012. The Front: Mexico & Austin
Time of Arrival to Venue: 9AM
Anxiety Level: Weirdly calm
Entering into the second leg of our tour I heard so many tall tales about how intense Mexican fans are: that they camp outside the venue for 3 days before the show, that the crowds are uncontrollably constricted, that they're passionate and loud. With this in mind, I went into our first night in Mexico expecting to hang back and let Mexican fans have the rail. I got to the venue early only to continue interviews that we'd begun the night before - but then when I saw the opportunity, I went into survival mode and seized it, sprinting to Ed's side of the stage, rail. An unreal, joyous experience - my second favorite of the whole tour!
Time of Arrival to Venue: 8AM
Number in Line: 44
After my first impassioned and serene live experience in Mexico, having rail for the second night became a non-negotiable obsession. It was a tense morning convincing my friends to join me so early after such a late night - but we ultimately chose an 8AM arrival. My anxiety almost got the best of me, but after meditating on some Frank Ocean + Sigur Rós in line, I was calm to enter the venue. We only walked a few steps before a stampede of men came rampaging in after us. A man tried to push me off the rail, resulting in a very swollen elbow and some bruises - but it was worth it to be in front for that setlist + 3 encores!
Time of Arrival to Festival: 6AM (11AM doors)
Anxiety Level: This is my version of the Olympics
We found out a couple of days before Austin City Limits that the front rail for the festival was behind a VIP section - so basically ACL had made the crowd layout biased in regards to financial/social status, which I found uncool - however, after 2 nights in the front in Mexico, I couldn't complain much. I was more just hyped and anxious on the half mile sprint that was required to get General Admission front rail. After training 6 days a week since my last tour - I was determined. While I'm still not the fastest runner - it felt good to beat some people out and ultimately get a great spot. Aiming to get even faster for next time!
P.S. - Can't pretend we were just looking happy and relaxed all day! See below for a taste of the realness we endured all day just to see Thom and the boys once again!