Take the A-Train

Part 1:

On Friday night, I went to my first concert in Salzburg, and I’m sure it won’t be my last. The band was unknown to me before the concert, but they were playing in a jazz festival (called Take the A-Train) here in Salzburg this weekend. I heard about it because there are bright yellow signs all over the city publicizing the festival. They’re quite hard to miss. The band was called Schmieds Puls, and they played at the square in front of the Salzburg train station. I rode my bike to the station, locked it up, and walked around the crowd of people to find a good spot to stand. It was an interesting environment for a concert.

There were so many things to take in at the same time. Obviously the main focus of my attention was the band and they’re music. The singer with her guitar, the double bass player, and the drummer were all playing together. The music was great, but there was so much more to see and listen to than the music.

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There were kids riding around on their bikes and scooters. Two girls were blowing bubbles in front of the stage. People were kind of swaying and moving to the music’s rhythm, and there was one really happy looking guy who was dancing through the crowd. There were couples holding each other and people meeting up, shaking hands and greeting one another. Many conversations were happening all around. Travelers were coming and going from the train station, some of them stopping to listen to the music. The air smelled of cigarette smoke because so many people were smoking. Buses were arriving and departing the bus station, cars were driving by, and with its sirens blaring, an ambulance had been called to the square for an emergency. There were shoppers walking to and from the stores next to the square. Pidgins were flying around, scavenging for food scraps. There were people drinking beer, and one very drunk older man stumbling around, showing people his chair and getting in trouble for sitting too close to the stage. The concert was so much more than a band playing some music.

Maybe some people found all of those things rather distracting, but I don’t think there could have been a better atmosphere for this concert. Sometimes it’s nice just to stand somewhere and observe everything around you.

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Part 2:

My Poorly Timed Hike:

On Thursday evening I was eating dinner and looking out the kitchen window. The sky looked beautiful, and I had been thinking about hiking up one of the smaller foothills in Salzburg to watch the sunset. So I thought, it’s 6:50, it’s still light out. If I finish my dinner quickly and rush a bit, I’ll be able to see the sunset. It seemed like such a brilliant idea.

I left my dorm at 7:15 zooming towards the city center where I parked my bike on Linzergasse. I started my hike up the foothill and soon found out that the sun had already set because it started getting dark really quickly. I kept going, though. I wasn’t going to let the fact that it was getting kind of dark stop me from making it to the top for a nice view. I hiked through the ever increasing darkness and actually made it to the restaurant at the top at around 7:50… only 30 minutes after sundown. It was worth the hike even though I missed the sunset. The city lights and the moon were shining. I took a few pictures and then went right back the way I came. Using my bike light as a flashlight, I made it down without a problem. It was the quickest hike I’ve ever been on. I’m glad I went, but next time I’ll try not to leave my dorm 5 minutes before the sun sets.

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Just a bit too late…


Schmieds Puls:

From Vienna

Founded in 2013

Members:         Mira Lu Kovacs (singer/guitar)

Walter Singer (bass)

Christian Grobauer (drums)

Jazz, Folk, and Alternative Pop influences

Top Song:         You Can Go Now

You Will Always Have a Piece of My Heart

Play Dead

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