Shoes for Shows

I’ve been asked about the best shoes to wear at concerts by a few people, so I thought I’d show the ones I wear. There are quite a few schools of thought. Some go barefoot, flip-flops, sporty offroad style sandals, and then the closed toe shoes and socks people. I’m the third one, as I tend to get my feet stepped on a lot, and my bones get tired so I need some support. I LOVE flip-flops, lived in them year round in Texas, but they just don’t cut it when you need to jump over a barrier, one always falls off. Anyway, I don’t like wearing the same shoes day after day, so I’ve found lots of options. Below is an extremely long catalog of shoes I’ve worn to concerts that worked.

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Nike Air Max Sunrise – these are my VIP’s. They’ve seen 50+ shows, great support, good quality, and cute. In Charlotte this standard dirty hippie guy came up to me and said “excuse me, but are those the Air Max Sunrise? Well done!” and in Ohio a venue worker found them on her phone, she wanted them for work. That’s all the approval I need!

sold out, here are a bunch of other color combos though

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I’ve had a pair of checkered Vans in my arsenal off and on since I was a kid. Once you break in the back, these are the best. Cheap, you can toss them in the washer and dryer, and they match everything. These even stood up to the high tide coming up to our ankles at Jones Beach for Phish. Journey’s. I worked there when I was 16 and they were great to work for, thus I buy vans and tube socks there, they have a quota on socks that is tough to make.

checkered Vans

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The lace-up Vans are just as good. Since these come in men’s sizes, you will often meet a dude in the same shoes. This requires you to put your shoes next to each other, then do the Kid’n Play and high five. You will probably see this guy in two more cities and Kid’n Play each time. Journey’s as well.

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Jordans. This is when you want to make a statement. These are pricey shoes to be wearing in sticky arenas, by wearing white ones you are showing you are stupid and frivolous and do not care. When I wore them at SXSW, I got stopped multiple times to get my picture taken for streetstyle blogs. This did not happen in any other shoe. Sold out, eBay with inflated price

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These are for classier shows, where you will be dancing, but people will be older and in control of themselves, like a Medeski, Martin and Wood show or Spiritualized. These all live in their shoeboxes, and it’s taken years to collect. Whatever you do, take care of your shoes.

gold high tops

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Speaking of Red Rocks, it’s slanted, so I like to have a cowboy heel when I’m there. I’m obsessed with ankle boots that don’t make your legs stumpy. I liked these MIA boots so much, I bought both colors. If you like something, buy all the colors, you never regret those purchases. This style is no longer for sale, but these are similar and even better. That’s also a really good price!

MIA ankle boots

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If only they came in more colors.

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Since they don’t come in black, I wear these Vince Camuto Marcin boots. Softest leather I’ve ever felt, they are like wearing a slipper with spurs. They look really funny in the airport x-ray machine.

starting to get low on sizes

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Oh hey! The same boot in a Chelsea style in cheetah print! I had to wear thick ski socks for awhile breaking them in, they are great for running around on steps in the dark.

these were $60 when I bought them, keep your eyes open

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Speaking of running around in the dark, these are great for sneaking around quietly and quickly. However, they get demoted a point because they stain when someone spills their drink on you.

I like all of their stuff

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Here are their fancier cousins, these are so freaking fun for dancing. I thought they were stupid looking, but after I kicked around in them it was on. I can’t recommend these enough, they come in a ton of colors.

that color is no longer available, but these are pretty

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As we get further into taller boots, these get worn to metal shows and anything that’s going to get crazy. Buy Frye boots on eBay for much less, and you get the added bonus of someone else breaking them in.

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Final concert shoe. These are the best boots I’ve ever owned. Frye leather is awesome, if it already looks like they came from the Gold Rush, then they look good forever. Comfortable, cute, and warm, these are my go to for winter concerts.

I hope this helps at least one person, and keeps them from breaking a pinkie toe (happened in flip-flops), stepping on broken glass and bleeding everywhere (happened barefoot at a small outdoor venue), or getting tetanus (hasn’t happened). At a concert, you want to have fun and dance to great music, not complain that your feet hurt. Have fun out there!!

Shakey Graves Concert Review- He’ll get in your SOUL

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Shakey Graves is a one man band to be reckoned with. Just when you think there are enough folk/blues singer/songwriters, someone like Shakey Graves fires through proving you wrong. Hailing from Austin, he’s recently finished a residence at The Parish and went on to become a big buzzed about musician during sxsw. When he walked up to the Denver show in his cowboy hat and leather jacket, fans were stopping him to shake hands, take pictures and tell him thank you. The word has really gotten out! The venue was packed clear back to the soundboard at Hi Dive, filled with people who had heard about this guy and his drum suitcase. He didn’t disappoint. Playing with ease and singing with conviction, he had the audience clapping and in awe, leaving them yelling for an encore, which he gladly played. Next time he comes through town, he’s going to have a big show, and it definitely won’t be free.

On a personal note, when reading his bio, I came across his old headshot. I knew Alejandro instantly from old castings and working on Spy Kids 3. Small world! I’m glad the ghost of Shakey Graves decided to haunt him, guy has talent galore, and I’ve gotta say, the ladies LOVE him, I saw y’all all swooning at the front last night!

listen to his album free here

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Cactus Feathers- Johnny Pfirman’s new collaborative

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Johnny Pfirman was in one of my favorite Austin bands (well, two), Til We’re Blue or Destroy and Radar Radar. He moved home to El Paso, built a house with a recording studio with his own hands, and created the soon to be released album Beach Fire. Isolation sounds good on Pfirman, for his new album he’s incorporated bass and drum parts (not that bass and drum) with long time friends Scott Lindsey and Aaron Grossberg, familiar partners in crime who were former bandmates of Johnny’s in Boulder’s The Leprechauns. Sending each other their parts from state to state, they have uniquely created the collaborative Cactus Feathers. These lo-fi recordings of yearning, dreaming and escaping with lyrics that give me that nice melancholy feeling of home hit the heart, subtly making me miss Austin. Check out the song “Stuck in Tallahassee and a Gunshot” I’ve uploaded to soundcloud below. Hopefully we get this former Boulder citizen back to the Front Range soon.

“Stuck in Tallahassee…” by John Pfirman

New Black Angels Album Streaming Now

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When I moved back to Austin in 2009, an old college friend introduced me to Christian Bland the very first day. All I knew was that he was a tall, sweet guy who could really rock a striped shirt. 20 something The Black Angels shows later, I am a total fangirl. These guys caused the resurgence of psych rock in Austin and run Austin Psych Fest, now 6 years running. Couldn’t be more proud or more excited about their success and only see them getting bigger. The new album is streaming today, and it’s wonderful as expected. Root for these guys, they work hard and are kind people.

free stream of the new album

link to Austin Psych Fest

Cayucas- the music of this summer

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This band is so California it makes me want to book a flight. They’ve got this Beach Boys/Paul Simon sound that makes you want to quit your crappy day job and go to the beach. I’m a sucker for bands that say their name in a song (looking at you, Morningwood) and this song is a good way to start the morning. The musicians are totally just normal guys as well, nice to see in a world of outlandish rockhobo wear.

get ready to hear this all summer

My Personal Tips for an Awesome SXSW

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After going to this festival since college, and seeing it explode into what it is now, you get a bad feeling that it’s nothing more than a drunken street festival with music you can barely get into everywhere. 6th Street looks like old Astroworld on a summer day now, so I’ve compiled some tips I’ve found over the years that made the intolerable tolerable again.

1. Move from Austin. I hated it when I lived there for the most part. Working at Frost Tower was a nightmare, could barely get there, then had to hear music and fun all day. Now that I live in Colorado, I adore SXSW.

2. Get a hotel downtown. Like the year before. Traffic gridlocks, shuttle buses can barely get you to downtown, and pretty much forget getting a cab. Book way ahead of the time, it’s worth the money to be able to walk right back to your hotel for air conditioning, change of shoes, a bathroom, etc.

3. Bring various types of shoes and change shoes at least once a day. Even the most comfy shoes start to rub after walking five miles on the hot asphalt.

4. Go Tuesday through Thursday, take off work if you can. You will see almost every band playing before the weekend warriors come in.

5. Lots of phones don’t work well down there. Put it on airplane mode as you walk around, go in the convention center and use their free wifi, air conditions, clean restrooms, and short lines for coffee.

6. If you buy a badge, upload a cute pic beforehand and send it to them. The pictures they take in line are awful.

7. Try to eat before getting down to 6th. Food trucks have crazy lines, eat on Congress and grab some trail mix and stuff.

8. Bring a pen and paper and write your schedule down. That awesome sxsw app doesn’t work for everyone down there.

9. Follow your ears. If you are heading somewhere but hear something good, just check it out. That band you were heading to will play many more times.

10. Stop being afraid of getting closer than 6 feet to the stage. It doesn’t bite, and the band feels more comfortable.

Well, that’s a start! Soon my reviews and Who To Watch list will be up!