Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Archive for the ‘Features’ Category


@ZackTeibloom As a festival-goer in my early 30s, I have to pick my spots a little more carefully on what shows I’m willing to push my way to the front row for. If I’ve traveled across the country with my wife to make good on this bet of seeing the first LCD Soundsystem show after their hiatus (aside from NYC warm-up shows) I want to see “our band” from as close as possible. So what does that entail? Driving 2.5 hours from San Diego to Indio Friday morning, seeing seven bands and THEN standing from 7:55 p.m. to 1 a.m. for the M83-Ellie Goulding-LCD combo on the main stage. Caitlin and I started about 10-15 rows back during M83 moved up to the third row for Ellie Goulding and were right against the guardrail by the time LCD took the stage at 11:10 Friday night and held our ground until the last notes of “All My Friends” at 12:53 a.m. Saturday morning. There’s only so many times you can do that in one weekend.

We’d had an easier time getting front row earlier in the day for Christine and the Queens after suffering through Bob Moses. On Saturday we were happy to enjoy Gary Clark Jr. before moving up behind only the die-hard G’N’R fans with full Guns & Roses inspired back tattoos to see our favorite hip hop group, Run The Jewels. And by Sunday night, as exhausted as we were, we got close for Anderson .Paak and made our way right to the front to end our fest with Miike Snow. Not surprisingly, those eight shows we were super close for ended up being pretty much the best shows we saw all weekend. Since that’s the case, I’ll break down those eight and then give a few details about seeing G’N’R live for the first time, the N.W.A reunion and a couple other enjoyable shows we caught.  Read the rest of this entry »

Successful Crash #49: THE WHO

Posted by teibs On April - 28 - 2015

@ZackTeibloom It’s been awhile. Looking back, I haven’t officially crashed since SXSW 2012. Last month I crashed my way into a Run The Jewels SXSW show by crutching into the press line and just scooting by, but there wasn’t enough story to write up. This one had a bit more to it. While RTJ was six blocks from my apartment, I couldn’t even park within six blocks of the Erwin Center thanks to construction and event parking without paying $12. And I wasn’t going to drop that much on parking without having a ticket. After about 15 minutes of circling I found a handicap spot in front of a bar seven blocks away from the venue.

Before I could even start crutching, a pedicab rolled up and offered to give me a lift. I told him I was trying to save cash and didn’t even have a ticket, but he insisted so I hopped in and told him I could throw him $5. After he powered up a hill and dropped me right at the entrance I realized the smallest bill I had was a 10, so I let him keep it. I crutched up a flight of stairs and a guy walking behind me commented, “I didn’t want to say anything until you made it, but nice work!” “One more obstacle to go,” I told him. “I don’t have a ticket yet.” Read the rest of this entry »

@ZackTeibloom This is difficult for me to say, but this was not Jack White’s best weekend in Austin. The dreaded “this was very very good, but not great” review. On paper, the setlist was a cream dream. Tons of White Stripes and just the right amount of variation between the two night’s sets. An encore that was more of a second set than an encore, chock-full of crowd favorites. And Jack was Jack. Explosive, jumping all over the place and going from musician to musician to play off them. So, why wasn’t it great? I think Jack pushed the band past the point where all of them were comfortable and I wanted to say that made it playful, but that’s just a nicer way of saying it got loose. And there’s nothing wrong with looseness, per se. It’s cool to hear Jack get so loose with “Steady as She Goes” that he’s barely even playing the actual riff of the song for stretches. The band didn’t seem as thrilled. Daru Jones was a monster on the drums. He can more than keep up and his kit is closer to the front of the stage so he and Jack can really play off each other. Aside from Daru, I don’t think this is the best band for Jack to tour with. I found Lillie Mae especially to be entirely boring and her singing and lack of energy made me long for Ruby to be back on fiddle and singing back-up. Everyone else was fine, but it didn’t quite come together.

What made the first solo tour so great was hearing White Stripes and Raconteurs songs re-worked with a tight Nashville sound. This is kind of in between. It’s the looseness and improv of The White Stripes, but instead of having steady, reliable Meg who he always had incredible chemistry with, he’s playing with a mish-mosh of two bands who haven’t really found their stride and their loose take on the Nashville sound doesn’t quite work. OK, that’s too far. It works. It’s still a damn good concert. It’s just not peak Jack like last tour was. And I can’t pin it all on the band. Jack was great, but rarely transcendent. His solos didn’t reach that next level. He was engaged, but not that losing control, out-of-body place he can get to when he’s really on. A great Saturday night crowd made for a superb opening night, but a few bad apples made Sunday noticeably worse and left a bit of a bad taste in mouths of fans who may not see Jack for a long time, if we’re to believe his closing sentiments.

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ACL 2014 – Outkast vs Beck Breakdown

Posted by teibs On October - 12 - 2014

@ZackTeibloom Let’s get one thing out of the way right now. When it comes down to Outkast vs. Beck, the only acceptable answer is both. When ACL booked these two wildly inventive, world-class performers in the same time slot, it became mandatory to go to Friday night of both weekends and see each headliner. So that’s what we did. We started with Outkast weekend one and were floored by Andre 3000 and Big Boi’s unmatched give and take, their playfulness and the supreme highs of the show. The biggest hits (“Hey Ya,” “Ms. Jackson” and “Roses”) were, to put it in Outkast speak, “SpottieOttieDopalicious” and as much fun as one could have at any festival show. We had such a blast that Caitlin couldn’t fathom not doing it again the next week, but having seen Beck four times, I knew we wouldn’t forgive ourselves if he played four times in Austin this year and we missed all four. So did we make the right move? Was Beck just as good, if not better than Outkast? Let’s break it down by opening song, banter, hits, deep cuts, stage presence, band introductions and closing number and come to a conclusion. Read the rest of this entry »

How to do ACL for $100

Posted by teibs On October - 6 - 2014

@ZackTeibloom It felt all too familiar. Back at Zilker Park for ACL without a wristband. As Andy and I like to say when coming  festival-ing, “We’ve done this before.” In 2008, Andy and I made our first trip to Austin for ACL because we had press passes. With a little help from my friends, I crashed in 2009, tried to sneak a friend in, lost my wristband and had to crash again. I crashed not once, but twice in 2010. I got caught in 2011. I bought a pass for under face value in 2012 and 2013. The only plan I had for this year was that I wanted to be there all day Friday and as soon as I could get there Sunday, after working 6-3, taking care of Scooby and biking over. I wasn’t filled with the typical “can’t-sleep-I’m-so-excited” festival hype I used to get every year, but I had to see Outkast, was over-due to see Chromeo again, was excited to hear the new Spoon album live, was curious about Chvrches, Sam Smith, Jenny Lewis and Bleachers and would be happy to catch some Pearl Jam. That’s more than enough to get me back to Zilker without a wristband. I’ll reveal how I did the fest so cheap and what I think each show was worth. Read the rest of this entry »

2014 Free Press Summer Fest

Posted by teibs On June - 3 - 2014

Since Zack was in NYC and Andy was in L.A. we sent David Sackllah to Houston to cover Free Press Summer Fest thanks to the free passes Verizon was generous enough to bestow upon us. He braved a lightning storm and powered through for an incredible Jack White set and saw everyone from Lauryn Hill to Vampire Weekend and a one of a kind Houston hip hop show. 

@Dsackllah “FPSF will go on rain or shine.” With every wristband that was mailed out, the envelope contained a small piece of paper with rules regarding said wristband that concluded with that phrase. About 3pm on Saturday, if you were to search Twitter for “FPSF,” the majority of mentions were made up of disgruntled concertgoers quoting that phrase back to the organization. In a controversial decision, Free Press made the call to evacuate the entire festival at 2pm due to lightning and a flood advisory for the area set by the National Weather Service. Outside of a steady yet moderate rain that lasted for about an hour before clearing up, the weather was calm, and sunny for a long while before the festival decided to reopen at 4, pushing back many acts and canceling others. Surely, the festival made the decision that the organizers thought was best for the safety of the crowd, but it left many disgruntled. Read the rest of this entry »

2014 Free Press Summer Fest #MoreFPSF Contest

Posted by teibs On May - 28 - 2014

Our friends at Verizon have been gracious enough to reach out to us and and give us TWO PASSES TO FREE PRESS SUMMER FEST THIS WEEKEND! We’re going to run a Twitter contest today to get you to the Houston festival that has everyone from Jack White and Vampire Weekend to Lauryn Hill, Wu Tang, The Kills and White Sea. The festival runs Saturday and Sunday, and I don’t know about you, but I want more! #MoreFPSF. What would that look like? Jack White playing a pop-up show on the street for you and a few friends? Lauren Hill meeting you for coffee? Morgan Kibby of White Sea hanging with you in PJ’s helping you write your own break-up song?

Tweet your fantasy of what #MoreFPSF would look like in your wildest dreams. The best entry will win a pair of passes. You have from 9 am to noon central time on 5/28/14 to enter and you can enter as many times as you want. Just be creative and have fun with it! And be sure to tag your tweets and Instagrams with #MoreFPSF all weekend to get a chance to be upgraded to the Verizon VIP Cabana.
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SXSW Blow by Blow Thursday

Posted by teibs On March - 20 - 2014

@ZackTeiblom When we last left our hero, he was drunk and clean and happy to be heading to bed after a 20 hour day that ended with Watch the Throne and a treacherous bike ride home. Shockingly, I didn’t wake up feeling great. Still, it was only day two, so I had to find strength in breakfast tacos and copious amounts of electrolytes and sandwiches and power through. The day before, we’d told our contact at the bar that we’d swing by to pick up the posters around 10. It was now close to 11 and we weren’t making any sudden moves to get out of bed. I didn’t even bother texting them. I just headed out into the world, but needed to make an important stop first. Read the rest of this entry »

SXSW 2014 Blow by Blow Wednesday with Jay-Z and Kanye West

Posted by teibs On March - 19 - 2014

@ZackTeibloom I asked Andy what he thought of my SXSW 2014 by the Numbers post and he told me it was fine, but read more as a list of things I did. He wanted the stories. We have a tradition in my family of giving a blow by blow (BBB) account of a vacation. We want to hear all the details from the airport to the meals to the events. So here’s the BBB of my SXSW.

We’ll pick up on Wednesday of music week. There was a lot of fun to be had before then, but I more or less covered the podcast tapings and parties in the by the numbers post. I promised Andy I’d pound this story out on my lunch break today. He said that I’m free pound out whatever I want, but he didn’t want to hear about it. Touche. I’ll piece it together as best I can from memory and twitter. Read the rest of this entry »

SXSW 2014 by the numbers

Posted by teibs On March - 18 - 2014
@ZackTeibloom Whew. Another incredible SXSW in the books. Every year it reminds me why I moved here in early March, five years ago. SXSW is everything. The day before the fest started, I was resigned to being without a badge or wristband and hoped I could see a few shows and find a way to make the most of it. When a magical badge showed up thanks to Caitlin’s connection and my name got pulled for the Jay-Z and Kanye lottery, every little thing fell into place. I got to interact with my favorite sports journalist (Bill Simmons), see my two all-time favorite rappers in a tiny venue, sat in the first couple rows as my two favorite podcasts (Comedy Bang Bang & You Made It Weird) were taped live, talked to Max Fisher and George Bluth, had a long conversation with Gareth Campesinos, saw my new favorite band (White Sea) four times, saw my favorite up and coming indie rock band (Oberhofer) three times in one day and, aside from missing the Hendrix tribute show and a couple more comedy shows, I saw everything I dreamed and then some.
It was just perfect. For all the backlash about the vomit-y Gaga performance and explosion of corporate hoo rah blah blah, I had the best SXSW yet. I spent 10 days on my bike with Caitlin, navigating through throngs of festival goers, hopping all over this great city for the best Spring Break on Earth. Even after taking Sunday off, I’m still recovering Tuesday morning, but here’s a quick rundown of my SXSW in numbers Read the rest of this entry »
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