It’s taking me a few weeks to get to this post but I’ve been pretty swamped.
This year I didn’t take any time off for SXSW. Instead a few days that week after work, I went straight downtown and hoped for the best. I had RSVPed to over 200+ SXSW parties but I knew I was only going to attend about 5 at the most.
Friday, the 7th, Verizon was throwing a party with Bio Boi and Sleepy Brown performing. It was an amazing show. There were rumors that the other half of Outkast, Andre 3000, could possibly make an appearance since he is in town to debut his Hendrix biopic but that was quickly proven false. Outkast is one of those bands on my list I absolutely have to see at least once. Bio Boi performed all of his hits as well as a handful of Outkast’s hits, only rapping his verse then moving to the next song. I could have sworn that once Ms. Jackson started playing that Andre was going to come out and surprise the crowd.
Monday, the 10th, was the Titanfall release party. Childish Gambino performed and Major Nelson, the face of Xbox, made an appearance as well. They set up about 40 Tv’s in the back, all hooked up the Xbox One’s with Titanfall playing. They had couches, free drinks, food, and even a stage in the back. Then even had a life size Titan outside of the back of the building.
Tuesday I knew someone who was working the 50 Cent & Hangwith.com Party so I was able to get back stage at that event. For a portion of the show I stood directly in front of right speaker and after the show I couldn’t hear anything for a few days though. 50 Cent isn’t one of those artists that I think I would pay to see but he did put on a surprisingly hyped show. One funny thing I should mention about being back stage is that I clearly did not fit in. Majority of his entourage were about 6’5, backwards hats, gold teeth, & tons music equipment. The women had scandalous outfits with heels that look like they hurt. I had on slacks, a polo, and dress shoes since I went to the show straight from work. I thought it was pretty amusing. It was a great show though. I was definitely getting a few looks that read, “Who the hell is this guy?”
Wednesday, I scored some tickets to see Jimmy Kimmel host his late night talk show at the Long Center. Another amazing experience! They designed the stage with signs of local attractions which was a very nice touch. Robert Duvall, Rachel Ray were the guests. Damon Albarn, of the Gorillaz was the musical guest. We were fortunate enough to get 2nd row seating. We were able to see what is going on between commercial breaks, from the 10 people swarming Kimmel in between breaks to make sure everything is still in place, to the camera work.
Photos weren’t allowed during the filming of the Kimmel show but I snuck this one of Damon Albarn
The following Saturday I was planning on going to see Strange Talk but then I learned that San Diego Comic Con tickets were going on sale that morning. If you have ever tried to buy tickets there then you know that it takes hours and you have about a 30% chance of actually getting the tickets. I sat in front of two laptops and my tablet for 3 hours just to try to buy the tickets. Luckily I got them. I finally got them. I have tried a few years in the past but they always sold out in the first 10 minutes. What makes this even better is that we are going to take Anthony, who will be 9 months by the time we go. I think we are going to dress him up like a little Ninja Turtle.
Going back to the subject of SXSW, I wasn’t going to bring this up at first but it is ridiculous, embarrassing, and just a damn shame of what I hearing on the news about whats going on during the festival. 20 or so fights throughout downtown, drunk driving, and now on every news channel the subject is, “Does Austin have a drinking problem?”. No we have an idiot problem. These are the people who are going to mess it up for the rest of us.
As far as the drunk driver who attempted to evade the police and ran into that crowd of people, I won’t pretend I know that guys whole story but for being that careless and getting behind the wheel, he deserves to be locked up for the rest of his life. Today a 4th victim died. I’ll keep those who were injured and their families in my prayers. I don’t mean to preach because by no means am I a saint, I like beer as much as the next guy, however, I will never attempt to do anything that will potential endanger my life and others. Listen, if you are going to drink on the point of just being straight blitzed, there are plenty of other options/services to take other than driving yourself. To name a few there is Uber, BeMyDD, Sober Monkey or even Yellow Cab.
'til next time SX….