The first night I of SXSW my friend Michael was not in a very good mood. He was on a head of mushrooms and decided to drink about 10 Red Bulls and vodka and he may of pissed one or two people off… but I will get to that in detail in a later update. The only reason I wanted to mention that is because he was trying to get me to leave the Red Bull Moon Tower as soon as fucking possible. I was having a good time but clearly he was not in the mood for such a thing. I understood and was about to leave when these strange dudes in late 60’s era costumes started setting up their gear in the middle of the crowd. They kinda looked like pretentious assholes so I was ready to split but this girl just turned to me and was like “You will want to shoot Monotonix.” I could tell by the way she said it that she was serious and I didn’t inquire further. I told Mike that we had to stay for two songs… We stayed the full set.
They lost all sense of pretension when they got out of their clothes, into spandex suits and put on gold chains. Then the lead singer pretended to swim through the crowd like a fish very slowly, most likely on a head full of the very same mushrooms that Mike was on, and then he climbed onto his drummer and posed on top of him like some long haired circus acrobat. Then they played. At once every one in the crowed tossed their Red Bull and vodkas at the band and into the center of the crowd where I happened to be. Every other photographer fled and climbed on stage to get shots from above. I have too many years shooting in mosh pits to be smart enough to get out of the way and I plowed through. Michael took his underwear off and threw it into the crowd. He loved it. It was the only good spot of the night for him. At one point the singer took the kick drum and moved it into the crowd. The guitar player walked over to it and started playing it while he was still jamming. The drummer kept playing without the kick drum. A few moments later the singer rode on top of the crowd on the same drum and then stage dived off of it. This was after he had already taken a ride above the crowd in a trashcan. It was pretty intense. After it was over I was covered in Red Bull and I found ice cubes in my back pants pocket. My camera somehow survived and I got some insane shots.
If you click right here, you can see all those shots in their full glory. These might be my favorite images of the trip (although the re-edits I did for this site look a bit over exposed). More Red Bull Moon Tower shots tomorrow.