I’d argue that there are few experiences as central to being a young person in America as going to an overpriced, overcrowded outdoor concert and loving every minute of it – unless you suffer a heatstroke and make your friends miss whatever late-afternoon act they were most stoked to see because you had to go to the EMT tent. But even that’s still kind of a fun memory, assuming you don’t die. Below are my picks for summer 2019.
Austin Terror Fest 2019 at Empire Control Room (606 E 7th St, Austin) and Barracuda (611 E 7th St, Austin) from Fri to Sun, Jun 7-9. This three-day fest is a veneration of everything heavy, bringing a pantheon of the metal underground’s most fearsome beings, including a couple local bands (Empire Control Room hosts Denton’s Terminator 2 – one of my favorite local bands ever – at 7:30pm on Jun 7 and Mountain of Smoke at 7:30pm on Jun 10), to the Live Music Capital of the World©. Friday’s highlights: Terminator 2, Japanese doom lords Church of Misery, and Maryland’s Full of Hell. My picks for the fest’s Saturday shows include Daikaiju and Lightning Bolt (both at Empire Control Room), and its Sunday lineup is buoyed by Bongzilla, Black Cobra, and Dark Castle. Tickets, available on Eventbrite, range from $25 to $100.
Sorry-not-sorry for listing this one: Jimmy Buffett is at Dos Equis Pavilion (3839 S Fitzhugh Av, Dallas) on Sat, Jun 8. I can’t really think of a more perfect way to spend a Saturday in June than sweating out $14 beers on the parched, pokey lawn at Dos Equis Pavilion (or, in the memory-based parlance specific to the age of the average Parrothead, the Starplex) while watching Jimmy and the Coral Reefers amble their way through nearly 50 years of laid-back, Gulf-breezy, countrified, Caribbean-fantasizing jams. It’s no secret that Jimmy Buffett is one of my all-time biggest heroes, but even the dopiest Buffett single will remind you how the Baby Boomer generation were once young, dumb, and arguably fun. Lawn seats are only $25 plus whatever surcharge Live Nation tacks onto tickets.
I included Float Fest in Gonzales last year because I’d gone to the one in 2015 and had a blast. Basically, this is an outdoor concert with the option of floating the Guadalupe. If you plan on doing the latter Sat-Sun, Jul 20-21, why not pair that trip with performances by Major Lazer, Portugal. The Man, Gucci Mane, Ice Cube, the Flaming Lips, and 15 other artists/bands who are kind of big deals? Besides Ice Cube, the names in the lineup I was most enthused about were Jungle, Big Boi, and Rainbow Kitten Surprise. You can buy tickets and find all the pertinent info (and there’s actually a lot you need to know because there’s optional camping involved and there are rules about bringing beer and whatnot) at Floatfest.net.
The brainchild of Scott Beggs, the impresario behind Three Links (2704 Elm St, Dallas), WoodScott celebrates the 50th anniversary of Woodstock with local bands performing as tributes to the beyond-iconic music festival’s various lineups, which means that, yes, there will be a local band pretending to be Limp Bizkit. In fact, most of the lineup comes from the Woodstock anniversary concerts in ’94 and ’99, and, frankly, I think seeing a local band pay tribute to Woodstock with a set of Everclear songs is way more interesting than seeing one recreate The goddamned Band. Each night (Fri-Sat, Jul 26-27) is $10.
Contrary to popular beer and soda ad campaign bromides, you can’t actually beat the heat this or any summer, but maybe you’ll collect a few interesting festival stories – assuming heat stroke doesn’t rob your memory of them