From Watertown to Texas: How I Saw The Cure at Austin City Limits

Growing up in Watertown, NY, I spent a lot of time with my grandfather. He was particularly fond of country western music and constantly played Patsy Cline or tuned into the Grand Ole Opry and Austin City Limits when I was visiting. I'm not sure if I liked the music much back then, but I realize now that I was seriously influenced. Although I once spurned country music as the only music I didn't like, I'm way interested now. What it took, apparently, was a big move to Texas.

Around the same time I claimed country to be the worst (high school probably), I was deep in love with a British band fronted by a man with dark hair, sometimes teased into a wild sculpture, red lip stains, and smudged black eye makeup. If you haven't figured it out: this is Robert Smith of The Cure, my biggest dreamboat. Robert Smith was my only high school boyfriend, really. I never was the dating type back then.

Why Can't I Be You, The Cure, 1987
Still my favorite band. 

By some magic I learned that we were going to be visiting friends in Austin during the Austin City Limits music festival, an outdoor festival not limited to country western, and that the headlining band was none other than The Cure (whom I've only ever seen once before in a serendipitous Hard Rock live taping at a closed studio in NYC, 1999. Thanks to my friend Jose from FIT!).

I'm in the front row somewhere, stage left (with a pierced lip, cat eyeglasses, and blondie hair).

I knew I had to try seeing them again. Forget about the fact that there were no $300 tickets available. In Austin the festive atmosphere was infectious. We had a bite to eat as the sun went down, grabbed some hot Vietnamese coffee to go, and set off for Zilker Park.

Zilker Park, Austin, TX

Luckily my wonderful group was totally into the adventure. About 20 minutes of walking in the desert chill and we started to hear the unmistakable sounds of Robert Smith. Excited, we propelled toward the final stretch: a hike through the nearly black wooded path leading into the park. Led by the enchanting soundtrack (which at times unfortunately crossed into Kings of Leon on the second stage), we made our way to the entrance of the festival and from there we could actually see the stage and the projection screens.

Victory! We stood in our happy spot listening to the wondrous music for while and at the last minute I made a quick dash past the guards and into the park! Running like a wild woman toward the stage, I felt an incredible rush of ecstasy that will last in memory for a long time. O Robert!

Post Cure morning bliss and breakfast at Bouldin Creek Cafe on S. 1st