Three days after getting back from Austin, I've still got a good post-festival buzz. With all apologies to NX35, it was by far the most fun I've had at a Texas music festival.
Oddly, the rain didn't bother me all that much. It made things messy and uncomfortable, but it also kind of humanized the festival for me, if that's not too corny a way of putting it. It makes it hard to judge people's coolness level when they're muddy from the knees down, huddled under umbrellas and wearing ponchos. That's not to say that Day 1 was some kind of unbearable hipster fashion parade--it certainly wasn't. But there were a lot fewer people who looked like they were trying to get their picture in Vice Dos and Don'ts on Day 2.
I already can't wait till next year.
Five biggest regrets from the weekend
1. Catching only the final notes of the Street Dogs set Sunday afternoon. The gyro I got after a half-hour wait at the Kebab-a-licious stand was almost worth it, though.
2. Missing The Strange Boys. I'm guessing they played a lot of new stuff. Anyone catch them?
3. Not buying a Metallagher T-shirt.
4. Missing most of Royal Bangs.
5. Eating nothing but funnel cake for dinner Sunday night. Following that up with a 2 a.m. Whataburger breakfast biscuit sandwich did not make for a pleasant night's sleep.
Fun Fun Fun Fest Facts And Feelings
The couple or three songs I caught from the Riverboat Gamblers set on Sunday were OK, but the band didn't seem to have its usual energy. Mike Wiebe admitted as much, though he was still thankful to Justin Hall from Austin's Krum Bums for filling in for the injured Ian MacDougall on guitar--and to founding bassist Pat Lillard for playing with the band again for the first time in years.
No matter how many studs he has on his leather jacket, no matter how thick his steel-toed boots are, and no matter how blasphemous the band name on his T-shirt may be, it's hard to be very intimidated by a metalhead or punk rocker carrying an umbrella.
Foot Patrol may wear "wacky" costumes on stage and a have genuine foot fetish (another writer told me the singer asked to stroke her foot during an interview), but they are still just a mediocre white funk band.
Past Poster of the Week featured artist Jared Connor of Mexican Chocolate Design had a tent selling some awesome posters. I wish I'd bought a print or two on Saturday, but I figured I'd use whatever funds I had left over on Sunday for that kind of thing--and then didn't want to carry a poster around in the rain and mud on Day 2. A friend of the artist was manning the booth when I visited, and admitted he had no idea who Brian Jonestown Massacre was when I asked about this poster. It was kind of refreshing.