Of all the shows I was to report on since the last entry, Moonlight Bride’s transcendent performance at Bayou was the only one I ended up making it to. That’s the nature of Austin music week. There is so much happening all at once that there is no way to plan for what situations one will find oneself in.
Reveling in the afterglow of Moonlight Bride’s journey from earth to heaven and back, Prophets & Kings footed eight blocks to the Four Seasons Hotel to get some industry-professional networking in at “the Shapiro party” that was rumored to have free top-shelf liquor and agents, managers and publicists galore. Channeling John Prine’s smile, we traipsed around the back of the Four Seasons to check the scene.
Sure enough, people were gathered on the bright-green lawn that leads to pristine Lady Bird Lake. The entrance to the party wasn’t immediately evident, so we made the obvious choice of hopping over the velvet rope that cordoned off the wait staff as they transported said top-shelf cocktails and fancy hors d’oeurves from the kitchen to the lawn.
We wanted to begin mingling as quickly as possible, so we made a beeline to the center of the party. It was during this leg of the journey that I began to pick up on the fact that everybody (but us) was wearing tuxedos and evening gowns.*
I quickly became aware of how few backs-of-heads I spotted. It was all faces, all eyes. I began to sweat. I turned to the gawking couple standing next to us in the center of the party and noticed a gold lapel pin in the shape of a gramophone. I looked up at the lanky giant who sported this pin, his leathery face contorted, his sunken eyes, protruding nose, and sagging, bulbous lips began to swirl together.
“Excuse me, sirs,” peeped a mousey voice.
The tiniest girl I’d ever met, a clipboard-toting assistant dressed in all black, had materialized out of nowhere.
“Have you made it through check-in?”
The wind picked up, I thought she might be whisked away to tiptoe over the peaks and valleys forming in the lake.
“I notice you’re not wearing the Academy wristbands. Have you been through check in?” she repeated.
I unstuck my jaw, “Not yet.”
“Oh, well let me take you to check-in.”
Thus began parade number two; this time realizing we were at the Grammy party, not the “Shapiro party” (not that it would have made much difference) and that we were WAY out of our element. I looked back at my troupe as the mouse-assistant, leading us to the official entrance/exit, fearing we might be someone important, but believing that we weren’t, tried to make small talk.
Jon-Michael wore a far-too-large tank top touting Sao Paolo on the front and old-lady sunglasses that all but screamed “drugs.” Travis sported a Bear Milk T-shirt with a roaring bear head plopped atop a busty bikini babe body. soCro stayed comfortable in his signature white tank top, sagging shorts and oversized beanie.
“So, you’re artists?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“Who are you with?”
“Prophets & Kings, of course.”
The elitists continued to stare as we walked past a four-foot tall version of the Grammy Award, where a starling who bore a striking resemblance to Rihanna posed for a picture. Everything was slow motion at this point.
“Here’s check-in. If your name is on the list, the receptionist will give you a wrist band.”
Prophets & Kings crashed the Grammys. Well, the Grammy party at SXSW. It felt the same.
*Not well versed in women’s fashion, I turned to almighty Wikipedia to confirm the type of dress that adorned these delicate trophies. The definition of women’s formal dress dictates that they be worn at entertainment industry awards programs: Formal dress is the grouping of all the dress codes which govern clothes worn to formal events…from these derive the evening dress variants worn on many occasions, such as high school prom dances, formal dances, and entertainment industry award programs.