Enter Shikari’s Notes From The Road: Things Heat Up In Texas
Greetings carbon based lifeforms.
Howdy. I’ve just lassoed you, and I’m dragging you into Austin, Texas.
Austin is the state capital, and we’re outside their very grand-looking State Capitol building (their government headquarters). It’s a scorchingly hot mid-September morning.
The youth of Austin are swarming around me and showing none of the reserved timidity I have when looking up at the imposing building.
They’re here for the youth climate strike, and they’re the breath of fresh air that makes this penetrating heat bearable.
Like a scene out of an American high school movie, every character is represented here; the geeks, the jocks, the punks.
An almost-exact double of Napoleon Dynamite holds up a sign reading ‘Compost The Rich’. I want to adopt him. Or at the very least hug him.
Two determined young girls, fire in their eyes and the bold demeanour of class presidents, hold up placards that read ‘Why the hell are we studying for a future we won’t even have?’ and ‘You’ll die of old age, we’ll die of climate change’.
A young lad with a cheeky glint in his eye, using a walking stick in one hand and, in the other, a sign reading ‘The Planet is getting hotter than my imaginary boyfriend!’.
These kids have all taken the day off school to pressure their government to pull its fucking finger out. Here in Texas it’s difficult to even get those in power to acknowledge the climate crisis, let alone act upon it.
Guys, this is how I’d like every tour to start. Seriously.
The sense of community power and unflinching determination is so inspiring I leave practically bouncing with positivity.
At one point a 17-year-old student named Grace Meinzer, who manages to perfectly balance eloquence and anger in her speech, roars “I’m just a high school student, pretty average I guess. And I really don’t have any more right to stand up here than any of you do, but I can tell you that I have nightmares about the environmental repercussions our society will be facing.”
Why is she having nightmares? The burden of knowledge.
It’s the terrifying understanding of what will happen if climate change is not addressed; and it’s the frustrating knowledge that currently, climate change is not being addressed.
She can see us all walking towards a cliff edge, and she can see the gormless faces of government and industry as they continue with their blinkered ‘business as usual’.
We decide to start our set later that day with a recording of Grace’s speech.
The venue is outdoors and even at night it’s still too warm for us feeble Englishmen. Thankfully there is a similar electric atmosphere here at the show as up at the Capitol, and before we even walk on stage, everyone is absolutely buzzing.
It’s ends up being the best Shikari show on American soil ever.
Big up the Texan youth. We stand with you.
Read this next:
Stay up-to-date on all cancelled and rescheduled tours, festivals and events this year.
“From choirboy to rock’n’roll singer…” AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson will be releasing his memoirs later this year.