Employee Spotlight: music show connoisseur Tony Maldonado
With dreadlocks and an infectious smile, Tony Maldonado rocks and rolls to his own beat. He has been the manager of ThunderCloud’s Dripping Springs store since the location opened more than five years ago, and he sees hundreds of live music shows a year—literally hundreds!
Tony lives in South Austin and has been to every ACL, SXSW, and FFF Fest for the past 11 years, with no plans to slow down anytime soon.
He saves ticket stubs from some of his most memorable shows, and has a friendly competition with Metal Mike, the manager of ThunderCloud’s Lake Creek store, to see who can go to the most shows. Tony also collects interesting music posters from shows he attends and hangs them on the walls of the Dripping Springs store.
Before South Park Meadows was home to a massive retail shopping center, it was a sprawling cow pasture that hosted some of the biggest rock concerts in Austin. Tony saw his all-time favorite show there in 1997, featuring Rage Against the Machine and The Roots, as part of the world-renowned Evil Empire tour.
Tony was still in high school at the time, and he and some friends drove to Austin from their hometown in Houston to see the concert. Rage Against the Machine played a fiery mix of rap and heavy metal that blew the crowd away. The Roots, a band that wasn’t very well known then, replaced Wu-Tang Clan at the last minute. They played an incredible show and were one of the first hip-hop acts with a live band most people in the audience had ever seen. Tony was pumped that he got to see The Roots before they became a household name, and the show sparked Tony’s passion for live music.
Interestingly enough, Tony found out many years later that Metal Mike was at the same show, as were many other people he’s met over the years, including the owner of a business next to the ThunderCloud store he manages.
A man that doesn’t discriminate when it comes to anything in life—especially not music or sandwiches— Tony listens to pretty much anything and eats just about everything on the ThunderCloud menu. Although he couldn’t choose an all-time favorite band, he does have an all-time favorite sub: the Austin Club.