Free Press Summer Festival / by Julia Walck

This past weekend, I won tickets through work to attend Free Press Summer Festival in Houston, TX! 

The night before our flight out, I saw Digitalism at the El Rey. They were AWESOME, but whoa. Note to self you'll be exhausted when you have to wake up at 4:30am the next day. 

Our flight was delayed by 2 hours, but luckily we didn't miss anyone we wanted to see. Denise and I rolled up to the Air BnB, dropped off our things and headed to FPSF. 

During the weekend I think I tallied 26, "Oh my god I love your rain boots!" or "Where did you get those?!" on my Jeffery Campbell glitter ankle rain boots. Form AND function? Plus, who can say no to glitter? Cheers to that.

I'm really glad I brought them because Oh. My. God. The. Weather... Insanity. But we'll get into that later. 

Day 1

White Denim

White Denim

HOLY SHIT. If you ever have the chance to see White Denim live, do it!!! These guys seriously rock. One big massive jam sesh; they didn't even have a set list! (I know because I tried to snag one at the end). 

During the set, I was next to this drunk girl who was in love with the drummer. She kept yelling, "Drum solo, drum solo!" The lead guitarist, James Petralli, heard her and announced to the crowd, "Sounds like we have a request for a drum solo." Screams and applause followed in anticipation. The drummer, Joshua Block, laughed nervously and shied away. James smiled and said, "Drum solo. Joshua, play a solo drum, once."

Josh hit a drum and the crowd went wild. The band continued on to each do a "solo", which was basically doing one twang of a guitar or a single push on a keyboard. 

I love when a band has fun rocking out, and comes equipped with a sense of humor and interaction with the crowd. 

Jamie XX

Modest Mouse

We hung back at Jamie XX and people watched as the show went on. My favorite person was a guy intensely voguing yelling, "Twirl! And twirl! And twirl!"

Modest Mouse always delivers. And when I say always, I mean the two times that I've seen them were rad. I also realized they sort of have a similar sound to Interpol, but with way different vocals. 

During the day it rained every now and then, and there was even a rainbow!

Rainy days ain't so bad

Day 2

Sunday morning before the festival we brunched and walked around in the Montrose area, which was surprisingly artsy. We spotted like 4 thrift stores, 3 antique shops and (not even joking) 15 tattoo parlours. 

Summery vibes

A door that opens quietly

This was a bedding store...

OK now back to the good stuff: the music.

Wild Child

Allen Stone

Wild Child was a good, folksy start to our Sunday. Nice mellow jams to listen to while basking in the sun.

Denise and I took a break for a while and hit up the Skyy Vodka tent (they were giving out free shots! [don't ask how many we had]), Malibu Beach House, got some beer and grabbed some grub. 

Allen Stone was next. Um, great voice and even better hat! Man this guy has got some soul. I had never heard of him before, and I'm crazy happy I checked him out. They put on a REALLY good show. 

Leon Bridges

Continuing that soulful music was Leon Bridges. I don't need to say much here. He's fucking amazing.

Denise and I then went our separate ways so I could catch Young the Giant and she could see Big Grams. Ten minutes until showtime, a guy came out on stage with a mic, but wasn't from the band. He announced that everyone had to evacuate the park due to severe weather conditions and possible thunderstorms in our area as reported by the National Weather Service. Mostly everyone at the fest was a local, and it seemed 100% normal to them. 

Good thing it only lasted about an hour or so. 

Young the Giant

The National

Young the Giant came out and said something like, "We've never had a gig where we're backstage literally two minutes before the show not knowing if we're actually playing or not."

I NEED Sameer's sequin jacket in my life BTW.

Watching The National play while it rained was great, because people couldn't tell the difference between raindrops and tears. Kidding. I didn't cry. However, I did have a moment when they sang "I Need my Girl". I imagined the lyrics with "man" instead; Jackson's in Spain right now and I haven't seen him for a week. Sappy stuff, ya know?

Always looking up

For our flight back on Monday, wake up time was 3:30. Tired is an understatement. I'm writing this on the plane at the moment actually. We're landing really soon, and when we do I'm heading home, dropping off my bags and driving to work. Because yes, I am insane. #workhardplayhard

What a fun weekend though. Despite the travel, tiredness and weather, I'd do it again in a heartbeat (but first I'd invest in a sturdier poncho). 

Until next time, Texas. <3