Happy Star Wars Day, everyone!
I guess this is kind of a appropriate, as I spent the weekend doing sci-fi like things (if not exactly Star Wars things) at Ravencon. We had some pretty good shows that were well-enjoyed by our fans (wow…I have fans? That’s weird), even if I was a little “off” all weekend, and felt that it maybe intruded into my playing a bit…If the audience noticed, they didn’t say anything, and covered it up with lots of nice comments.
There was some backstage drama amongst one of the other acts on the bill, which made things a little uncomfortable and difficult, though I expect that it was, on the whole, for the best, both for the con and the act in question. All I shall say is that a few people learned a few things about how the community sees them; for good or ill (either one, depending on which individuals we’re talking about). And, i think some neat things might end up being born from the controversy (more on that later, as I may myself be involved…hmmm).
It was nice to see all my friends, and make a few new ones (I highly recommend, for example, you check out The Positronic Cats, a neat little acoustic duo from South-Central Pennsylvania), and spend time with them, sharing music, art, and obsessive fandom….and DONUT PARTIES. It was especially nice to spend a little time with and enjoy several performances by our friend Jonah Knight, an amazing musician and all-around great guy who will be moving to the other coast soon, and it’ll probably be a while until we get to see each other again…his “final show” this weekend was great, and occasionally emotional, as he’s become a much loved and appreciated asset to the mid-atlantic con scene these last however many years.
After the Con, we came home, stashed some stuff, and turned around and visited the Beacon Theater down the road a ways for Queensrÿche‘s show for which I won a pair of last-minute tickets from wnrn late last week. The Beacon is a neat little 1920s theater/movie house that spent the last several decades abandoned or in disrepair until a few years ago when a group of investors cleaned it up, refurbished it, and opened it once again to the public. It’s a really nice, intimate room that’s been hosting a lot of national touring acts (seems like a good place for the state fair crowd to perform on the off-season) lately, and I was curious to check it out, especially since it’s only about 10 minutes from home. This was a good opportunity.
The show good, if maybe a bit sterile. You could tell these guys have been doing this a long time, and they’re pretty damned competent, though it almost felt like I was watching animatronic rock stars rather than actual musicians; it was maybe a little too-well choreographed, I guess. This band has actually had an interesting last couple of years, with inter-band drama, dueling versions of the band performing until the rights and name and stuff could be sorted out legally and all that. They’ve had a new singer tha last couple of years who sounds remarkably like the old guy, and looks remarkably like Mark Wahlberg in the movie Rock Star, right down to the posing and cropped leather jacket. One of the only things detracting from the whole sterility of the thing was when newish (circa 2009) guitarist Parker Lundgren’s occasional “Ha! I’m getting paid to be a rock star” shit-eating grin behind the tattoos and heavy black guyliner, which broke the serious progressive-metal illusion, and was actually a highlight of the show.
We enjoyed ourselves (and the mullets on display were SPECTACULAR), though we left before the second encore (where they surely played “Silent Lucidity”) in order to beat traffic.
Anyway, that’s the most recent/interesting news from this end; this week is rain, a couple of musical rehearsals for short-term commitments (church is doing an abbreviated Godspell that I’m backing), hoping the rain holds off for a bike ride with friends this weekend, and making time to catch Captain America: Civil War at some point.