Spring in Austin brings bluebonnets, music, and crowds.
Spring has sprung in Austin and we are in what the mayor calls “Festival Season.” You may have heard of SXSW (South by Southwest), the little music festival we have every March. What started small has turned into quite the juggernaut. The organizers describe it as “one of the largest and most influential global music industry events of the year.“ It is a great celebration of music and gives artists who might not otherwise get noticed an opportunity to shine. It also wreaks havoc on downtown traffic and can make those of us who work downtown a big grumpy.
Rather than grouse, I decided to talk to my co-workers about music. I asked them to tell me their first concert and/or their favorite concert.
Our first concerts were Pink Floyd (David), KISS (Catherine), Judas Priest (Robert), INXS (Todd), and Michael Jackson (Leslie). Diana gets the award for the wildest concert experience. She recalls seeing Nine Inch Nails with opener Marilyn Manson at the International Ballroom in Houston and a near-death mosh pit experience! Sheila gets the award for classiest favorite concert: Yo-Yo Ma and his Silk Road Ensemble.
Most of our favorite concerts happened here in Austin, which is fitting since we live in the Live Music Capital of the World. David recalls a great (and sweaty) James Brown concert at Stubbs. Robert’s favorite also occurred at Stubbs, where he saw Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. I had a least favorite concert at Stubbs. Many years ago, I saw a very drunk Merle Haggard (RIP) there. I’m not sure he sang a note, but let his son (or grandson) and the crowd do all of the work. I love our local Austin musicians. It is always fun see Willie Nelson, Joe Ely, Bob Schneider, Carolyn Wonderland, and the list goes on. It really is an embarrassment of riches. Come see us and we’ll take you to a show. (Probably an early one. As you can see from our first concert experiences, we’re getting too old for the late shows.)