Friday, March 27, 2009

Arena rock in a venue much smaller than an arena.

This past weekend, I treated myself to what was probably the most explosive and energetic music performance I have ever seen. Metallica took a break from their big arena tour to play an intimate venue in Austin at this year's SXSW. And I was front and center to take the audible beating. I managed to grab a few decent snaps amidst the chaos and carnage.

After the dust had cleared and the war was over I reached down to check my phone. Nothing. It was gone! Oh no. Somehow in the hysteria of the moment my phone separated itself from it's rightful owner. In a panic, I began scouring the dirt floor. It was littered with plastic cups and debris. But no phone.

There was no way a Blackberry could've survived the trampling of 2000 Metallica fans. As the floor cleared out and even remnants of the phone were nowhere to be found, reality set in. My phone was gone.

All my contacts. Gone.

But I couldn't give up. I ran up to the stage and quickly asked the MC to announce that I had lost my phone.

MC: Hey, this stupid bald guy up here lost his phone. Anybody have it?"

Awesome. Thanks.

Unfortunately, no one responded. That was it. I had to live with the reality. I lost my phone. Oh well, worse things have happened, right? So I set off into the Austin night air to hail a cab to take me to my friend's house where I was staying for the night. One pulled over and I got in.

CABBY: Where to?

ME: 2202 Garden Street.

CABBY: Where is that?

ME: I don't know.

CABBY: Well can you call someone?

ME: Crud. No, I lost my phone.

CABBY: Well, out you go.

Strike one. For the next hour and a half I failed to get a taxi to take me into this residential area. I even offered to pay double. No dice. As the night grew older, I began to realize something.

Holy crap. I'm lost. Lost in Texas. I'm 31 years old and completely lost in Texas. I have no way of getting ahold of my friend. He can't get ahold of me. I can't look him up.

Then I got an idea. I went into a hotel and asked the clerk if he wouldn't mind printing me off a google map from the hotel to my friend's house. No dice. I tried another hotel. Again, because I wasn't a guest they wouldn't help me. Finally, a nice chap at the Hilton printed me off a map. Perfect, now I just need to find a cab that will take me to residential and then I'll use this map.

About an hour later I succumbed to the reality that the cabs in Austin completely blow and that I was probably going to have to sleep in the park. The SXSW crowds were dissipating into the night air. Oh well, I guess I have no choice but to walk. I stepped into a corner store and purchased me a gatorade and begin my journey.

I felt a little like Red Riding Hood walking through the scary forest on her way to grandma's. Only, this scary forest was lined with shady bars and mexican dives. The street was lit just enough for hoodlums to identify me as an out of towner, clutching a google map. Oh great. I'm going to die. I'm going to die in Texas. I'm going to get jumped and kicked in the neck with cowboy boots. Great. Just great. Stupid lost phone! Why! Why! Family, I love you!

Before too long I found myself not but a block away from my friend's house. I had made it. Unharmed and un-killed. Just then I felt something mushy under my foot. My stepping on it released a fowl odor into the air. I looked down. Oh great, a dead cat. Stupid lost phone!

Once I arrived I relayed my night's adventures to my friend. And before retiring I thought I would make one last effort to call my phone. This time, however, somebody answered!

GUY: Hello.

ME: Hello!

GUY: Who's phone is this?

ME: It's mine! Oh thank you heaven, it's mine!

He then explained to me that if I could get down to where he was in the next ten minutes he would wait and give me back my phone. My buddy and I jumped in his car and drove like the wind. We found the guy and he returned my phone. Suddenly, the entire night's drama had a happy ending.

I didn't die. I didn't sleep in the park. I didn't have to pay for a new phone.

I must say, looking back, the whole thing was rather heroic.


Blogger robata said...

I cant leave a story like this uncommented. This is what screenplays are made out of. This is fantastic. in the movie version james gandolfini would be you, the band would be "the knight riders" cuz they wouldnt be able to hire weezer and you would be looking for a girls house, an old flame who you had to reignite that night or she would go back to her old boyfriend. Can i be the cabby?

The word verification word right now is "hosef" thats kinda bomb too.

12:37 PM

Blogger Dan said...

im robata.

12:38 PM

Blogger M and P said...

we thought you would just be a clerk in a nice retail store.................

2:09 PM

Blogger #4's said...

did you really step on a dead cat?

5:49 AM

Blogger : STEVE : said...

Yes. It was white.

8:15 AM

Blogger K19 said...

Steve- we were 50 minutes away!!! And if you would ahve had your phone, you could have called Hailey, then me, then- voila!- we could have saved you from the dead cat!

8:41 AM

Anonymous Porty said...

An intimate evening with Metallica just wouldn't be complete without a dead cat involved in some way. So while you may have gone about it a rather unorthodox way, it was how it had to be.

Jealous of the show and glad it all worked out. I too will be waiting for the movie.

10:22 AM

Blogger The Gibsons said...

But you did step on a dead cat & that image will be with me for awhile. Gross. Thanks for sharing, Steve!

3:03 PM

Anonymous mike said...

I'm glad you survived! I won't forget that evening. For those of you that don't know...steve was only a mile and a half from my house, but cabbies in Austin are @#$%$#%'s. Oh yeah, they got rid of that cat the day after you left, BTW
One last thing, if they do make a film out of it, I want to pick who plays me!

3:50 PM


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