Archive for February 2011
This year is already shaping up to be a great one for seeing music. As I queefed about a few days ago, SxSW has some cool stuff to see this year, but there’s so much more.
On my plate between now and May:
- Colin Hay (Men At Work)
- Al Dimeola
- Heart (maybe)
Not to mention the local acts that I enjoy seeing on a regular basis as well. Mixed in all that will be my main band with Doug Morrison and hopefully we can get the Capricorn USA (the Motorhead tribute) going again. I’m sure there will be some stuff this summer in San Antonio that I’ll want to attend and am always game for going back to Virginia to see something cool at Jaxx that may not be playing around here.
I’m pretty fortunate to live in a town that holds a festival like this one every year. Austin is dubbed The Live Music Capital of the World and while it’s a great place to see bands, it’s not the greatest place to be in a band. But that’s neither here nor there for this article.
This will be the 4th SxSW festival in a row that I am attending and I always see some good bands. For the music that I’m into, it’s only a small percentage of the 1,000 or so bands that come here from all over the world to play. I wasn’t here for the early days of this fest where bands were really playing for their shot at a record deal, but I do find it enjoyable.
It is unfortunate, however, that many who visit Austin for SxSW treat the town like their own toilet and/or trash dump. Sure, those who bought their passes/badges paid a lot of money for them, but that’s no excuse for poor manners and behavior. Just my 2 cents on that.
In SxSWs past, I’ve seen Motorhead, the Lemmy movie, VoiVod (3 times last year!), and dozens of other bands of all genres just by walking the streets of downtown. It’s pretty cool overall.
This year’s music lineup is pretty tasty for “official” shows. It includes The Rods, Pentagram, X Japan, Saint Vitus, Christian Mistress, Agollach, Alex Skolnick Trio, Zoroaster, Naam and a slew of others. I also always end up seeing some other good bands that I have never heard of before. Not to mention it’s a big fun party.
I’m not the biggest moviegoer in the world, but I will make time to see Last Days Here which is a documentary about the life of legendary Pentagram singer Bobby Liebling. I met and had dinner with Bobby and Pentagram last year and he is a really nice guy.
I’ll be posting reviews of the shows and the movie for sure. I’m pretty excited already.
So my friend John and I went to the game on Sunday and it was pretty awesome despite the outcome. My Steelers fandom has never been a secret and having them play only 3 hours away, I really wanted to go.
At one of the local bars there is a small group of us who watch the game together on Sundays. John and I
made a pact at mid-season that if the Steelers went to the Super Bowl, we’d do our damnedest to go since it was going to be so close. We set a limit to how much we’d pay per ticket of $1500. As soon as the AFC championship game ended, we started looking for tickets. Prices were through the roof and we were both contacting brokers, checking eBay, StubHub, Craigslist and NFL Ticket Exchange trying to find something within our price range. So far the only things popping up were party plaza tickets and standing room only tickets. Not only no, but HELL NO.
The Thursday before the game I sent John a message telling him that I had given up on my search and was OK with just watching it at the pub with our other friends. he called shortly after and felt the same way, but we left the door open that if something popped up, we’d take it. I didn’t expect anything to happen.
About 2 hours later I was hanging with some friends doing trivia at a bar and he called to ask and make sure that I was still in for going at our price range. Of course I was. He said a friend of his wife’s sister or something like that had won tickets in Pittsburgh and was selling them to the highest bidder on their Facebook page. I told him to get in touch and let me know.
An hour later he called back to let me know that they accepted our offer and that his wife’s parents were hand-delivering them to us the following day as they were already planning a trip from Pittsburgh to Austin. It was the perfect storm. After resigning myself earlier that day that we weren’t going to finding out a few hours later that we had gotten tickets, my brain was on overload. I was super excited but in a bit of shock. It wasn’t until we left for game on Sunday morning that I really believed that we were even going.
The trip up was good. Sun was out and the temps were getting into the low 60s, much better than they had been in the DFW area earlier that week. We got to our reserved space parking lot and started tailgating with some other Steelers fans who had traveled from all over to be there. We were about a mile from the stadium but could see the top of the dome clearly. That place is huge!
It was nice that one crew of folks had driven in of Pittsburgh and brought some Iron City Beer with them. Yes, it’s rotgut beer, but you have to have it for a Steelers Super Bowl! We met some cool folks in the lot and decided to start walking to the game around 3:30.
As we got closer, the crowd got larger outside the stadium. Large amounts of fans for both teams. It was great. We walked by Brian Billick in the crowd and Steelers fans were hazing him pretty badly. It was funny. We ended up having to walk around to the far side of the stadium to get into the security line. It seemed like it took forever but in the grand scheme it was pretty quick. Our excitement was building and was peaking when we finally got inside Cowboys Stadium. People everywhere. We take the escalators up to our level (nosebleed!) and hit the bathroom then the frozen margarita line. The margaritas were $19 ea! Holy crap! It was good, but not worth $19. Two margs and a bottle of water came out to $43! Damn! Oh well. It really didn’t matter. We were there to see our favorite team.
We find our seats and were the 3rd and 4th seats in, sweet! The 2 girls in the first 2 seats were from Virginia (my home state) and John went to school at UVA, so we had a little Virginia clan going. The guy to my left
was from South Carolina and he and his girlfriend had won tickets to the game. Super nice guy. He told me before the game started that even if the Steelers didn’t win, he had already won the game. I asked how and he showed me his camera. He met Franco Harris in the hall before the game! Awesome!
Our seats were pretty high up, Section 437, Row 12 and I found myself watching the massive screen in front of me instead of the field. The Steelers gave a good effort after going down 21-3 at halftime. Second half, as you know, they mounted a decent comeback but it wasn’t enough as Rodgers and co. were playing great football.
Even with the loss, we had a great time and decided to drive back after the game. Had the Steelers won I am sure we would have found somewhere to go celebrate. I have no regrets and felt pretty good about the price we paid, especially knowing that seats in our section had been selling for over $4000 each in some instances.
I say that this trip was once in a lifetime, but since the Steelers didn’t win, I leave myself open for going again if/when they return to another Super Bowl. I’ve already started putting money back just in case. ;)