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Awesome Austin

12 Aug

Chris Cornell at Belmont StageIf you live in Europe, Austin TX is not exactly the first destination that jumps to mind when you’re planning a trip abroad. I mean, there’s no palm trees, no skiing and no big city glitz to speak of, is there. Saying that, Austin has its very own highlight that should not be missed by any self-respecting music lover: south-by. Namely, the South by Southwest Festival. Every year in March, the city (which is a unique mix of Southern dreaminess and urban skyline) comes to life with thousands of interactive, music and movie buffs. Seminars, showcases and screenings rule Austin’s venues and promise nothing but a good time. This is where new trends are born and new bands are made.

Chris Cornell at Belmont StageI had the chance to attend south-by last year. Although I was actually there to broaden my knowledge of the interactive world, I did attempt to soak up as much of the music part as possible. As luck would have it, I entered a competition from the people over at Nokia Worldwide and won. The grand prize was a ticket to the Nokia Powered Down event featuring an acoustic set by none other than Chris Cornell (plus an awesome roof-top after-show party, btw). So anyway, I got to watch the set open-air with about 90 others on Austin’s Belmont Stage. Needless to say, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that put me in an awesome mood for about 3 months.

Chris Cornell at Belmont StageBefore we get to the proof (as in: the video), I just wanted to mention that the tickets for next year’s south-by have just gone on sale. If there is any chance you can be there, don’t miss it.

more info on:




…and a live snippet of the night:
Live Snippet

Rockin Red

18 Jul

There’s this thing about growing up in Europe. I mean, sure – all the bands drop by sooner or later. But you seldom get to see them at a really iconic venue. You go to Wembley, Slane Castle, Rock am Ring and other “big” locations. But you never really feel like it’s the full experience. I put that down to the existence of Live DVDs. If there is a waiting period before your favorite band arrives, you may watch their live show – or snippets thereof – beforehand. In doing so, you get acquainted with said iconic venues. Madison Square Garden seems to be a popular one, for example. And then there’s also Red Rocks.

I think my first glimpse of this place was through the “Alive at Red Rocks” DVD Incubus put out (which a friend lent me ca. 2005 and I still haven’t given back and I officially apologize for that here). And I can remember being mesmerized. A stage nestled into an awesome red rock structure, right there in the mountains behind Denver, CO. A natural amphitheatre that can hold up to 10,000 and sets an incredible scene. Illuminated rocks, starry skies, you get the picture. Of course, I wanted to go. But Denver isn’t really a place you “swing by” if you live in Europe, is it?

Finally, this year, I came to terms with the fact that the Red Rocks Experience wasn’t going to happen coincidentally. So I planned it instead. And got lucky, too: The band to fit my travel plans was none other than a-bit-too-rock-for-grunge Seattleites Soundgarden who I hadn’t seen before. Needless to say, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The band went through an almost two-hour set of all the favorite tunes from Jesus Christ Pose to Black Hole Sun. The acoustics were awesome. And so was the atmosphere.

As a fan of the club-size gig, I have to admit that going to Red Rocks was more than worthwhile. The place makes you wish the night would never end. On that note, do pay attention to where you park your car. I swear it all looks different when you come back to the parking lot.

More info on Red Rocks:
More info on Soundgarden:
Photos from the Red Rocks Show here

Some rough quality photos here:

Soundgarden at Red Rocks

Red Rocks