What to expect from The Garden and Machine Girl’s ‘Horseshit on Route 66’ tour

Riley Carroll, Arts & Life Editor

Rating: 4.5 stars

Walking up to the Aztec Theatre on Tuesday night was a sight like no other. Upon witnessing the swarms of Vada Vada enjoyers decorated with jester-inspired face paint surrounding the venue, it was abundantly clear that I had reached my destination: The Garden’s second show in the Alamo City.

Though I am partial to The Garden’s discography, Machine Girl’s visual engagement in the opening performance was a tough act for The Garden to follow. Producer and DJ Matthew Stephenson, paired with drummer Sean Kelly, created an unbeatable interaction both on stage and off the stage, especially when Stephenson jumped into the pit. 

Though unsuccessful, Stephenson’s first entrance into the general admission section appeared to be an attempt at crowd surfing during a song. From my vantage point, he disappeared behind the audience for several seconds before continuing to zig-zag through. At one point, many attendees held Stephenson above the crowd in an upright position. Never pausing the music, Stephenson braved the shouting fans by balancing atop the crowd. 

In contrast, The Garden’s 25-song set exhibited strengths in other aspects. Wyatt and Fletcher Shears, the twins behind the moniker, focused on the auditory experience. They had no crazy stage dives like Machine Girl, but they did simultaneously climb atop the side stage speakers and jump off.

No matter the Shears’ performances, the audience was hyped. Mosh pit after mosh pit and crowd surf after crowd surf, the affordable ticket prices proved to be worth every penny. People were constantly crowd-surfing toward the front of the barricade, getting dragged out into the photo pit and running back into the mosh pits for more.

The Aztec staff and security guards were given a run for their money.