I’m beginning to fall in love with Texas. Or maybe just Austin, which is pretty damn easy with its southern-ish charm, its zillion and one awesome hangouts, eateries, bars, boutiques and those hot, humid, summery Texas days. It’s quickly becoming my annual fall destination, especially since the last two years a posse of us from all over have converged in Austin for the Austin City Limits music festival, a three day music bonanza with over 100 bands on eight perfectly situated stages in Zilker Park. It’s nearly impossible to see everything but we gave it the old college try, zig zagging between stages and tents listening to full sets and walk-by-sound-snippets of new favorites like Haim, Jake Bugge and Desert Noise along with old favorites (who actually look much older than they are) like Depeche Mode and The Cure. Rockstars must age in dog years or party years or something because Robert Smith was born a mere 52 years ago and looks well into his hundreds. Maybe it’s the makeup, maybe it’s the 30+ years of life on the road filled with emotional eating, pill popping, binge drinking or what have you but those homies look hagged and really, aging rockstars should steer clear of the leather vests, shiny plastic pants and the face paint of their youth (Bono take note). Judgmental rant over…both Depeche Mode and The Cure rocked the effing house for two hours straight and sounded just as good as they did in my tweenage bedroom….who’s old now? Thanks to our extra special friend Brittany and her unofficial mayor of Austin status we got some super, star-quality treatment with all-access passes letting us stand back stage in the coveted shade, ride around in golf carts looking like some all-important dirt bags and sip stiff cocktails in the artist lounge. Schmaaaa.
And then it rained. Torrential biblical Noah’s ark kind of rain fell in sheets and sheets for hours and hours. One of those short-lived fierce yet refreshing downpours that usual lasts twenty minutes, only this one lasted upwards of 10 hours making the venue a marshy estuary and the town a hot, wet, mess. We were all very sad to miss the last day of the festival and The National but we turned the last days into our own Austin exploration fest, eating and drinking and biking all over the damn city. So yeah, Austin, I think I love you.