Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I regret that I have but one night to spend at w00tstock

I've been trying to find a single word that can express my experience at w00tstock (which was over a month and a half ago but I'm a procrastinator) other than "awesome" because that's a pretty obvious choice. Since I can't find one word to express my w00tstock experience, I will use many words. Many, many words.

A few months ago, right around the time that I was thinking "I wish w00tstock would come to Chicago," I read on Wil Wheaton's blog that w00tstock would be coming to Chicago and I let out a high pitched scream. If you know me, then you probably know that I am not one to let out a high pitched scream, but I assure you that on that day I did. I told Carrie she should go with me. She had no clue what w00tstock was so I told her that Adam Savage would be there and then sent her a link to the first part of The Captain's Wife's Lament from one of the v1.x w00tstocks. After watching the video, she agreed to go with me. Tickets were bought. Expectations were high.

It truly was an awesome night. In every sense of the word. Have you ever had one of those experiences when you are watching something and you know that what you are watching is special. That other people are going to be jealous of you because you witnessed this live. This was one of those experiences for me. It was beautiful. I'm not sure that I can appropriately describe what was beautiful about the night. This might be one of those "you had to be there" times, but I'll try.

Carrie and I arrived at Park West at about 6:45. It had started pouring rain at about 6:30 so we took refuge in a Subway down the block. We were also hungry so that worked out very well. When we arrived at Park West, we promptly found seats sufficiently close to the stage. I bought a shirt. It made me happy.

At approximately 7:30 Wil Wheaton gave his introduction that I wish I had recorded with my brand new camcorder but I didn't know how long the battery would last and I assumed there would be lots of things that I needed to record later (spoiler warning: I was right). Anyway, Wil Wheaton said a little bit about every guest for the night and then introduced the opening band Paul and Storm who also happened to be the closing band. They sang Opening Band. When they got to the line "And, sad to say, as of today no panties have been thrown," someone threw a pair of underwear onstage. I'm pretty sure it was the guy who was sitting behind me or someone not to far away. So Paul and Storm had to do a quick rewrite of that line.

Everything else blends together so I'm not really sure what order it all happened in. Pay no attention to the order of events as they are laid out here. This will be a nonlinear blog post.

A custom poster was being drawn onstage by Len Peralta. It was extra fun to watch his reactions to all the performers. I didn't buy the poster that night but I ended up suffering from non-buyer's remorse and ordered it. I think I made the right choice.

Molly Lewis was absolutely adorable. She sang a songs about being a surrogate mother for Stephen Fry and breaking up with wikipedia. Also, she plays the ukulele. She had a theory about the weather that night and how it did not start raining until all the nerds were gathered in one place. She vowed to do further testing on the theory and then use it to take over the world. Did I mention that she is adorable.

Tim Cavanaugh sang some very hilarious songs. My personal favorite was the commercial jingle for a Bible Outlet (which makes sense since I am an advocate for commercial jingles and I love Catholic humor).

Foxtrot creator Bill Amend showed us a bunch of his awesome comics as well as geeky parodies of other comic strips. He talked about Wil Wheaton crashing his website. Wil Wheaton tried to crash his website again. I realize it doesn't really sound funny but it was hysterical.

I'm not going to lie to you, Marge: Wil Wheaton was the reason that I bought a ticket to w00tstock. Wil Wheaton is usually the reason that I do a lot of things. Wil Wheaton read the story from Happiest Days of Our Lives (one of the few Wil Wheaton books that I do not own) about losing his Rocky Horror Picture Show virginity. It's such an appropriate story to tell at an event like w00tstock. It's about a shared experience among people who dress up like their favorite characters and know all the lines to the movie. Yeah, that kind of sounds like us. If you want to see it, it is all over YouTube.

Peter Sagal delivered a legendary performance. I apparently was the only person that took video or at least was the only person who shared my video on YouTube. I'll admit that I may have not taken the video except that Paul loves Peter Sagal and could not go to w00tstock so whatever Peter Sagal was going to do, I was going to film it for Paul. It was a wise decision. One of the reasons that it was so fantastic is that Peter Sagal never once acknowledged that he was Peter Sagal from Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me. He was just a henchman at an open mic night. It was awesome.

Adam Savage told a very NSFW story about his first time in Chicago. He also sang I Will Survive as Gollum which you can find all over YouTube.

The opening band returned. Paul and Storm closed out the night. They sang Nunfight. I do love Catholic humor. They also sang Frogger!: The Frogger Musical which is a personal favorite of mine.

At the very end, Adam Savage and Wil Wheaton returned to the stage to sing The Captain's Wife's Lament which was epic. Carrie and I really only could stay for what I call the pre-game show of the song. I laughed so hard. But, alas, we needed to catch a train at 12:40 which seemed reasonable when the show started at 7:30 and was billed as 3 hours of geeks and music. As it was approaching 4 and 1/2 hours, Carrie and I left but thanks to the wonders of the internet I have been able to see the end of the song. It was so funny that I wept.

Eternal Arr from Dan Coulter on Vimeo.

The night was amazing. I do wish that I could have gotten Wil Wheaton to sign my paper that I wrote on Stand By Me as a road movie. I guess I just need to go to PAX.