It was another massive crowd for the Astroworld Festival. Photo by Michael Anthony
This article originally appeared on CultureMap.
Things got chaotic at the second annual Astroworld Festival before the performances even started.
Throngs of people showed up at Travis Scott's music-and-fun free-for-all, held once again at NRG Park, not too far where the mighty Six Flags AstroWorld once stood. By now, you've probably heard that, before the festivities happened, a large group of fans jumped the gate and started a stampede, leaving at least three people hospitalized due to injuries.
These rowdy festivalgoers must've been kids who didn't have tickets and made to decision to attend this by any means necessary. (There have already been tweets showing kids hopping the fence, trying to duck security.)
Despite the anarchic attendees, Astroworld was just as properly coordinated as last year, with its collection of amusement-park rides sprinkled all around the area and its two stages (Thrills and Chills, respectively) providing one performance after another.
Sheck Wes (who was at last year's fest) did a good set, while DaBaby spent most of his stage time deciding which part of the audience he was going to jump into and Houston rising star Megan Thee Stallion basically twerked to her own songs.
We watched Playboy Carti and Migos aggressively demand their crowds to go wild during their sets. By far, the most amusingly insane part of the festival was the set by '90s shock rocker Marilyn Manson. As mostly white and Hispanic attendees flocked to his performance, even he copped to being an odd inclusion at this fest.
"Betcha didn't see this coming, didja?" Manson said to the audience. "That's because Travis Scott is a genius." But that didn't stop him from doing such hits as "The Beautiful People" and his rendition of Eurythmics's "Sweet Dreams."
After that, Pharrell basically did a greatest hits mix of songs he both performed and/or produced and Rosalia did a set that Scott's baby momma Kylie Jenner certainly enjoyed.
Continue on CultureMap to read what happened when Dave Chappelle hit the stage.
As the Astros prepare to play their first game of spring training against the Nationals this Saturday, we're starting to see reports about how the players approached the offseason, and what tweaks they made to improve in the 2024 season.
Cristian Javier is a player Astros fans are hoping bounces back this year, as his ERA jumped from 2.54 in 2022 to 4.56 in 2023. Workload was thought to be one of the main factors causing his regression, he dealt with a dead arm last season and threw more innings than ever before (162).
Another explanation could be the pitch clock. This was another new element all pitchers had to deal with last year, and that also likely played a role in his struggles.
But according to The Athletic's Chandler Rome, Javier believes he was carrying some extra weight last season. Add that to some mechanical issues he was experiencing, and his struggles in 2023 make a lot more sense. And to be fair, he wouldn't be the first person to get a little fat and happy after winning a World Series.
Cristian Javier said he lost around 15 pounds this offseason. He acknowledged that some of his struggles last year could be attributed to some extra weight he was carrying around in addition to the already-documented mechanical flaws he had.
— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) February 22, 2024
In an effort to get back on track in 2024, Javier said he lost around 15 pounds this offseason. With the pitch clock not going anywhere, pitchers need to be in better cardiac shape than ever before.
Hopefully this modification helps Javier return to form and put up jaw-dropping numbers like he did in 2022. This rotation needs Javier to be the dominate pitcher we all know he's capable of being. With Justin Verlander behind schedule and Framber Valdez trying to bounce back from his own down year, Houston will depend on Javier like never before.
The Astros are certainly counting on it after giving him a 5-year, $64 million contract last season. Javier will definitely be a player to watch this spring.