PAX Diary Day Two

I woke up in the Green Ronin house a half hour before the alarm went off, which is something that has happened steadily for the past couple of months. I got up and got ready, and as I left I of course locked the door behind me. Immediately after I closed the door I realized that I locked my cell phone inside the house. I knocked quietly at first so that rather than wake up the whole house I’d only wake up the lightest sleeper. Minutes passed and I upgraded my knocking from light to medium and added some doorbell ringing. More time passed and I knocked loudly, repeatedly, with no response. I tried to walk around the house to find a way to B&E but nothing presented itself easily and furthermore I decided that would be a bad idea. I finally decided that I could just use someone else’s mobile to call the GR house when I got to the con. I got in the car and was about to leave when I changed my mind. I knew that as stressed out as I was already, not having my phone would stress me out even more. So I went back and really banged on the door. I seriously thought that at any moment one of the neighbors would poke their head out of a window and yell “Do you have any idea what time it is? Some of us are trying to sleep!”

Finally I heard movement in the house and Nicole let me in. I apologized profusely and made my way to the hotel. I was surprised how busy the Seattle highway was even at 6 in the morning on a Saturday. I hadn’t been to the hotel at all since I got to Seattle so I had to navigate downtown to find it. I had the valet park the car and that’s where it stayed until we left on Sunday.

Soundcheck was moved from 8:30 to 7:30 in the morning. Yes, we had the earliest sound check in the history of rock & roll. Not everyone got the memo so I had to wrangle the musicians out of bed or the exercise room or whathaveyou. The stage was huge! for awesome shots like this for awesome shots like this

Adam PW Smith showed up and we worked out some details with the lighting guy so that we could get the best possible shots. As soon as we were done I headed out to the booth to set up so we could generate some more sweet sweet sales. We got a lot of people who knew us, and a lot of people who were simply interested in the art on the shirts & CDs, and a lot of people who had heard about us but wanted to know more and/or hear us first before they decided to buy something. for awesome shots like this for awesome shots like this

Sales were much better on Saturday, but I actually was wishing that we had played on the Friday night. Even though the word on the street was that the Saturday show had a bigger crowd, if we had played Friday, then all of the people milling around on Saturday would know who we were!

I was getting text messages from Deanna and Stewie all morning about their ETA. Deanna was held up at the border for about 3 hours but she finally arrived mid afternoon. I cannot express how thankful I was (and am) that she came. I gave her the biggest hug when I finally figured out which escalator she was waiting for me at. Finally I had someone whom I could rely on 100%, and my stress level dropped again. Shortly after that Stewie and Allen showed up (independently) and we had all our peeps hanging around the booth.

Heather from Harmonix invited the band to come by the Rock Band booth and play our song. The other band members were out shopping around town so Deanna and I decided to explore the exhibitor hall which I hadn’t had the chance to do since I arrived 24 hours previous! They invited me to the Rock Band stage and I was going to play guitar – since that’s the instrument I’m good at on Rock Band – but Stewie & De convinced me to sing and that was of course wise. I sang and the staff at Harmonix played all the instruments – it was fun! I told them I’d arrange a time with the band when we could all come back.

Shortly after the exhibit hall closed we packed up our booth so the enforcers could move it next to the main theater where the bands would be playing. Anamanaguchi played about 20 minutes earlier than we thought which pretty much meant that we were going to play earlier than we thought. Again I had to scramble to wrangle the band and we all went behind stage to get in our costumes.

I am not trying to make excuses when I say that four out of five of us had health problems that night. Merrick and Mario both had back problems (Mario finagled two massages that day out of the staff), Jordan had a bad cold and back problems, and I had a cold, though it wasn’t terrible. Though there were a few rough patches in the performance, I can say without a doubt that each of us gave it his all, and it was a really great show. Here’s the set list for all who care:

The Math Song (we started with a crazy big intro)
Shoggoths Away
Burrow Your Way to My Heart
A Marine Biologist
Cultists On Board
Sleestak and Yeti
The Innsmouth Look (this one almost made it on Rock Band)
Walking on the Moon (The Police cover for the uninitiated)
Hookworm (an oldie but a goodie)
Downtown (in the Cenozoic)
20 Minutes of Oxygen
Colour Me Green (see video)

That was the set list we prepared long and hard for. What we didn’t expect was the opportunity to get an encore! The crowd was chanting “Dar-kest Dar-kest Dar-kest” which is the hallmark of new fans…our entrenched cronies would have been yelling “Thic-kets Thic-kets Thic-kets” and so Brad told us to get back on stage for an encore. We quickly decided to play “Slave Ship” as that had been on the set list for a while but we had scratched it a couple weeks before the show. As such, Warren hadn’t practiced it at all (he only got in from England 2 weeks before the show) so it wasn’t a solid run-through, but it didn’t matter at that point. We sold them on our antics.

Out of respect for the following bands we didn’t use our dark powers to drain the crowd of their Magic Points and summon Cthulhu, despite the fact that we had 8000 people chanting “IA IA CTHULHU FHTAGN.”

After the performance Mario and I hit the booth in costume and we signed too many CDs and roleplaying games to count. Someone also brought their copy of Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre (the HPL book I started out on) for us to sign.

We hung out and posed for photos and sold merch (well Deanna and Stewie did that part, and a fine job too) and waited for the other bands to finish. The Minibosses, bless their many toes, played for so long that we were dead on our feet from fatigue, staying around for that end-of-concert “rush.” Finally we hauled our remaining merch back to “Bandland” and crawled to the hotel for some much needed sleep.


(thanks to Adam PW Smith for use of the photos –