The cool night air carries the faint odor of wet hay and mud. Fear mounts as thrill seekers trudge along, clumped together in small packs. Each collective step is marked by a frail bravado. Only the occasional scream or nervous laugh breaks through the mist. Welcome to Thrillvania.The Environment
Located off a county road in Terrell, the broken-down mansion facade is situated over 20 acres of a 50 acre plot. The house is open regardless of weather, and it includes a fortune teller, a magic show and other standard vendors.
It's a typical Friday night and the Aardvark is packed. More than 500 people have paid to squeeze themselves into the sold-out show in a hot, poorly lit club while another 50 or so stand outside and lean against ledges to see the main attraction. In this stuffy atmosphere, wearing suit jackets paired with loose denim jeans, tuxedo vests with white cotton shirts, the members of Green River Ordinance look like most would the morning after prom."We feel like it's this huge party every time we get to be on stage," guitarist Jamey Ice said.
He drums his fingers across the tabletop, wearing a dingy plaid button-down shirt with faded jeans. He is different - calmer in the coffeehouse setting. On stage, in the frenzy of hand motions, his dark brown eyes are hidden behind curtains of shoulder-length auburn hair.The man clad in Cobain-esque apparel is Andres Franco, 30, the new associate conductor of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.
"I came here in 2000 as a pianist," Franco said between sips of espresso. "At that point in my life I never thought about being a conductor."