...but there's nowhere we'd rather be.
Actually we are in Austin, TX. I've just sorta twisted a Murder City Devils lyric, as I have been in the titles of the last couple posts, to describe what we've been up to. Saturday morning (11/3). Jason and I wake up, fully clothed, laughing at the absurdity of us sharing an air mattress. It's lost some air over night and now has a water bed effect going on; when one of us moves so does the other. We both have to relieve ourselves, so to speak, of last nights alcohol and taco fest. The problem is the only bathroom in this place is up in my sisters bedroom and there is no door on it. On top of that, she's got two other girls in bed with her. Wow, what happened last night? Lucky woman. So Jason and I grab bikes and head out in search of bathrooms. He picks a restaurant, I choose a gas station and we do the deed. Feeling better we head back. The girls all wake up and its breakfast time. My sister lives in a predominately Hispanic neighborhood (east side, I think?), so Mexican food is the option. No problem with that. Tacos, fajitas, huevos rancheros. Jump back on the bicycles and head downtown, towards the Fest. It's in the mid 80's and we are loving Texas. After some confusion about our tickets and re-entry and stuff, we are in front of the stage just in time for Saviours. I'd been waiting to see these guys for awhile now. Good set. Viva Hate is next and we viva hate them. Lame-ass punk rock. Not really into Witchcraft either. Swedish version of a modern day Black Sabbath. Sounds (and looks) a little too much like classic rock for me. Not sure if Modern Life Is War played out of order or isn't here or what, but we miss them either way. I'm bummed. Madball is on now. Classic New York tuff guy hardcore. Jason and I joke around. "Meet me in the weight room. Put on a couple 45 plates." It's not really my thing anymore but I do have a few Madball discs from a few years back so I am glad to get to see them play live. Kids in the pit are doing that wacky hardcore karate style dance. Some people are taking legitimate hardway shots to the face. No fights. Funny. We go walking around the rest of the fest and finally run into my brother and his girlfriend. We catch up for awhile and then they split to see some of the bands on the indie rock stages. There are a noticeable number of skinheads (or at least guys dressed like skinheads) here. I get back to the punk/metal stages in time to catch half of the Battalion Of Saints set. George Anthony, the lead singer, is the only original member of the band and you can tell. Classic, old school California thrashy punk. I like it. George is ridiculous. People are yelling at him about being old and how much he sucks and he is feeding off of it telling us how he should have died by now. Humorous. Everywhere I look someone is wearing a Skeletonwitch tshirt. I started noticing this back in Minnesota a couple weeks ago. Anyway, Sick Of It All up now. One of my favorite hardcore bands of all time. I know bands like this should probably stop after 3 or 4 albums but hell, they usually still put on a great live show. This is no exception. More wacky dancing (by both the pit and guitar player Pete.) Some dude wearing a Hawaiian shirt, jumps on stage and almost knocks over lead singer Lou. He jokes "I just got tackled by Jimmy Buffet's road crew." We both think this is hilarious. SOIA play a long set and as always, make sure the audience has a good time. At 21 years in the game as well as being one of the originators of NYHC, SOIA always puts a smile on my face. Jason thinks they are goofy. We walk around some more and look at merch. Nothing really exceptional. However, the Angry Samoans stuff is pretty cool because most of it is printed on recycled clothing. I buy a tshirt for 7 bucks. Speaking of the Angry Samoans (different link); they are on now! Not sure how many of these guys are the original members? Maybe all of them? Whatevs. They are pretty deec. More classic California punk rock. They also cover some songs by their contemporaries from the early 80s. Sloppy at times. Before they go into My Old Man Is A Fatso, they ask kids to come on stage and tell everyone why they hate their dads. The last actual kid to go, says he loves his dad because he bought him his first guitar. He gets booed, sarcastic style. The final dude is not a kid but has one with him. As in, he is a grown man with a baby in one of those little human sling things. He says "Well, since my son can't speak yet, I'll go for him." Then proceeds "My dad is the coolest because he brought me to my first ever Angry Samoans show." The crowd pops. This is awesome. I've been seeing this very tall man with a beard and a porkpie hat walking around taking photos all day. He looks like Kim Thayil from Soundgarden. I must admit I'm intrigued. Finally the band Jason has been waiting all day for is up. The Sword, from right here in Austin, TX. I am quite impressed. I'd seen them before but hadn't really paid attention. I am now because we are standing right in front of the stage. Fuckin' rock! Gotta hand it to them tonight. Good stuff. Some may consider it sacrilegious but we choose to bounce out of the fest before Neurosis comes on. We came to Austin for a reason. That reason is the band that's playing a club show up the street and we need to get in! Yup, the Murder City Devils announced this morning that they will have a show tonight at The Mohawk. We were not expecting to see them until tomorrow night at the fest. This show however, is not to be missed. Looks like a long line but I am optimistic and convince Jason that we should at least try. We lock up the bikes and jump in. I start chatting with a cute girl in front of us because she appears to be alone. She is. She is originally from Austin but now lives in NYC. She is also in town for the MCD reunion. She has no idea if we will get in or not because she has never been in this club. People are starting to jump in line in front of us and everybody is getting pissy. Jason, the NYC girl, and I are forming a pact with the group of dudes behind us that we will "blood bath" all the line cutters before we let them get in the door. After an hour, it turns out we all get in anyway...barley. Still, should I come across one of those fuckers later, I'll let 'em know. We hit the bar immediately. Neither of us have had a drop of alcohol all day so we are more than ready. Jason with the Stoli Sevens, me with the Lone Stars. This place is packed and there is excitement in the air. We run into NYC Girl again who has found herself a Lone Star as well. She shows me her forearm tattoo. Its a bottle of LS with a yellow rose and says Texas Is The Reason. Not sure if that's about the band by the same name or her allegiance to Texas? Either way, I admit, I'm a little disappointed and I no longer see her in the same way I did when we were in line with her. Eventually, after many drinks, it is time for the Murder City Devils to hit the stage. And hit it they do. In fact as soon as the first chord is struck, the whole lower area, where we are, thrusts forward. The speakers and monitors almost fall off the stage. Gabe the roadie spends the rest of the set trying to hold them in place. They open with Idle Hands, which is appropriate considering the numerous times Austin is mentioned and stuff. Beer is flying in the air and people are hanging from the balconies. This doesn't really slow down once during the duration of their set. These guys are on fire tonight! I've seen the MCD play a hadfull and half of times and this is among the best. Spencer is on tonight. Great stage banter. At one point he calls out some dude. "There is a big tall asshole here tonight that says he is gonna kick Gabe's ass." He goes on to explain that Gabe has saved his butt many times and that this dude better look to kick his ass instead. "I like to do a lot of things by myself. Tomorrow morning, I'm going to be walking around Austin, looking for a real Mexican breakfast. I will be alone. YOU BETTER FIND ME AND KICK MY ASS, MOTHERFUCKER!" Then they tear into another number. Later he dedicates a song to "skinheads that grow their hair out to cover up swastikas then start combing it into a pompadour and act like greasers." Hmmmm, wonder if this has any connection to the guy that's gonna beat up Gabe? This is a fantastic fucking show. They play forever, including an immediate encore that lasts three songs. "This is the part of the set list where there is a line drawn with three songs listed after it. We're just gonna keep playing through that line." When its all said and done we are so hyped at what we've just seen and the bike ride back is effortless. We stop at the taco shack again. Exhaustion sets in, so we go pass out. What a day!