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The drive from Bratislava to Vienna, the capital of Austria, is less than one hour. The venue is Arena, a dilapidated squat on the outskirts of town. The last time I played here, the sound guy played Guns N’ Roses’ Use Your Illusion Pts. 1 and 2 during sound check, less than 10 people came to the show, there was a post-show, all-night Austrian dance party that prevented me from sleeping, and I got the flu. This time, the sound guy plays Guns N’ Roses Use Your Illusion Pts. 1 and 2 during sound check, less than 20 people come to the show, there is a post-show, all-night Austrian dance party that prevents me from sleeping, and I get the flu. All for 300 euro, and about 75 euro in merch sales.
ASIDE: WHAT IS AN “ALL-NIGHT AUSTRIAN DANCE PARTY?”
As President Obama often says, “Let me be clear”: When I say “all-night Austrian dance party,” I mean “all-night Austrian dance party.” I do not mean, for example, a party held in Berlin that starts at, say, 10 p.m. and ends, by, say, 2 a.m. I mean an honest-to-goodness Austrian dance party that starts well after a rock show has ended—-more specifically, sometime between 12 a.m. and 1 a.m.—-and literally lasts until the sun rises which, in Austria in late October, is pretty damn close to 7 a.m.
In addition, I’m talking about a party that’s held less than 50 yards from where four tired rock musicians and their long-suffering, Ukrainian-born driver are trying to sleep. I’m talking at a party where Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” is played at high, literally window-rattling volumes at approximately 4:15 a.m.; where Fine Young Cannibals’ “She Drives Me Crazy” is heard at approximately 5:30 a.m.; and where, excruciatingly, Billy Ocean’s “Caribbean Dream” gets a 6:45 a.m. time slot. If anyone reading this is old enough to remember people complaining about how late Spilt Milk started, trust me: DJ Name Names has nothing on Vienna. I’m talking about a dance party so long that I can start downloading the season four finale of Breaking Bad well after the party has started and finish watching what I waited four hours to download well before the party has ended. I am talking about an after-dusk-til-after-dawn, synth-fueled, post-millenial, post-rave, loud-ass Viennese dance party held in the city Beethoven once called home. On a Monday.
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