Tag Archives: Stubb’s BBQ

String Cheese Incident at Stubb's BBQ Waller Creek Amphitheater Friday, November 1st and Saturday, November 2nd 2019

Jeremy and I try to get together a few times a year if we can. Often he comes up to my neck of the woods or I see him in Texas, usually Austin. I have been to Texas to see him several time but never actually to San Antonio where he lives. Searching for our next trip I found The String Cheese Incident was playing a three night run at Stubb’s BBQ Waller Creek Amphitheater over Halloween weekend for their 25th anniversary tour. They played three nights at Cuthbert Amphitheater in Eugene earlier in the tour but I was traveling that week and couldn’t make it. Because of my limited PTO I could only take a half day Friday and would have to miss the show on Halloween entirely.

I managed to find a direct flight from Portland to Austin which arrived a little before 7pm. It would be close but it was very possible we could make the start of the show. Doors opened at 6pm with the show starting at 7pm. Now they are always late so we had a little extra time baked in. Thankfully no issues with the flight but Jeremy ran into traffic on his way north. It was a Friday night and the USGP was the same weekend so everyone was heading into downtown. Once he picked me up we headed straight to the venue and parked. We almost walked in before realizing we didn’t pay the meter so that delayed us a little more.

Finally we arrived just after 8pm and the band was already on stage tearing it up. We debated how much we missed and by our calculations, at most 15 minutes. If we didn’t have to go back to the car to feed the meter we probably would have made it on time for the start of set one.

When Jeremy and I came to the inaugural event at the Circuit of the Americas I remember going to Stubb’s and seeing the stage in the back yard. It is a weird setup if you ask me. Right along Waller Creek and attached to the restaurant. If you get a dinner table you can walk right into a show because the bathrooms are in the basement and no one is watching the back door. The grounds are not very wide but long instead with plenty of beer and food vendors which was nice. Restrooms are all porta pots in the way back. Never used them but they seemed adequate for the size crowd. Also the VIP lounge is in the way back of the venue. Its elevated so you have good view of the stage but you are really far back. Gravel which sucks because there is no place to sit down during set breaks or before the show.

Friday was pretty amazing, even missing the first few songs. The entire show was great. The crowd was still a little hung over from the previous nights festivities so lots of people in partial customs which was cool to see. I gotta be honest, I spent half the show just watching the crowd or looking at the light show as it danced across the trees near the sound stage. The song selection was perfect. Good selection of songs and some really amazing jams. Even managed to throw in a few teases and covers post-Halloween which was cool. Another thing I would like to mention is the food. I got two BBQ sandwiches that night and both of them where pretty damn good. I got one shredded beef and one jalapeno brisket. Over priced for sure but still very good. After the long flight I missed lunch and this hit the spot.

After the show we walked back to the car and headed to the hotel which was only a few blocks away. I was really looking forward to walking Saturday and not having to deal with a car. A little after 11pm Jeremy had to run back to the car to feed the meter and I wanted to avoid that scenario Saturday.

Saturday and we didn’t have anything officially planned which was nice. Our first objective was food so we got some breakfast tacos from Tacodeli. I gotta tell you I was pretty disappointed with the tacos. The best one had black beans, bacon, avocado and a few other things. Sadly I thought Austin could have done better than this for tacos. Maybe its Portland that has made me jaded with all the amazing food we have here, including tacos.

After we headed down to the Colorado River to hang out. It was pretty chilly that day I must say. I thought it would have been warmer than home but surprisingly not. We hung out by the river till I wanted to smoke a cigar. We grabbed a few from the hotel and headed to Republic Square before getting kicked out. City park, can’t smoke, I get it. Thankfully they were some benches outside an office building so we just hung out there. Afterwards we grabbed food at Holy Roller a few blocks away. This was some amazing food and more than made up for the horrible breakfast tacos.

After our late lunch we headed back to the hotel to play several rounds of Magic the Gathering and watch qualifications. It was USGP weekend after all and while we could not be at the track, I wanted to participate even if just in a small way. I mostly got my ass kicked but it was a lot of fun. We had a TV right next to us which was perfect for catching up on qualifications.

We played Magic as long as we could before heading to Stubb’s to see the last night of String Cheese. Funny thing happened on our way out of the hotel. As we walked out the front door I saw Paul Di Resta standing outside with another gentleman who was on his phone. I was shocked and surprised. Here is a former F1 drive and current SkyF1 commentator standing outside my hotel. I immediately turned into a young school girl. All I could say was “Good luck tomorrow” and shock his hand. I didn’t get a picture or chat. I was just so shocked running into him I couldn’t think straight. Really was awesome running into him and honestly, it made the trip. So cool shacking his hand. Surprisingly tall with big hands. So cool.

We were less than 8 blocks away and we almost missed the start of the show that night as well. As we got through security and walked into the venue String Cheese took the stage and started saying hello to the crowd. It was only a few steps to the field and we posted up as they hit the first notes of the show. It was perfect timing even with running into Paul Di Resta.

The second night I think was a little better than the first night. The jam and song selection was more to my liking. One thing that was great both nights was the light show. For such a small venue the light show was really cool. The way the lights and colors play with the music was in perfect time. Being a smaller venue the lights also played off the surrounding environment.

After the show we had an appetite so we got some food on the way back to the hotel. We found a pretty good food truck village and Sabor Cubano caught my eye. It was the Cuban sandwich I saw and it really hit the spot along with some fried yuca. Jeremy got a grilled cheese and I finished my food by the time he got his. Not far from the venue it was the perfect late night spot after the show. Even though it was getting close to midnight the place was busy. All the vendors had hungry customers which was nice. You could tell lots of people out drinking that night. Having a good time grabbing a bite before heading home.

As soon as the trip started it seemed like it was over. Sunday I was flying back just as the USGP was about to get underway. We found a pretty damn amazing breakfast spot with Hillside Farmacy. We sat outside on the crisp morning and it was great. The food was absolutely amazing that morning. Fresh, local and well plated. It was not hard for either of us to finish out plates. Once the food arrived all conversation stopped which was another good sign. Our plates were licked clean that morning. So good.

I was home by early evening which was nice. Having a direct flight from Austin to Portland was ideal. The news that weekend was Hamilton possible clinching the title and he did it in fantastic fashion. I ready for another team and another drive but congratulations to Hamilton on his 2019 world championship victory which he secured in Austin. Originally we talked about attending the USGP but decided on Canada and I don’t regret that decision at all. Montreal was such a cool town and we still got to experience Austin during the race weekend which was really cool. Running in to Paul Di Resta was certainly the highlight with two nights of Cheese a close second.

String Cheese Incident
Friday, November 1st 2019
Stubb’s BBQ Waller Creek Amphitheater – Austin, TX

We arrived late. Got to the venue at 8:05pm and they were all ready playing.

  1. One Step Closer
  2. Born on the Wrong Planet >
  3. Can’t Wait Another Day >
  4. The Woods
  5. Water
  6. It Is What It Is >
  7. Can’t Stop Now
    9:05pm set over

Set 2 starts 9:44pm

  1. On the Road >
  2. 2001 >
  3. On The Road >
  4. Well You Needn’t^ >
  5. Black and White >
  6. Groove Is In The Heart >
  7. Black And White >
  8. Late in the Evening >
  9. Full Band Percussion >
  10. Late in the Evening
  11. Until the Music’s Over
  12. Into the Blue >
  13. Jellyfish >
  14. Rosie
    Set over at 11:16pm

Encore starts at 11:19pm

  1. Don’t Let Go
    House lights at 11:30pm

^ Thelonius Monk cover (last time played: Nov 03, 2001 11-03-01 Lexington, VA I was at this show)

String Cheese Incident
Saturday, November 2nd 2019
Stubb’s BBQ Waller Creek Amphitheater – Austin, TX

Set 1 starts at 7:45pm

  1. Black Clouds
  2. Got What He Wanted >
  3. Search >
  4. Falling Through The Cracks
  5. Pack It Up,
  6. Texas >
  7. Tinder Box
    Set over at 9:06pm

Set two starts at 9:36pm

  1. All We Got
  2. Cedar Laurels >
  3. So Far From Home
  4. Midnight Moonlight
  5. Hi Ho No Show
  6. Vertigo >
  7. Rollover
    Set over at 10:56pm

Encore starts at 11:02

  1. Deal^
    Encore 1 ends at 11:13pm

Second encore starts at 11:15pm

  1. I Saw the Light^
    House lights at 11:21pm

^ with Ross James on Guitar, Nicki Bluhm on Vocals, Scott Law on Guitar

United States Gran Prix 2016

Leaving the airport we flew right overtop the track which was awesome.
Leaving the airport we flew right over top the track which was awesome.

It has been five years since I last was in Austin for the return of Formula 1  to the US in 2012.  Let me tell you it’s good to be back. This time around Jeremy and I planned it out much better then the first trip and we also had a bigger budget. This time I flew into Austin and we stayed at the Marriott. No 24 hour driving marathon and staying with AirBnB this time.

My flight was a little delayed which sucked but since I had no checked baggage I walked off the plane and right into Jeremy’s car to drive directly to the track. We missed FP1 but caught the rest of the day’s track activities without issue. I must say I was very impressed with the track upgrades since we first attended the inaugural Grand Prix. That first year was all about getting the track ready for racing, since then they have been improving the fan experience. Traffic in and out was better, a lot more paved lots closer to the track, new stands, new walkways and the amphitheater was completed this time around.

Just like the first time around, Friday and Saturday we walked the track for different viewing angles for the various race events. Most of the time we would scope out an area, fire up a couple cigars and just enjoy the cars from whatever stand or hillside we thought was good.

Turn 9
Turn 9

Quals ended up kinda like we expected with Mercedes one and two. Hamilton took pole with Rosberg second and Ricciardo third. This was how they finished the race as well. While I didn’t want either Merc to win, it was nice seeing Hamilton finish ahead of Rosberg, narrowing the gap between them and statistically keeping Hamilton in the hunt for a fourth world championship. Another surprising drive was from Honda. Button I think qualified 19 and Alanso only a little better at 17 or 16. By the end of the race both were able to score points with Alanso 7th and Button 9th. They have struggled all year so having both drivers not only finishing but score points was pretty amazing. Our “official” seats were at turn 15 so we were able to catch probably 85-90% of all the passing, right there in front of us. Just amazing seats.

Austin Beer Garden Brewing
Austin Beer Garden Brewing

Our activities were not limited to just the track this time around. I spent and extra day in Austin to allow us more time for activities and not cram it all into a short amount of time. The race activities usually finish in the late afternoon so our nights were totally open to new adventures. Friday we had a great steak dinner at Bob’s Steak & Chop House right in downtown. We choose this place because of the rooftop bar that allows smoking. Unfortunately once we finished dinner the roof bar was smashed with people so no smoking for us. We instead hit Habana House Cigars across the river, really nice shop on the south of town to relax and decompress after our first day at the track.

Saturday Taylor Swift was the post race entertainment but we decided to skip it. All day we kept seeing Swifties walking around. I think half were there to enjoy the race but many were clearly there just for Taylor. We saw people lining up at the entrance to the field as soon as we arrived to the track. This was around 9:30 in the morning and the show probably didn’t start till 7 or later. That’s some dedication. Again, not a fan but I was impressed with the crowd she drew. It was estimated at 80+ thousand people, incredible.

Let me tell you its  a hike from turn 20 to the top of turn 1.
Let me tell you its a hike from turn 20 to the top of turn 1.

Instead of seeing Taylor we went to the Austin Beer Garden Brewery. You know me, always gotta hit a brewery when I travel. I was particularly excited to go here as it won Best Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year at this years Great American Beer Festival in Denver. This place really is modeled after a German beer hall with bench seating all over the place. The outside beer garden was truly amazing as well. When we arrived it was smashed with people which is always a good sign. I ended up trying three of their beers and bought a bottle for the following night. Just a great atmosphere and beer. Probably 7 regular taps and only one seasonal available but all pretty solid.

After the beer garden we headed downtown. We hit Stubb’s BBQ which was great before heading to FanFest. The brisket here was amazing but the service was horrible. Despite that I would still go back again. If you like bar hoping then FanFest is your place. For Jeremy and I it was rather boring. Maybe because it was late, I don’t know, they just didn’t have much we were interested in so we walked the few blocks roped off for FanFest and then went back to the hotel to enjoy a cigar night cap.

Whats left of my Avo Domaine cigar before the User and The Roots after the race.
Whats left of my Avo Domaine cigar before the Usher and The Roots after the race.

Race day and what a day it turned out to be.  The crowds all weekend I thought were pretty impressive but on race day you can throw all that out the window.  The track was a lively place as fans poured in to see the fight between Hamilton and Rosberg.  It was just a magical day watching the race and we had some really good seats.  After the race we stayed to watch User and The Roots.  It was going to be a made house getting out and we had no place to go on Monday so we stuck around for the concert. Usher I didn’t care much for but The Roots threw down let me tell you.  They opened the set with about 4 songs and ended the set as well.  What a great job considering The Weekend was originally schedule and backed out with less then two weeks before race day.

Monday was nothing but a lounge day. I wanted to spend at least one extra day in the city to really get a feeling for it. We ended up heading to  Canyon Lake for a hike which was nice. We tried to hike Emerald Point but the park was closed for a public hunt. Not wanting to get shot we headed to Canyon Lake instead. After he hike we continued to Jeremy’s house for dinner with his mother. I hadn’t seen her in a long time so it was nice to catch up with her. We went to dinner that night and afterwards we sat in the pouch talking. Jeremy and I smoked a couple Cuban Hoyo de Monterrey Especial Epicures which were great. I cracked open the saison I got from ABGB which Janet helped me finish and we just talked. It is so peaceful out that far in the country. I was hoping to catch the stars but it was pretty overcast that night. They tell me you can see so many stars out there when it is a clear night.


With the trip almost over Tuesday was really just a day to at catch up. We stopped at Wright Bros. Brew and Brew for some coffee and a bottle of beer. We planned on going to Heroes & Legacies on the north part of town and this being Texas, its BYOB. Jeremy caught up with his account and I was able to get a little writing done. Great place to sit, relax and smoke. The lounge is outta sight here. There is a membership fee but it’s worth the price if you want to really relax and enjoy a cigar. It was after three before we left there for the airport. Since I was not checking baggage and had an e-ticket, I breezed right through security to my gate.

Vacations never seem to be long enough. This was another great Formula 1 trip and I look forward to coming back in 2017. Austin really knows how to throw down and make a great race experience for the fans. There are still a few breweries I want to hit in the area and I can always spend time at the numerous cigar lounges around town. I think next year we might try to do a few more cultural things in addition to our normal activities.