A Crybaby Went To Arcade Fire: A Review From The Cheap Seats
I wasn’t expecting it, but as a result of winning tickets on the Internet (as a result of tweeting a picture of my fanciest threads) I ended up at the Arcade Fire show at the Austin 360 Amphitheater last night. Being that I got free tickets that fell out of heaven, I feel like I ought not to complain. Yet I was disappointed enough in the evening that I have to share.
I hadn’t purchased tickets for last night’s show because I had seen Arcade Fire several times (including their Austin City Limits television show taping) and I didn’t think that I wanted to haul myself out to the racetrack to go see them again. Before last night, I hadn’t been out to the Circuit of the Americas racetrack.
It turns out that with absolutely no traffic it takes just over an hour to get into the COTA venue from near 45th and Lamar.
“There are houses out here!” my husband Paul Sicard marveled at one point on our felt-like-forever drive out to the venue, when we drove through a part of town we had never been to before. When we got to the venue, we sat in stop’n’go traffic to wait for parking, something that always sets my teeth on edge. If you build something on the edge of a prairie, with acres of parking, why can’t you design it for cars to easily get in and out?
When we finally parked, we were so far away from the venue, that on the way back to the car after the show my husband said, “If we come to anything else out here, we’re putting our bikes in the truck!” He also considered texting his friend who was going to the venue today for a motorcycle race to be prepared for a REALLY long walk from parking!
How far is the parking from the venue? There are pedicabs angling for business between the venue and the parking! The pedicabs then use the same sidewalk as the pedestrians, meaning that the pedicabs use their bells to encourage pedestrians to move out of their way!
After walking to the theater, we got to our tickets on the lawn. (Luckily we were late enough that we missed the accident where the sprinklers turned on when the crowd had already gathered on the lawn.)
We were a very long way from the stage:
— anna hanks (@annainaustin) April 11, 2014
Early in the show, Arcade Fire thanked people for coming all the way outside Austin to see them!
While Arcade Fire was playing, my singing along with the every song in the show was repeatedly interrupted by the repeated shouts of “Cold Beer” by the various beer venders. (Who I believe were charging something like four bucks for water, and eight bucks per can of domestic light beer. No thank you.)
The prairie wind was so strong back by the fence, that the woman in front of us was wrapped in the blanket that I think she had meant to sit on! I borrowed my husband’s jacket.
While I love Arcade Fire, I can’t say that going all the way out to the racetrack to see them from the back of the lawn was totally worth it. I wish it had been.
Later, my husband said that we were so far away, that it was like watching the show on television, except that the television was really far away as well!
It was also really surreal, having driven past the suburbs out into the county, to go hear the song “The Suburbs.” The band also played other songs.
The fact that the band asked people to dress up for the show has been commented on by other people, and it even said right on the tickets “costume/formal.” It was nice to dress up for a show, and I’m glad I wore my cute flapper dress. But I regretted wearing the cute shoes that went perfectly with my flapper dress, and actually walked back to the car in my stocking feet.
In all my years of going out, I’ve never been the girl whose shoes were wearing her. Last night I was.
“Rides back to parking. It’s further than you remember!” one of the pedicab drivers was busking last night after the show. Actually, I remembered how far it was from parking to venue.
I saw on social media that a lot of my friends had a magical time at the Arcade Fire show. I didn’t.
Sure, it was a nice night with one of my favorite bands, but watching the show from the back of the lawn was somewhat of a disappointment of an evening for me. Other people had different experiences.
I am totally looking forward to seeing Arcade Fire on the livestream from Coachella this Sunday night. At least I’ll be able to see the band! Somehow I doubt that the band will do the “Deep In The Heart Of Texas” intro that they did for us.
But for Coachella I bet they’ll do the “Heart of Glass” cover that they also did in Houston.