Last week, I emailed all the attendees of our SXSW party with photos and a recap of what happened. I also asked for feedback and here is a message I got from one of our guests:
The Hype Hotel gave me the best week of my life. I was there until closing almost every night of the week. I had a few romances, saw some amazing bands I had never heard before, saw some of my favorite bands, drank my face off, ate way too many tacos, swore off ever eating tacos again, ate even more tacos, swore off ever drinking Monster, drank more Monster, nearly passed out on top of the mountain of ice in the back at least a half dozen times after raging. You guys rock for organizing such an amazing week.
My top highlight was the last night (after 6 nights of raging, mind you). Wavves were taking the stage and I turned to my friend Dave and said, “Dave, do you have enough in you for one more?” He smiled back, and said, “No.” Which definitely meant yes. We began pushing our way to the front and every time someone tried to stop us I would tell him, “I’m going to rage. Do you want to rage with me?” They would say no and let me pass. Finally, one guy had the balls to say “Fuck yeah.” And we all pushed as close to the front as we could.
Right as the band began to play we started dancing like idiots and pushing into people. It was the last night and we completely gave no fucks whatsoever. I had been in so many audiences where people just wanted to stand around while I wanted to move and they would push me and give me glares, and I was absolutely not going to see that on my last night. We were not going to allow a single person to stand in the front and suck the energy out of the band. We were going to match their intensity and amplify it back at them. In the beginning, no one wanted to have fun except one or two people. A bunch of pricks had brought their girlfriends to the front and didn’t want anyone to bump into them despite the fact that they were at a fucking ROCK show!
I had at least 6 drinks thrown into my face by the second or third song (which was a blessing because they were cold and I was hot as balls). I ran into a random co-worker and even he was not allowed to stand idle. I learned later that some ornery guy was ready to beat my ass for bumping into him, but my co-worker told him I had Asperger’s. A few people saw the fun in what we were doing, but most people just wanted to stand there nodding like a bunch of bobbleheads.
Then, finally, this one giant guy saw the fun we were trying to create and the trouble we were having and he bulldozed into the audience, clearing an 8 ft circle. At this point we controlled the space. People were still shoving us in anger, but the tide had turned. Mainly it was those pricks trying to protect their girlfriends, but their girlfriends weren’t pussies like them and they started to jump into the pit. We started to reach critical mass. And this was a GOOD pit, too. Not one of those thrashy metal pits, but a pit where everyone in it just wants to move as one and jump and just give themselves up to the motion of the audience as they try to physically emulate the music. If anyone started to fall 10 hands would catch them. We were not allowing any douchey shit.
Once those girls who were being “protected” started to join in, their prickhead boyfriends were shamed into joining in, too. And then even one of the guys who threw a drink in my face was joining in. And then that same guy was crowd surfing. And then the band was crowd surfing. And someone passed them a flask (okay it was Dave, but don’t tell anyone). Someone else passed them a joint. If they tried to stop and tune their instruments we screamed at them to play out of tune. It was madness. Pure madness in the best sense possible. I knew it was amazing when I saw the normally boring people in VIP jumping the barrier to join us. And then the band really cranked it up. They really picked up the energy from us and just gave it back in spades.
Afterwards, completely soaked through with sweat (pants and everything) I walked outside and faceplanted on the giant ice pile. I’m pretty sure I melted through the entire thing, leaving a human-shaped hole in the middle of it. I was absolutely exhausted. I’ve never had more fun in a week and I may not have ever had more fun in a night. It was one of the most magical moments I think I will ever experience – a house full of people doing nothing more than going wild to some awesome music. Later, the band tweeted at us for being such a good audience.
You guys rock. Can’t wait until next year.
This is why we make the Hype Machine. Thanks for joining us.