Man on Earth with Butch Walker….. Sigh, someone had to take the pic, lol
After the show in Little Rock, we decided to put some miles behind us and make the 9 hour trek to Austin less arduous. Nate drove and I copiloted while the rest of the guys slept. Instead of music, Nate put on some podcasts and we had a night school class. We learned everything there was to about Dr. Heimlich, pioneer of the Heimlich maneuver, the life and death of the man who did the voices of over 1500 iconic cartoon characters such as Bugs and Porky, the inherence of bad (or lack of) in the human species, and arguments as to which is the correct tempo that Beethoven originally meant for his symphonies to be played in….. Most definitely an enjoyable learning experience. #notsarcasm
We stopped driving after about 4 hours, then went to bed. We woke up, worked out, then finished out the last 5 hours of our trip.
We rolled into Austin about 5pm, and after finding parking, we headed to 6th. If you’ve never been to sxsw, it’s a difficult thing to describe. Imagine Bourbon street during the height of Mardi Gras, sprinkle in rock and roll, add a dash of Texas flavor, and BAM, you got a city wide party.
After settling into the vibe of sxsw, we headed over to Rachel Ray’s house party, where Butch Walker was playing. Along the way, we ran in to our friends American Authors and Find Vienna. It’s an amazing thing to run into people you know in such a huge cluster of people.
When we finally got to the spot we were told that we weren’t rsvp’d to the event like we thought we were.
Now, Roots birthday is Friday, and the one thing he wanted to do this weekend was see Butch Walker. Nathan, also an avid B.W. fan, decided that ‘no’ was an unacceptable answer.
We stood outside the fence trying to find a way to get a wrist band. We talked to the door man, answer=no. The girl giving out the wrist bands= no. Event guard=no. Tweeted @butchwalker, talked to his security, his bass player…. Nothing. Event manager= love to, but can’t.
Finally we run into Butch Walker himself. We chatted with him, told him we were trying to get in, and took a photo with him. He turned to the door man and said something to the effect of ‘half the people here probably are only here for the party and the people who want to see me can’t get in?’
Butch said he had to get ready to play, and that he was sorry he couldn’t help us. As he walked away, he said with a grin, “Ya know, that fence isn’t too big…..”
So, Butch Walker=no……
We stood by the the fence, resigned to watch from outside. The event planner came back out, and Nate started chatting with her again. She was super nice, but resilient in her stance of not being able to help us. I even tried to pull the birthday card, to no avail. Finally Nate slipped into a ‘Hallmark Moment’ speech about how much it would mean to be a part of such a small event when it is with an artist that has been so influential in your career……. (Puppy dog eyes included, I swear I even saw a tear…. ) And the event planner smiles, and asks, “So……. How many wrist bands do y’all need?”
Thanking her profusely, we all milled into the crowd.
The stage was small, and, being that everyone in the crowd was hanging out eating and drinking the free goodies, we set up camp right up front, less than 3 people away from the stage. The band came on and rocked out, playing about 15 minutes longer than they were supposed to.
After the show, as we were walking out, the door man stopped us and said, “I just wanted you guys to know I was just doin my job… I woulda loved ta let y’all in right away, but I couldn’t… I’m gonna tell you a secret though… Those wristbands are good all week here. Come back any time. There’s free food and drink all week… And by the way, that woman you sweet talked is one of the biggest event planners in Austin. If y’all are on her good side, y’all go a long way in this town”
And that was the 1st 3hrs of sxsw. After, we hit the town a bit makin friends, running into old friends, and doin the sxsw thing…. Today’s another day, lets do this!