Guest-blogged by Sheridan Schaefer, with Lynanne Melton
At the end of a long day of skiing on Lake LBJ in Burnet (with Shannon, Chris, Maggie, and Ash), my best friend, Lynanne, and I discussed with our lake buddies our serious need to come to the amazing city of Austin for a visit. So, without further ado, the next day, Monday, this dynamic duo headed to Austin, albeit without huge plans in mind.
We arrived around 3:00 or 4:00 in the afternoon and had a simple shopping day at Forever 21, ate at California Pizza Kitchen, and then came home to watch some television with Shannon and Chris. Thinking that we’d likely return to Burnet the next day, we went to sleep that night itching for something eventful to happen.
The next morning, I awoke to Shannon calling my name and asking me to come talk to her. She explained that she’s been overwhelmed with her first week of school and had so much work that she couldn’t handle seeing a show that night. So, she informed me that after a talk with Chris, who so generously decided to give us the tickets instead of going with a friend, Lynanne and I would get to go see LCD Soundsystem!! We were so ecstatic and grateful to get this spontaneous opportunity.
Doors at Stubb’s opened at 5:30 pm, so Shannon and Taylor dropped us off around 6:00, as we expected the opening band to start around 6:30. We were one of the first to arrive, and after about thirty minutes of just standing around, I went to the merchandise stand and bought the band’s newest CD for Chris. Afterwards, we stationed ourselves in the slowly forming crowd in front of the stage so we’d be guaranteed great spots for the show.
Everyone seemed lively and conversational — definitely a mix of all different kinds of people, as LCD Soundsystem isn’t too far into one specific genre and can attract a range of spectators. Lynanne and I weren’t really talking to anyone, but then one friendly guy next to us broke the ice and struck up a conversation, as he was waiting for his friend to get back from the merchandise stand. The first band didn’t even come on till past 7:30 pm, so it was nice to have a couple people to talk to as we anxiously awaited the music. We had decided before the show to take 5-hour energy shots (a one time thing!); I don’t know about Lynanne, but my heart was pumping and I was ready for some action. Right before the band came on, it started to rain, but we were protected under the cover, although the rain seemed welcome against the humidity and heat from all the bodies surrounding us..
The opening band was Holy Ghost!, and they played a set of about five songs. Their style was similar to LCD Soundsystem and they were great at setting the mood for the headliner. At this point, we were really just so excited to finally hear some live music. I love the feel of the bass beating into your chest! It was an electronica vibe with some cool exchanging of drums beats between three different players. The front man had lots of energy, and we were enjoying what we heard so far, but the energy of the crowd still wasn’t all the way up, and our live show craving definitely wasn’t satisfied yet.
During the break between Holy Ghost! and LCD Soundsystem, Lynanne and I stayed in the crowd and used the time to ease our way a little bit closer to the stage. We were now about the third or fourth row back in the right center, so our view was pretty awesome. We had parted from our previous chatting buddies and were now just ready for some great music. We already had one lady rudely tell Lynanne to back up; she needed to get in touch with reality and acknowledge the fact that she was at a show.
Finally, the band started to come out while everyone screamed and cheered as fog machines were filling in through the crowd. I was so pumped to have some real fun! The energy was constantly rising as a random beach ball was being tossed through the crowd and the leading man of the band himself came out. I didn’t know too much about LCD Soundsystem prior to the show, but everyone else recognized the front man, James Murphy, and screamed as he walked out. He was an older guy, but cool and confident. The band consists of the lead vocals, drums, guitar, bass, keyboard and other electronic paraphernalia, along with a guy in the back playing additional gadgets.
At this point, everyone was bouncing their heads and moving their hips, but things were still just kind of starting out. This music was upbeat, but still in a sense somewhat calm, so there wasn’t a call for major action at that point. Then, about the fourth song in, the music got a little edgier with a classic rock influence and almost out of nowhere the crowd starting wildly pushing and shoving – moshing, if you will. Lynanne and I were sucked into the waves of back and forth, side to side, and we were for the whole seemingly extremely long song completely lost in the passionate throes of the music. (Don’t worry, though, as we made sure we stayed together). During this experience, we couldn’t stop smiling and laughing! The show was invigorating.
Suddenly, these two guys in front of us began yelling at each other and a fight erupted. No punches were thrown, but they were definitely shoving each other around. Other people pulled them apart, and I heard one guy exclaim, “Hey guys, this is a dance show!” As for myself? I had such a high from the music and moving that I just laughed about all the commotion.
For the rest of the concert, a dance show was exactly what it was. Everyone was jumping up and down, throwing their arms in the air and having an exhilarating experience. Dust was flying everywhere and covering us up due to the moshing in the pit of the Stubbs’s arena. The band was awesome live and entertained with a top-notch show. James Murphy provided us with inspiring lyrics of today’s life and how certain new technologies and popularities such as “Facebook” are making him “lose his edge”. The music tossed back and forth between electronic dance and rock-and-roll swagger. The people there had great energy, but admittedly, there were definitely some creepy guys who seemed only interested in finding a willing girl to nastily grind up on. But hey, it was dancing, and Lynanne and I stuck together and made sure each other was safe and having fun.
The initial set lasted for about an hour and a half. The band headed backstage and even though we knew that they would still come out and play some encore songs, Lynanne suggested that I text Chris to tell him that the band was finishing up so he could head over to pick us up. So, I reached down to my purse to get my phone, only to find that it wasn’t there. Not only that, but my wallet with my credit card, ID, and cash had somehow managed to fall out too. I yelled to Lynanne, “Stuff is missing from my purse, stuff is missing from my purse!” Idiotically, I got to my hands and knees in the middle of the show (the band had by now come back on for an encore), and crawled around looking for my missing valuables, but Lynanne pulled me up and we both knew that we were just going to have to wait till the end of the show to continue looking for my stuff. I knew my phone was most assuredly going to get trampled and smashed, but at this point I was just praying that I could at least find my wallet.
LCD Soundsystem played about three more long songs, lasting about another thirty minutes, and we were a little more off to the side at this point, still trying to enjoy the end, although not quite as into it since we were worrying about my missing items. We stayed out of the swiftly moving section of the crowd, not quite in the mood anymore to get pushed around.
I felt ashamed to wish the band to be over, but I was anxious to look for my stuff. As the band finished and the crowd cleared, Lynanne and I searched the ground everywhere for my phone and wallet, only to find beer cans scattered everywhere. Then, down through the gates of heaven appeared a sweet angel asking me what my name was. I replied, “Sheridan,” and she pulled out my wallet from her back pocket. This kind-hearted stranger had looked at my ID and then seen me obviously searching for something. She was so amazing to wait around at the end of the show to try to find me. I thanked her over and over again and gave her the biggest hug of true gratitude! She truly was a life saver and will go down in my memory forever.
As for my phone, she said she didn’t have it but she saw it being tossed around through the crowd of moshers. Yikes! Lynanne called it from her phone with the hope that someone had picked it up, and after ringing for a long time, a man answered. However, it was really hard to hear him, and Lynanne finally hung up. She told me that all she heard was that he was “at the car.” That seemed odd, and we weren’t about to go searching around downtown for some strange man’s car. I called back and finally figured out that the guy was saying he was “at the bar.” Someone had turned it in to the staff member at the bar, and I picked it up, intact and scratch-free. I am sooooo lucky! “God is great!” I said to Lynanne and dialed Chris’ number to come pick us up.
We walked to Red River and 7th to await Chris’ arrival. He pulled up and we hopped in, eager to tell him all about our experiences. We gave Chris the new LCD Soundstystem CD that I had bought as a thank-you, as he had been asking me earlier if I had it, so he could burn a copy. Our night was amazing, thank you so much Chris and Shannon! I know that every time I come into Austin, no matter what the occasion, I always manage to have a great experience. The city is magic, and anything is possible when in Austin!