This is probably a very un-cool confession, but I used to go to concerts with my mom all the time. This incredible woman, who had no interest in my terrible music, would tough it out in the middle of a mosh pit just because she knew how important it was for me to see my favorite bands live. But the first concert I ever went to by myself was a Ty Segall concert at Mohawk in Austin — and folks, I was not prepared.
See, my mom apparently acted as something of a human shield for me. We’d show up early, I’d grab a spot right on the barrier, and apparently she’d steel herself around me, lock her arms, and prevent people from shoving into me.
I learned this the hard way at the Ty Segall concert, because I absolutely got my ass kicked in that mosh pit. I emerged from that humid outdoor venue covered in sweat and bruises, the sleeve of my shirt torn and my hair a goddamn mess. I’d started the show on the barrier and ended up churned into every possible corner of that venue. And my god, did I have a good time.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Austin concert crowds now that it’s South By Southwest season. When I went to college in Austin, I used to be able to walk from my apartment to all the downtown concert venues, and if you planned it right, you could go to days-long shows for the cost of whatever beer you bought while you were there (and if you did it right, you’d get the $2 Lone Star tallboys). I never actually saw Ty Segall at SXSW, but the crowds never disappointed.
I miss it. I’m, like, way too old to be reliving my college days, and I’m far better suited to just listening to loud music while I clean instead of driving 90 minutes for a club show. But I’ll cherish those memories until the day I die.