South by Southwest is the craziest time of the year in Austin, Texas, but it is hands down my favorite fest of the year. From day 1 to day 10, there is nothing but madness. Some of you may or may not have experienced the hustle and bustle of the SXSW festivities but if you haven’t, you will, because you should. Free shows, food, drinks, merch, open bars, rooftop parties, boat parties, getting your picture taken, running, sweating, raging, dancing, and maybe even crying is what pretty much sums up a 10 days of SXSW.
Something to note about this week of endless festivities is that if you really want to see a band, just do it. One might be intimidated by a long line or a badge only event but don’t be deceived, there is always a way in.
This is a story of how passion and perseverance can lead you to seeing any show you want, all you need to do is try. For me, this perseverance led me to see The Strokes on day one of SXSW.
Last night, The Strokes played an exclusive event through Samsung known as the Galaxy Life Fest. This event was only available for badge holders and Samsung Galaxy owners who received free tickets while they lasted. Sounds pretty exclusive, right?
Once I heard from a friend that The Strokes were playing the first day of SXSW, I got my shift covered at work within minutes, literally. Friday, March 11, 2016, was the first day of SXSW and I was more than ready for this week of fun. As the sun started to set, I called one of my best friends who hasn’t seen The Strokes before to join me on a quest of a lifetime. The quest being, get into this exclusive event and rage to The Strokes, one of my all time favorite bands. As my friend and I rode our bikes to the venue, we found ourselves at The Old Post Office off of 5th and Guadalupe. Samsung had the building reflecting their emblem with orange and pink lights, trying to spruce up the old building with that SXSW street glam. After she and I locked our bikes up, we posted up with some P. Terry’s and contemplated how we were going to get in. With a handful of fries and no certain plan, we walked around the building and talked to a couple of the security guards to get some advice on the best spot to listen to The Strokes, even if it was outside of the venue.
It turned out that the venue had a venue in itself, something I have never heard of. They definitely did a good job of keeping this show underground; literally underground in a secret venue within the post office. Although we were disheartened, we still were set on getting in.
The post office has parking above the building which happens to have a ledge that looks down at the people who through the side of the venue. You couldn’t see anything but you could listen, enough to where my friend and I heard The Strokes open with “Someday” from their first album, Is This It. We both looked at each other and danced together while singing to the top of our lungs.
After they finished their opening song, I looked to my right and saw a girl in an apron walking from her food trailer into the venue with fried chicken. My brain juices started flowing and my adrenaline started to kick in; I had to get into this show. I started to walk toward the food truck, looked at the gentlemen working and asked simply to borrow an apron. He replied with a generous, “of course, little lady.”
As he handed me the navy blue apron, I instantly put my hair in a pony tail, took off my jacket and put the apron on. It was happening, truly. Walking up to the front of the venue with my navy blue apron was a joke. The door guy knew what I was up to and with a chuckle, let me in. At that point, I started running into the show. The dance floor was lit up and The Strokes had just started playing “Reptilia.” I ripped my apron off and threw myself on the fans crowd surfing to one of the best Strokes songs to rage to.
Sweat, love and tears sums up the rest of the show. I found myself grabbing people’s faces and screaming the lyrics in their face while they were at first taken aback, but down to sing along with me. So many emotions fled my soul as I ran around through the crowd to get to the front where I found no one other than my best friend at the front who was wearing a navy blue apron. I screamed, “is that my best friend?!,” right when they started to play “Is This It.” We held each other while she and I slow danced in the second row of the show. I have to admit I cried in her shoulder laughing and feeling a wave of overwhelming happiness. The quest was accomplished.
SXSW day 1 is only the beginning for many quests and adventures to come. The truth is friends, anything can happen. Make your dreams come true this SXSW and cry while dancing to your favorite band with your best friend. Do it.
By Matthew Hamill Sports Reporter The seventh seeded Texas State Bobcats couldn’t hold on down the stretch and fell 73-62 to third seeeded U.T. Arlington in the Sun-Belt Conference Tournament Quarter Final. The Bobcats commanded the first half, beginning the game a perfect 7-7 from the floor and scored a quick 17 points. They had no turnovers in the first eight minutes. U.T. Arlington managed to stay close in the […]
Mr. Len on March 30, 2016