What were you doing at 3:30 this morning? Yeah, so anyway -- I was under the Lamar Street Bridge watching a guy in a cock sock play some kick ass punk rock. That’s right: Mr. Free and the Satellite Freakout gave me the best answer to the standard SXSW question: “What all have you seen?”
I win. (And I also win the scavenger hunt.)
After a full night of comedy at the Esther’s Follies and The Velveeta Room, Brett Koshkin and I headed over to the public after-party. A faint, funky bass line lured us past a slew of drunk, high and/or coked up Austin and out-of-town hipsters who were too cool to see the free show on the other side. We made our way to the spiraling ramp at the bridge’s end and peaked over the ledge.
“Is he naked?” I asked.
“He’s wearing a cock sock!” Koshkin replied.
The lead singer (whose outfit, or lack thereof, supports the assumption that he’s Mr. Free) danced around wearing socks, the remnants of tattered red tights and, as mentioned, a cock sock. (By the way, half the point of this blog is to see how many times the editors let me say cock sock. Will that one survive? We’ll see.) The twisting walkway created a Coliseum-like venue where Mr. Free danced, marched, jumped and waved around his, well, you know.
From the looks of him, you’d expect the music to be nothing more than a wacky soundtrack for some weirdo to freak out to, but nah, it was really good. The bassist held things down with rumbling rhythm that was matched with clever, quick guitar riffs and drums that didn’t seem hindered by the fact that they were supported by patches of grass and dirt. Everyone in the crowd – from the gutter punks to the hip hoppers – seemed to be digging it to some degree.
With no stage to hold him back, Mr. Free made his away amongst the audience, grinding his sweaty, beer soaked torso against anyone he encountered. (Including this reporter who came pretty close to enjoying a Mr. Free French kiss.) A mosh pit started and tons of photographers followed the barely-dressed frontman trying to get the best angle – if you know what I mean – during his cock-sock workouts.
“I just don’t think I should encourage a guy in cock sock,” Koshkin said on the way back to the car. But neither he nor I could deny that it was probably one of the better shows we’d seen. So remember, the official party may be on or near 6th street, but if you want to see a guy in a cock sock, you’ll need to pull out of there – HEY-O! – and get under a bridge.
Koskin’s camera doesn’t like my computer so check back to see pictures of Mr. Free and all his glory (read: cock sock.) – Dusti Rhodes