My wife and I, along with another couple, kicked off the summer by going to the Louisiana Swamp Thing & Crawfish Festival in Buda Saturday.
I count the experience a huge success. We got to spend a nice – albeit warm – day outside; we got to hear some great zydeco, and we got to hang with some cool people. Plus, I was home before 9. As I said – huge success.
I’ve been going to outdoor shows since back in the day when when you could still actually understand Bob Dylan, and I’ve learned a thing or two about how to do it right. For you young players who are new to the game, or for you more seasoned guys who don’t get out much anymore, I’ve made a few notes that will help you get the most out of your outdoor experience.
Like so many things, the right ensemble is a must. Just as you wouldn’t wear cut-offs and a tank top to the opera (unless you live in Austin), you don’t want to go out looking like you just got off the bus from Waco.
For guys, the right outfit almost always means going shirtless; doing so will showcase your ink, your piercings, and your almost total lack of muscle tone. Here’s a hint: take that money you were going to spend on a “tribal” tattoo and spend it on a gym membership or, at the very least, a pair of running shoes. Do not, under any circumstances, spend it on more Natty Light or onion blossoms.
An aside about tatts: If you’re white (and trust me here — if you’re going to outdoor shows, you are) you don’t belong to a “tribe,” and that Maori stuff you have etched into your flesh just makes you look sad. And those bad-ass kanji characters on your deltoid may literally read “fear this,” but you don’t have to be Japanese to know that they really say “chronic masturbator.”
For pants, it’s hard to go wrong with a pair of wrinkled cargo shorts; their voluminous pockets are ideal for smuggling beer and/or a bong past security; additionally, their relaxed fit plays down your muffin top, and also keeps you comfy when you break into drunken paroxysms of interpretive dance. And remember those pockets? They make dandy handles for the security guys who will soon be bum-rushing you toward the exit.
When it comes to choosing a color, khaki is always in style for day wear; for after 5, or for any occasion that’s a little dressier, play it safe and go with black or perhaps a subdued camo pattern.
And guys, if there’s even the slightest chance you’re going to be showing any ass cleavage, please remember that “wax” is not just a noun – it’s also a verb.
A hat is a necessity if you’re spending more than 45 seconds in the Texas sun. I prefer a classic baseball cap (bill to the front, because that’s how I rock a ball cap — old school). I sometimes wear a Vietnam War-style boonie hat. My headgear decision depends on how much time I plan to be in the sun, and whether I want to look like a NASCAR fan or a meth cook.
As for shoes, there are lots of options for the well-shod devotee. Athletic shoes of any description are appropriate; they’re comfortable, which is important because you’ll be standing a lot. They’re also good for dancing (and since I’m talking about white guys here, when I say “dancing” I mean “shifting your weight from foot to foot roughly in time to the music.”)
Another plus with athletic shoes: their solid soles protect your feet from broken beer bottles and stray bongs, and their full coverage is welcome when you step in a puddle of vomit on your way back to the car in the dark.