I'm back home in Austin, semi-recovered from the insanity of a beautiful week in Vegas, scrambling to stay on top of photography, posts, stories, photos, hometown shows and now the pending madness of our very own Austin City Limits festival starting ...**drumroll**... this Friday. Oh, ACL... those cherished weekends of shut-down city blocks, insane crowds, impossible traffic, beautiful people, Titos & tacos left and right, late night shows, a great many celebrity spottings and the most glorious, wonderful music offerings of the year. Which is a huge feat granted that Austin is always home to excellent music on a regular day. Can I adequately describe my excitement for ACL?
Not even close.
It took quite a while to recover from the insanity of Life is Beautiful in Las Vegas and my return evening in Austin was spend battling the crowds to get up-close-and-personal with the one and only Slash. Yes, the wild-haired rock god of guitars and the man I'd waited many years to see in person. Sir Slash blew us out of the water with Myles Kennedy and his conspirators on Monday evening at Stubbs Waller Creek. It's rare that I get to attend a show purely for fun; but attend I did... fangirl, I did... and it was magnificent. I'm smitten. Slash is a personal favorite and probably also the reason my Guitar Hero conquests have proven nothing but unfuckwithable.
Following the wild-haired rock gods on Monday, I finally got to attend and shoot the seriously long-awaited Portland insanity we know as STRFKR. Holy moly, batman... these FKRs aint' FK'n around on the eccentricity FKtor. It should come as no surprise. Adorned in flawless frocks, immaculate wigs and even, I believe, a touch of makeup (you dudes can rock that shit better than I ever could), they ran us through a comprehensive set of their best and brightest poppy alt rock. All without smudging their makeup or resetting their killer wigs. Not even once. I bow down to you, boys. Rock on.
The very next day we cross the genre bridge into hip-hop land for a trip down memory lane with the one and only, lovely and likable Ludacris headlining Austin's Circuit of the Americas FIA rallycross. He was most excellent, in the lewdly outrageous style that we love him for. I snapped some of my best images, proudly posted and quickly learned they were shared by Ludacris himself. Which simultaneously set off my inner fangirl and enraged my marketing manager (ie. Me), since watermarks were cropped and no tags were tagged. Such is the life of the lowly, disposable photographer. But you're Luda and since I taught my teenage self to rap (badly) to Phat Rabbit (woot, high school cred, yo!), we'll let that one slide. I thought I was so cool back then.
But Luda. you owe me one dude.
I also had a chance this week to chat with the lovely, impressive and solidly awesome Blaze the Beats competitor, Carly X. She freestyled our socks off in Vegas and blazed a new path on the Doritos stage as the only female artist and also the youngest finalist of the night. Check out her story here.
Last night I was privileged to join my homeboy, the grandest of podcast personalities, sir Bobby Sharron of CobraCast. Featured on episode #171 was yours truly... where we spent a full two hours drinking wine and bantering about "what actually is a blog?" followed by festival culture, local artists, and the challenges I personally face as an independent blogger. Don't think you'd escape without a little political ridiculousity courtesy of Meatloaf & Mitt and some questionable conversations surrounding cosplay porn (shit, was my mom listening? ...sorry, mom). More than you care to know about, I'm sure. But as a podcast noob it was quite an experience. Check out the full podcast below, and Bobby's Facebook and Instagram channels as well. Because sharing is caring.
I also want to take a somber moment to reflect on the tragedy that occurred in Las Vegas just one year ago on October 1st. It's been on our minds this week. I lost friends at that festival and I want to express my sincerest thoughts, condolences and the biggest damn virtual hug you can possibly imagine to anyone who is feeling down on the anniversary of this terrible date. Hug your friends, family and fellow festival-goers tight today for me. The world is a crazy place and I'm still, to this day, in complete shock, horror and loss at how one sick man could cause such pain and casualty at a festival; an event of such joy, revelry and celebration.
And on that note, as we move into the insanity of Austin City Limits here in my own hometown, I want to express my own personal gratitude to each and every one of you reading this and following my crazy adventures. As much as I complain about the trials, tribulations, aches, pains, pet peeves and, well, everything and anything else (I know, I'za bitch sometimes...), I'm nothing but grateful for these opportunities and for every crazy adventure I embark upon. I'm also grateful for the creative outlet and opportunity to share my work with you. I am so thrilled for the chance to build Team dRiFFt and to welcome our newest members to the team (more on that soon). And I'm nothing but overjoyed to be able to offer the same opportunities to aspiring photographers and writers that I myself struggled for, craved and finally found. I am also endlessly grateful for every person that takes the time to read my rambling posts or click through an image gallery - for you, for your time, for your shares, and for every continuing opportunity that this crazy Universe throws my way. I am grateful for the amazing artists that I get to photgraph, sometimes interview and occasionally get to know personally. You are all incredible. Your talent and passion is the sole reason I run this blog and I hope I do you justice.
So lets make ACL 2018 the biggest, bestest and baddest one yet. Let's celebrate each other, creativity and opportunity. And of course the music. I hope you'll follow along on our 2018 ACL coverage. I can't wait to meet everyone this weekend and next, and kick this festival's big, beautiful Texan booty. I love you all. Xo.
Here you'll find archived band, festival and concert stories... plus blog entries from Team dRiFFt as they travel, photograph, interview and adventure!