Fuzion Reviewzion

Big HandWhenever I hear the words “free concert,” I recall a friend’s experience at the gratis Freedom Fest back in the early 90’s. After a long day of crowds and heat, he happened upon a shirtless drunk passed out on the grass. The guy was in bad shape, but over-consumption of beer and sunshine were the least of his problems, as a fellow shirtless drunk straddled his comatose compadre and proceeded to urinate on him. And I’m pretty sure there weren’t any jellyfish around. Ever since hearing this cautionary tale, I balance the temptation of free admission against the likelihood of confronting a public pee assault.

Fortunately, Saturday’s free “Austin Fuzion” event came out on the right side of that equation. The event, put on by Austin’s beloved Alamo Drafthouse and sponsored by the not-so-beloved AT&T (you may remember them as the folks at SBC who couldn’t get your DSL to work for a month), brought DJ’s and VJ’s together for a chill mix of audio-visual entertainment.

The event took place at Waterloo Park, which made for easy access and free parking in the garages along San Jac. As usual for these events, fencing was erected around the park with select access points, but the overall security presence was very low-key. My wife and I got there in time to catch DJ Mel and SUPERCONTINENT leading in to Cut Chemist. Even if you’ve never heard of the Scratch Picklz or cringe at the abuse of a perfectly good phonograph, there’s a lot to enjoy from live DJing and giant video projection. Watching these guys work turntables on 40′ screens showcased their considerable skills (I mean, skillz), and the whole VJ concept of ad-libbed video mixing made for interesting, and occasionally brilliant accompaniment.

Hats off to Alamo and their Rolling Roadshow crew (and AT&T, I guess *grumble grumble*) for setting up a great musical concept and making it accessible and relaxed. In many ways, this event embodied the spirit and atmosphere that are steadily being suffocated beneath the dust and profits at ACL Fest. The gang at Capital Sports and Entertainment would also do well to remember Austin Fuzion, and consider booking musicians that aren’t Ben Harper or a former member of Uncle Tupelo.

3 Comments so far

  1. omit (unregistered) on July 10th, 2006 @ 1:04 pm

    Great event. Only a couple bummers: $4 beer (if you were drinking Lone Star, you were definitely overpaying–they could have at least had pounders–thanks Emo’s!) and no water allowed in the park. So be sure to get your drink on beforehand if you’re into that.

  2. wae (unregistered) on July 10th, 2006 @ 1:12 pm

    I didn’t realize they were prohibiting water. My wife strolled right in with hers, maybe because nobody wanted to be the guy who takes Ozarka away from a pregnant lady. Sweet. Next time it will be vodka.

  3. Eddie C. (unregistered) on July 11th, 2006 @ 8:03 am

    Yeah, you DEFINITELY don’t want to get between a pregnant lady and her vodka.

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