I’m speedwalking down the street, gingerly stepping around the intoxicated mix of musicians, attendees, and industry folks meandering around the street trying to decide if they should end their nights or not. I was not…..I still had one more in me, but since it was 1:20am and the set I had intended on seeing started at 1, I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it.
I turned the corner on Red River, which is the metal zone….so although I was dressed more rock & roll than metal I started to mentally put on my other hat. I arrived at the door of Headhunters and heard the blast beats of Goatwhore. I asked the doorman how long they’d been on, and he tells me they’ll play for another 20 minutes or so. Without hesitation, I forked over the $5- I haven’t paid for anything else that whole day. And I have been dying to see them again since January.
Headhunters is small, with a lot of personality. I see Ben commanding the small but enthralled crowd of drunken metalheads. People are smoking cigarettes inside- how novel! I’m so excited that I made it to everything I wanted to that day that I pushed my way through a few people, collecting some sneers and depleting some metal mojo along the way. I don’t care, just get me closer to Goatwhore!
Once I can see better, I laugh because every time Ben flips his hair, it gets caught in a gourd dangling from a net above the stage- a very ‘only in Austin’ piece of decor. Then I look to his right and think, ‘where’s Sammy?’ I notice that there’s no room on the stage for him, so he’s playing in front of it on the floor practically next to me. He’s pretty small so I didn’t even realize it!
It was the end of the night, so I can’t remember everything that was said, but they talked a lot between songs and it was all funny stuff. A guy was standing on the bar who was someone important that I should remember but can’t, and they told a story about how he had once made them pancakes and also made some for his pitbulls.
I was so stoked to hear ‘Provoking the Ritual of Death’, I was going kind of crazy and the dudes around me were looking at me like, ‘whoa, that was unexpected’. They ended with ‘Apocalyptic Havok’, where a pit broke out that I was right in the middle of, and it felt quite good to push some dudes around a little before I ducked out and let them have their fun. I forget how, unlike Cali, Texas metal dudes have rules with ladies around the pit….they will step in front of you and protect you immediately. Ah, Southern hospitality!
It’s a little after 2am. I’ve seen 10 bands in 6 venues over the course of 12 hours and I am about as high on life as it gets.
I left the venue and started wandering around, trying to meet up with a friend of mine. I’m getting approached by random guys trying to get me to go see their bands…..funny how normally I rarely get approached but in the context of SXSW everyone had something to talk about.
Once I met up with my friend, we ran into a couple of his friends who are from Bowling For Soup and they convinced us to go see Andrew W.K. play a 3am set. However, when we got there the show had been shut down due to a stage collapse.
I came back to find two cop cars outside my hotel room door. Some mischief had occurred next door, but I thought about telling them they needed to arrest me for having too much fun.