Oh My, A List!: 7 Tips For Free Press Summer Fest Newbs
I remember it well: The small stages, the blistering August heat, The Sword, rolling in the grass with Hippie Mike, all of it. The main stage headliners were Of Montreal, Explosions In The Sky, Prince Paul and Broken Social Scene.
In 2012, those dudes would play the second stage. We got Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg now, bitches. And a Fatal Flying Guilloteens reunion.
I remember leaving day one of Summer Fest 2009 and driving to see George Strait at Reliant Stadium. Even though I was ensconced in Strait Country, I was still missing the throngs over at Eleanor Tinsley Park.
The next day was a blast, and the future was set for the festival. For once I had a major festival to cover in Houston, which meant I could use my own shower and sleep in my own bed for a change. Even better, I could say that I knew the people actually putting the thing on, and I could thank them with a handshake.
The next year's would hold the Flaming Lips, with Wayne Coyne's bubble framing nicely in front of the Houston skyline even as we all slipped in mud. Call me Craigstrodamus, I prophesied that. All it took was a few Lone Star tallboys in my backyard.
Weezer's closing set last year came with literal fireworks. I knew they were happening a few minutes out, but I still looked up at them in awe like a four-year-old.
For you FPSF newbs out there, here is a quick list of tips to ease yourself into the jewel of Houston festivals. Remember, native Houstonians, be wary of people from Dallas or Austin who are coming into our city. Meet them all with suspicion, and give them wrong directions if they ask for cool places in town to hang afterwards.
7. Willie Nelson: With no disrespect to the other bands playing on other stages during his time slot (Touche Amore, Jody Seabody & The Whirls...), you should watch Willie Nelson at 4:50 on Sunday afternoon. When you are old and gray and Nelson has long puffed off into the sky, you will regret not bathing in the music of this Texas treasure. Even if you have seen him ten times, still go see Willie Nelson.