(Jason Lent has forsaken the island paradise of Hawaii to follow us around for a few months. I have happily placed the tour diary in his capable hands. It should bring a new perspective to our ramblings.)
With a day off between Houston and Dallas, I decided to check out Austin before the tour bus pulled in 48 hours later. The famous 6th street resembled most college downtowns with a ton of bars and clubs geared towards those drinking on a budget. There are tons of live music venues in Austin and the town must get rocking during the SXSW festival. It was not on this day so I carved out a spot by the bridge to watch the bats take to the sky at dusk. If you go to Austin, you have to see the bats. Well, the little buggers stood up me and 500 other tourists. It wasn’t until two nights later that a local told me the bats were not cooperating due to all the females being pregnant. Nestled between the mansions in the hills above the city, the theater looked like an upscale Mexican restaurant. Walking into the lobby, I thought I accidentally joined a wedding reception in progress with two twins doing country songs as a well-dressed crowd ate dinner. The band played upstairs in a small room that felt more cramped than intimate. It was a sweltering night in the audience and Margo made similar remarks about the temperature on stage. Just behind Mike’s amp, an artist set-up a canvas and painted along to the music. After each show, the paintings went up for auction. I thought about bidding on them as gifts for Cookie Bob and Crazy Ed but I didn’t think the $17 in my pocket would get very far. The band spread twenty-eight different songs across the two shows giving the fans that stayed for both shows a real treat. As soon as the show ended, I drained two bottles of Starbucks juice and pointed the car west.