Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Nerdapalooza Wrap-up 2: The People That You Meet

I imagine that by now everyone is waiting for me to give my rundown of the performances at Nerdapalooza, and I plan to. Just not now.

I’m not trying to jerk anyone around or anything like that, there’s just another element that I feel needs to be addressed before I get into it. If you really want a sneak peak at my impressions of the musical element of the show, feel free to check out my recent post over at GeekDad. Actually, please check out that post anyway. It isn’t exactly burning up the charts and a couple extra page views couldn’t hurt.

I once had a friend tell me that he didn’t have to respect an artist to enjoy his music, but that it sure helped. I find steel in that statement. The attitude of a performer both on and off the stage can really make the difference between an average concert experience and the kind of affair that you talk reverently about for months thereafter.

I’ve stated before that one of the best things about moving in nerdy music circles is how genuinely nice everyone is, and my time at Nerdapalooza corroborated this statement. Never have I been in a room with so many individuals who so desperately wanted to get along with each other. Seriously. Nerds are, by nature, timid creatures, and that certainly came into play, but not once did I make an awkward first stab at conversation only to be giving the coldest of shoulders. Each interaction with a fellow fan or performer immediately turned into a truly friendly exchange.

There were a number of folks in attendance with whom I’d previously spoken, Frontalot and his crew being chief among them, and I found them even more relaxed, conversational, and congenial than previously anticipated. I never saw Front – who is, let’s not forget, a big fish in our pond – turn away an eager fan, interview request, or idle exchange. Both he and Blak Lotus were particularly friendly to me at the pre-event show at A Comic Shop, and keyboardist G Minor 7 talked to me for a delightful stretch before their set at Taste. (As an aside, Gaby has written some really interesting musicals that you totally need to check out.)

And the headliners on the other side were just as engaging. It was a thrill to finally hang out with Dan and Marty from Uncle Monsterface, as well as Monsterface himself, and I got the honest impression that they were just excited to talk to me. Justine from Math the Band has got to be one of the most instantly endearing people I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet, and the fact that frontman Kevin was still able (and willing) to speak after a set that can be understatedly described as intense is a credit to his agreeability and urge to reach out. Sadly, I didn’t get much chance to talk to the Potters, but Paul thanked me for promoting the band via my blogging efforts and signed my Ravenclaw prefect badge. (Don’t you fuckin’ judge me!)

Artists across the board were simply amazing to talk to. I spent literal hours of my weekend palling around with int eighty, DJ Snyder, and Myf, three cats whose music is as engaging as their personalities. Maja and ZeaLouS1, who arrived at the venue together Friday afternoon and spent their first 15 minutes there greeting a crowd of onlookers with smiles, hugs, and well wishes. Schaffer the Darklord, in an obvious attempt to slacken his reigns on the powers of ultimate darkness, took a personal photograph with what may well have been every person in attendance. Wordburglar, when not busy simple being a wholly debonair motherfucker, convinced the guys from A Comic Shop to give a copy of Watchmen to a lucky pair of fans. funky49 handed out party favors during his set; Whore Moans bopped up to perfect strangers to chat; Bootyrage Samurai offered to come on and hang out with me on a future ep. of RFH; MC Cool Whip took some great pictures on behalf of Ant and me (who had neglected to bring our own); the list goes on and on.

Some of my favorite times were had hanging out with the local FLA talent. I’d heard stories about how it was impossible to understand the power of the Florida nerdcore scene without experiencing it live, but that’s only partially true. Just as important as seeing them on-stage is interacting with them off. The Magitek family – and I call them a family because that’s exactly how they carry themselves - is a veritable fountain of positivity. Spork (who, along with EPP’s Sir-Up, was an unsung hero of the festival’s logistical burden) and the RPG crew were as much fun to watch as to hang out with. Masu from Krondor Krew treated me like a lifelong friend after all of about 2 minutes of talking to me, as did the group’s chief cheerleader Sangriaa. In fact, the upbeat energy of Sanny and ColonP (of Bushido Stylus) was the only thing keeping an exhausted Z. going during the event’s longest hours.

I could go on, but I believe you get the picture. Whether it was Hex and mCRT doting over each individual attendant like a hyper-nurturing pair of neighbors from some wacky sitcom or watching Dennis and Denika spread some design love to needy artists, Nerdapalooza was very much about making that personal connection with your fellow geeks. In the absence of that we attendees are left with what Anthony has termed Post-Nerdapalooza Depression. PND is a disorder marked by malaise, listlessness, and the feeling that you’ve just left your 300 closest friends behind. I’m just afraid it will take them a year to find a cure.

16 comments:

D-Form said...

From all the write ups on the net it seems that Nerdapalooza kicked some major ass.

Maybe next year I'll make the trek to wherever since I won't be eagerly awaiting the arrival of D-Baby.

MisterB said...

I must have talked to like 5 other people about PND without giving it a name. I heard colon:P described it as "its like everyone is leaving hogwarts".

Lets all go live on a big comune.

Anthony said...

"PND affected nearly 300 nerds this year, and may affect even more next year..."

Navid said...

:)

BTW, Z, hit me up soon. I'm curious about a certain cell phone video you took. I'd like to see it.

Sangriaa said...

^____^

*shines like there's no tomorrow, being wary of casuing skin cancer though*

Bootyrage said...

PND :( The only cure... more cowbell.

MCCOOLWHIP said...

MCCOOLWHIP says thank you for the mention. You sir, are full of win. You were so friendly to me and actually talked me. I can't wait for my album to be review by you!

Anthony said...

I'm taking cool whip under my wing and teaching him to double check the things he writes.

Z. said...

I hope you can come, D! And I hope your better half is doing well. :)

I think :P put it succinctly, B. Man, I miss y’all!

We should have a telethon, Ant. Only donations can save the spread of PND.

I’m getting that Flip video footage sorted out Myf. I’ll be sure to hit you with the appropriate material. Also, I think I’ve got a production task for you.

You are shiny, Sanny! :)

Y’know, Booty, I haven’t tried cowbell yet. Perhaps it will lessen the pain.

It was great to meet you too, Whip!

Navid said...

Sweet. You know how to find me.


A bat signal.

Denika said...

I must apologize for my slacking with the photos. I am so bummed out by the quality that I can barley stand to do the required Photoshop work T_T

Next year I will be prepared with internet flash photography tutorials under my belt and possibly blind less performers with my supernova flash in the process.

Z. said...

I shall ready the Myf Signal.

I'm betting you're way more harsh on the pic quality than the rest of us would be, but I know you well enough to realize that you won't share 'em til you think they're up t snuff. :) And speaking of image qaulity, I just realized that the Flip cam I used had a zoom function. /facepalm

Chozo Ninpo said...

Yeaaaaaaaaa!

Z you ROCK!!!!!!!!

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

*cheering girls*



choz

Anthony said...

Turns out MisterB didn't even recall doing a live LVN at NAPSE, so good thing your recorded it =D

MisterB said...

I remember something about shouting at someone during a quiz. I vaguely remember that guy looking annoyed.

Recorded, you say?

Z. said...

Pleasure to meet you too, Chozo!

And Ant, I have no doubt there are many things MisterB doesn't remember about last weekend. :)