adventurous half. After walking up to CVS to pick up sunscreen, we stopped at a local sandwich shop to eat a quick breakfast of subs and soda (breakfast of champions). The subs were delicious and served faster than even Subway can. The bread was great and it was a damn good sandwich. Not quite worthy of the praise heaped on it by some of the crew, but I wasn't quibbling.

We walked to 4th and Guadalupe where there were shuttle busses to take us to the fairgounds. Even though the park is pretty close to the hotel on the map, it still took 15 minutes before we were dropped off. And then it was another 10 minutes to walk to the entrance.

I handed by ticket to the gatekeeper and he scanned it, attached a bracelet to my wrist and threw my ticket away. Uh, it's a 3 day pass I said. He said the bracelet serves the same function. So now I have to keep this thing on me for 3 days, shower and everything. It seems pretty tough though, because I've sweated at least 10 pounds already and it hasn't budged.

We wandered around for a bit, getting the lay of the land and went stage hopping. So far, the best acts I've seen are Del McCoury, a bluegrass group, Peter, Bjorn and John and some nameless funk and soul bands in the WaMu tent. Joss Stone, Crowded House and Bela Fleck all sucked. Oh well. The entire group met up later and we camped out in front of the stage that is showing Queens of the Stone Age followed by The Killers.

Queens of the Stone Age are pretty decent. Not my thing, exactly but it's a decent hard groove. Ok, so I took a 15 minute nap in the middle of the set? Can you blame me? It's been wicked hot all day and the sun had just started to set behind the trees. After 7+ hours here, the weather was finally getting comfortable.

In the middle of the Queens set, I decided to pre-empt the crowds and go to the porta potties, after which I'd get dinner at the food court and get back to the group in time for The Killers. Uh, that's what about half a jillion other people did too! I waited on a line 30 people deep for the privelege of peeing in a porta pottie that looked like the streets of Calcutta, the really por section, in monsoon season. The looks on the faces of the women leaving the shitters were priceless. After 20 minutes of waiting and 30 seconds of peeing, I waited on a line another 30 people deep for a serviceable chicken wrap and some excellent spinach humus. It too me about 20 minutes to make my way back to the group. Like the red sea closing on the Egyptians, the crowd had thickened and cut off all walking routes to the middle of the crowd where they were. So after an infinite series of stepping over people's chairs, legs and blankets, I finally got back.

It was worth it. The Killers were outstanding. Even if they had a short self-indulgent film before their performance. They made up for it with a (pardon the pun) 'killer' set.

The festival, might I add again, is insanely well run. There was a long line of buses that was endlessly refreshed waiting to pick people up as they left the grounds. They even
put out a big fire that erupted at about 3PM, and quick-like. It turns out that either a truck, or a tank of propane, caught fire and ignited a row of porta-potties. The smoke was an enormous column but it was put out quickly and no one panicked. Just a fantastic showing.

Tomorrow, we're going out for lunch at a BBQ place called The Salt Lick which is out of town. But we should be back in time for Muse, Arcade Fire and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

No comments: