What About Everything?

My ears are ringing, I'm still shaking from the excitement, and I'm back from the Carbon Leaf concert over at Higher Ground this evening.

Those guys fucking rock.

I've never seen them better, and man, they had a great setlist and amazing energy. Barry was bouncing all over the stage, along with everyone else, and some of those songs were just amazing. I took Keelia (my younger sister) along, and she also had a great time. One of my professors from Norwich was there with his significant other, and Keelia saw a number of people from her school there.

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Set list:

  1. Comfort
  2. What About Everything?
  3. One Prairie Outpost
  4. Under The Wire
  5. Love Loss Hope Repeat
  6. Life Less Ordinary
  7. Texas Stars
  8. Russian Dance (Tchaikovsky) Intro To...
  9. Paloma
  10. Royal One
  11. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp
  12. Block Of Wood
  13. Let Your Troubles Roll By
  14. Learn To Fly
  15. Intro To...
  16. Desperation Song
  17. The War Was In Color
  18. The Boxer

Great, great set list. There were a couple of random songs that I'd hoped would be there, such as This Is My Song or Native America, as well as a couple others from Echo Echo, but this was just awesome. Sigh, I should probably sleep now.

Edit/Addition: Want to hear a similar playlist from the same tour and setlist? Archive.org has a concert from Colorado that's quite good and easy to access, here. They don't seem to have as much energy as the VT group last night - the crowd was great, really enjoyed themselves.
I don't think that I've ever heard them better. The past three times that I'd seen them, they were really good, but this time they were really into it. The opening band, Matt Nathanson was good. They were funny, as most of the opening acts seem to be, and they had some good songs, but Carbon Leaf just blew them out of the water.
Note to self: Don't stand under a speaker. My ears were ringing all last night. I bought a shirt, with some of the LLHR artwork on it, which I really like. I actually remembered my camera last night, a first for me, and all my pictures that I took are here. Unfortunently, they don't seem to be in the proper order.
The opening band, Matt Nathanson was good. They were funny, as most of the opening acts seem to be, and they had some good songs, but Carbon Leaf just blew them out of the water. However, Matt reading a trashy romance novel to a racy bass beat was priceless, as was his quote:

"Oh Vermont, you liberal bastion of the north."

Drew quite a bit of laughter from the crowd. I'll have to look into some of his stuff if I get the chance.

Note to self: Don't stand under a speaker. My ears were ringing all last night. I bought a shirt, with some of the LLHR artwork on it, which I really like. I actually remembered my camera last night, a first for me, and all my pictures that I took are here. Unfortunently, they don't seem to be in the proper order.
They had the best rendition of Bron-Y-Aur Stomp that I've heard yet, as well as great versions of Love Loss Hope Repeat, Comfort, Texas Stars, Desperation Song, the War Was In Color and The Boxer. Great opening songs and they went out with a bang with that one.

Man, what an awesome night. Next week is Amos Lee, whom I'm also excited about.

The Convention Part 2

Day Three of the convention was the one that a lot of people were looking forwards to. George Lucas was in for the morning to make his first convention appearence in nearly twenty years. People knew it too, and began lining up early. From the reports that I heard, people started lining up at midnight for the 8 am show. On top of that, it was about forty degrees, lightly raining and windy. Not really the most receptive place for a line. I awoke at about 4 am to get ready to help with the lines. It was already several blocks long, wraping around my hotel. Crazy, and people were getting annoyed, because we had to move them around a little bit. I didn't have armor on, and by 7 am, we started moving them into the building. I had to lead a couple of bitchy people around then went back outside and to my room, got my armor on. I then was asked to man the ground floors to help get people out of the building. I was given a pass to get into the second Lucas showing of the morning, and I went up to go see him. It was quite a while before I got in, as we took a while to move nearly three thousand people into the room. We didn't fill it with the people supposed to be in the next showing, so we started filling people from thethird showing. Then we went in, and for the first time in my life, I saw the person who's really changed my life by introducing Star Wars to me and countless others. For a half hour, probably twenty or so people got up and asked questions of the flanneled one. There were the general questions, like what's coming up next (Two Star Wars TV series, a possible Willow TV series, a couple movies that might be in the works.) What did he think of the fans, and some things like that. It was a quick, but very good talk, and he was very appreciative of the fans, and the 501st. He pointed right at me, or my section when someone asked about the Five-Oh-First. "Well, seeing how they're all pointing guns at me..." The entire trooper line cheered. It was great to hear him say that. After that, we cleared the room and got out, and went on to our other assignments. My armor was really starting to fall apart and I got out of it, and worked at Del Rey for a little while, then wandered around for a little while inbetween signings. I talked with Randy Stradley and Jeremy Barlow from Darkhorse comics, whom I'd met the day before. I won a t-shirt from Lucas Arts, talked to Ken, one of the guys who was on the production team for some of the Star Wars games that I made friends with. I saw Battlefront II being played for a bit, which was a really cool looking game that I'm certainly going to upgrade my computer for. It was amazing. Can't wait to see it in it's entirety. I went back and helped with another couple signings, and talked with Matthew Stover, then met Timothy Zahn for the first time. I also went to the Star Wars Spectacular, which was 8 mindblowing minutes of finished Episode III footage. It was absolutely amazing. All of the major fights, and even then some other footage, it was just amazing. Simply amazing. I talked to several people about it and got dinner, tried to get into the panel on the new 9 book series, but the guys wouldn't let me in. Gr... But I found out anyway, which is good. I got Aaron Allston to sign my books, got images from Karen Traviss, Troy Denning and talked with them for a little bit. I got dinner, talked to the artists again and went and walked around at the convention center then went back to the hotel room for a while. I told Sara and Lihn to stop by, but they never did, and I called Eric, who was just on his way into class. I went to bed early. It was almost over.

The Convention: Part 1

I knew that the convention would be really fast, but man, it blew by. I had an outstanding time while I was there and met some very cool people, as well as some weird ones. I didn't get around to writing things down like I did for Arizona. I was busy. Literally, I got up earlier than I thought that I would and got in later than usual, usually pretty tired. To start, I got on the plane and headed out to Indy, making a layover at Philly, where I met a girl named Lynn, who was also headed to the convention. She was reading the same book that I was, Republic Commando, and struck up converstation, and shared a taxi to the hotels that we were staying at. When I got there, I signed in, got my volunteer badge and walked around the center for a while. (It wasn't open yet) I met the Del Rey people, Shelly and Colleen, who said that they'd need a bit of work later on during the event. They had a nice schedule lined up for signings. Matthew Stover, Aaron Allston, Timothy Zahn, Troy Dennings and Karen Traviss were the big ones, and there were a couple others. From there, I wandered around for a while, running back into Linh, who was on her way to meet a friend, Sarah, at the bus station. We met her, then I went off to go do some work, having nothing to do. I ended up manning a door and directing people to the proper entrance. The next day was the big event. I got up at about 7, got my armor on and headed down. There was already a huge line forming, and people were getting excited seeing the number of Storm Troopers, Snow Troopers and pretty much every other costume around. The 501st troopers lined up and we marched to the state house, where we got our photos taken. My armor kept coming apart, and I later patched it up with some tape that I found. From the march, I went to work over in the store, which was a complete disaster all weekend, with people waiting in line for upwards of 7 hours. Insane. With some time off, I wandered over to the Fan Room, which had several fan booths and a life sized X-Wing fighter. I ran into Karen Traviss, who wrote Republic Commando. Her thoughts on the convention are in her blog on the right. She is a wonderful woman and I really enjoyed meeting her. I was then drafted into the Storm Trooper Olympics, which has been covered in this story. (There's a picture of all of us.) From there, I went to the DelRey booth, where I helped manage the line for Matthew Stover and Karen Traviss. The lines grew quickly, and I talked to a number of fans of the books and EU. That evening was the opening Ceremonies, which I am kicking myself for not going in armor to. The 501st did a march to Imperial March, which was awesome, and the 2 hour event was just fun. A Jazz band played, people talked about a number of things, and we saw several live performances, including a great rendition of The Saga Begins and of the Revenge of the Sith Trailer, brought to us by the SW in 30 people. Funny stuff. We also got to see some of the music videos featured in the next soundtrack, which looks amazing. Finally, all of the VIPs in attendance were brought on stage, which was cool to see. After that, I left and ended up wandering around the convention hall for a while before patching up my armor and heading off to bed. Day Two of the convention was much like Day One, except that I didn't work the store. Instead, I worked at Del Rey for the entire day, meeting several authors and having some great chats with them. I also met Jan Duursema and a number of artists whom I'd talked to, as well as several people from Lucasarts, who invited me to take a look at their projects. Great people. That evening, I went to a 501st party to raise money for Katie Johnson (More information at the banner at the bottom of the page- not the Serenity one) and I met a number of people from the New England Garrison. More great people in that group.

I'll get back to days Three and Four later, but I have class in a little while.

However, before I go, excellent news: Tomorrow, the first official trailer for Serenity will be released on the internet, and will be hitting theaters this Friday. KICK ASS.

I'm Back

Man, oh man, Celebration 3 was an awesome time. I'm pretty tired now, getting off of the plane just an hour ago, but here's a couple things and thoughts:

  • I met and got pictures with Dan Wallace, Matthew Stover, Timothy Zahn, Troy Dennings, Aaron Allston and Karen Traviss. Also, Jan Duursema, Joe Corroney, Steven Anderson, Tommy Lee Edwards and Tom Hodges. Also, Several higher ups at Del Rey and Dark Horse
  • Authors/Artists/Higherups = Awesome.
  • The looks on kids faces when they finally saw a Storm Trooper or Darth Vader. The looks on their faces when they got to hold a Storm Trooper Helmet.
  • Lines = Long Wait
  • Volunteering for Conventions = Awesome.
  • Random Girls I meet on Airplanes are cool.
  • George Lucas talk was amazing.
  • Meeting people from the JC and TUCWS was awesome.
  • Getting in at 11:38 means sleep.

I'll have more tomorrow.