My Musical Orlando Journey, Part 2

Continuation of Part 1… The next morning, we got up and hopped the bus to the Citrus Bowl. We met Pete, who would be our bus driver for the entire weekend. We picked up a few people from other hotels and were dropped at the venue at 11:30 or so, with a promise from Pete that he would be at that same spot at 12:30am, and not stay 1 minute later. Ok, Pete. Geez, cool it already. We’ll be there. See ya in 13 hours.

That day was magical. First we had to meet up with our @fscdotcom people and were given our VIP tickets. We got the lay of the land, figured out where we were supposed to be standing for the main stage, then decided we wanted to stand somewhere better. So, instead of our reserved VIP seating in the stands, we went to the field in front of the stage. The employees “guarding” that entryway put up a little resistance, but once we told them that “that guy over there” told us to go this way, they budged. We squoze our way up and were eventually settled on the second row.

Day 1: The Ettes. Gogol Bordello. Kid Cudi. The Avett Brothers. The Pixies. The Raconteurs. The Killers.
So fun. Gogol Bordello was an amazing and super high energy show. Kid Cudi was a less hardcore rapper than I expected, and actually kinda charming. Avett Brothers – duh. Amazing. I love them. Pixies? Also great. I did lots of singing and dancing there. Raconteurs were lots of fun, and Killers also were great. Bonus points were awarded to the Killers for use of confetti canons at the end of their show, as well as the use of fireworks at the end.

Pixes Pixies Pixies!

More important to us than how the Killers finished their set, however, was our terrible and ravaging hunger tearing through our now frail and music-soaked bodies. We hadn’t eaten a real meal since 9am breakfast, not counting the millions of free drinks (VIP, baby!) and one weird burrito that we had split earlier. It was 11:30pm. Kelsey and I decided to wander to find some food. I wasn’t too thrilled about strolling through the area around the Citrus Bowl, an area that we had been warned separately and by multiple people to not walk around alone through. I was terrified that we were going to miss that bus, and I knew that Pete was NOT going to wait for us. Lucky for us, though, there was a restaurant…ish… building that had a flashing OPEN sign on it just a few blocks away. I’m not sure what it was called, but it had a clear display for some who-knows-how-old Krispy Kremes. When we walked in and looked confused, a nice lady came out of the kitchen looking helpful. We asked if they had food. She said yes. We asked what kind. She said roasted chicken with rice. We said ok, ordered one of those, plus 2 donuts and 2 beers. We ate like champions that night… champions in a weird ghetto area of Orlando. We arrived at Pete’s bus stop on time, headed home, and crashed solidly into our beds.

The next morning allowed us a little more sleeping-in time, since we knew the ropes a little better. We ate breakfast and were ready when Petey picked us up in his magical tourbus at 10:20. We didn’t have much to do when we arrived at the festival since we didn’t have any bands we wanted to see until a few hours in, so we decided to hang out in the VIP area. This meant drinking (though we both started with water because of the excess we drank the night (actually, entire day) before), foosball, and air hockey.

When it was time for a break from drinking, we wandered over to the stage where Los Lonely Boys were playing. The crowd was huge for the size tent they were playing in, so we found a spot in the shade a little bit away and laid in the grass. We found a band called Aunt Martha after that, which was pretty good, then headed back to the main stage to see the Doobie Brothers. Man, are those guys old – and there are so many of them! They played a great set, but how could they not with so many years of practice and experience? Back to the drinking tent, then off to see a band whose adorable and cheery guitarist we had met while wandering – the Mud Flappers. What a delightful old-timey foot-stompin’ hand-clappin’ kinda band! Back to the drinkin’ tent, then off to see Kid Rock. We danced like maniacs (ok, I danced. Kelsey stared at me.) for the first few songs, then went for more drinking. Ok, all the drinking sounds bad, I know, but come on. It was free, nobody was driving, and we were on our last night there! Anyway, back to more music as we saw the last show of the festival – Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band. This was fun because I had had enough to drink that I was having a really good time punning around, about how Bob was “seger-handedly” running that stage, about how Kelsey had a crush on the lead “seger” of the band, etc etc. Yeah, I was hilarious. Incidentally, we also saw the PuppetMaster down the row from us. I turned away so she wouldn’t see me and try to stab me for trying to ruin her chance at free VIP tickets. I was concerned that she would try to choke me, as I was positive she had very strong hands because of all the puppeting.

Shortly thereafter, we were instantly starving and left Bob to finish his show on his own as we headed back to the weird chicken place we had dined at the night before. We were sad to see it was closed and went to wander through the shitty neighborhood to find more food. What we found was New Texas Pizza and Fried Chicken. It was a dump of a fast food joint, and had a tile collage of a Texas flag with a bluebonnet. I was offended, as a Texan, to be even minorly associated with that place. We ordered some chicken strips. They tasted like dirty frying oil. Gross. We finished up and JUST made it to the tour bus on time so we wouldn’t have to take a $50 taxi back to the hotel.

We killed our 4 hour layover on the way back in the most gluttonous way possible – by filling up on Starbuck’s, Ben & Jerry’s, then some TGIFriday’s potato skins. Why? Because we hadn’t eaten all weekend (is how we justified it to ourselves). All in all, a great weekend filled with tons of music and booze – my favorite kind of weekend. Again, I must mention my undying adoration for Grooveshark, Quiet Company, and @fcsdotcom – without them, I would have been sitting in San Antonio, bored to bits.

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