Let's see. Where do I start.
ADVENTURE 1: WARPED TOUR 2011
So Thursday morning I got up in the morning and headed over to Kelly's house, because I can't drive and I certainly wasn't going to go to Scranton by myself. After meeting up with Mac and Kelly's very attractive friend Christian and reuniting with a marching band friend I haven't seen in ages, we all headed out on the road to a fucking mountain where the venue was. On the way Kelly and I blasted through the entirety of American Idiot. I sang harmony.
There weren't that many bands that I wanted to see on tour this year, so I didn't bring my camera and we weren't rushing around like last year. We stood in the back of the Devil Wears Prada crowd (they were kind of terrible), bought some t-shirts, and generally didn't do much for the first few hours. We finally got up so Christian could see August Burns Red (which was...more terrible than The Devil Wears Prada) and then moved up to the stage as much as we could because MY BOULDER BOYS WERE PLAYING NEXT.
And just. I know I rag on 3OH!3 a lot for their music, but these guys seriously put on a good fucking show. They started out with I Can Do Anything (and Nat started out with this awful pastel-plaid flannel shirt) and went on to play...I think it was I'm Not Your Boyfriend Baby, Robot, Starstrukk, My First Kiss, Touchin On My, and Richman. After the first song or two Nat took off the awful shirt and revealed...a 3OH!3 jersey underneath. SEAN GAVE HIM SUCH SHIT FOR IT OH MY GOD. They just kind of doofed around a lot between songs ("man thank you guys for coming out to see us when you could be standing in line for Harry Potter right now." cue Nat starting a FUCK HARRY POTTER chant). And then they went and decided after playing Robot that SOME BANDS HAVE MOSH PITS, LET'S HAVE A FUCKING ROBOT PIT. So there was a circle pit with some faily dudes trying to do the robot in the middle.
BUT APPARENTLY THEY WASTED SO MUCH TIME ON THIS THAT THEY HAD TO RUSH THROUGH THEIR SET. They thought they had more time but they really only had time for one more song so Nat just launched into this fucking bullshit story about how the first time they played Warped Tour it rained so hard, it was like a fucking hurricane, so they played the first verse of Rock You Like A Hurricane like a bunch of dorks before launching into Don't Trust Me.
JUST. THEY SOUND REALLY FUCKING GOOD LIVE, IT'S REALLY STRANGE. Everyone in our little party was kind of thrown by how secretly great they were. Also? Starstrukk sounds fantastic live and I wish I had a good recording of it. They did something really different with it that I can't figure out.
After the show was over and we had to recover, we just kind of wandered around a bit. We passed by Foxy Shazam's teching (wish I could've heard their show, they apparently had a trumpet), River City Extension which I kind of want to look up, and sat in a field for a while when The Ready Set played. I guess that was kind of precious. THERE WAS DELICIOUS WATER ICE INSTEAD OF REAL FOOD.
Then we wandered over to the mainstage to watch most of Paramore's set before heading out as fast as we could on the final song. TRAFFIC. I guess Paramore was okay, Hayley is a precious tiny rockstar but I didn't really know any of the songs.
SO WE HEADED OUT, STOPPED AT A REST STOP FOR ACTUAL FOOD (Burger King and Auntie Anne's /o/) and then went on to THE NEAREST MOVIE THEATER.
ADVENTURE 2: HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2
SO I DON'T REALLY HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS ABOUT THIS MOVIE okay that's a lie I had a lot of feelings. I just. I was never really in HP fandom? I read all the books, saw all the movies, but I never read the fic or got super involved in things. The dorkiest HP thing I've ever done is probably go to a Moaning Myrtles/Remus Lupins concert. AND THAT WAS A WARMUP TO THE MUSE CONCERT I'D BE GOING TO LATER god that day was great ANYWAY so the point is I didn't feel so emotionally attached to this movie before I saw it.
And then I saw it.
And I kind of just. Started crying once they showed Lupin's body and didn't stop for almost the rest of the movie.
Bulletpoint notes for my experiences since I want to get to the next adventure already:
-ALAN RICKMAN FOR ALL THE AWARDS
-MCGONAGALL IS MY FAVORITE HUMAN
-THE ENTIRE THEATER BURSTING INTO CHEERS WHEN MOLLY AND NEVILLE WERE BADASSES WAS THE GREATEST THING
-VOLDEMORT GIVES THE WORST HUGS
-BELLATRIX SHOULD GET IN MY BED
-THE ENTIRE THEATER COOED OVER ALBUS SEVERUS' FACE (and snrked when Harry said his name)
-DID I MENTION ALAN RICKMAN FOR ALL THE AWARDS
so yeah. it was pretty great. I feel like my childhood has ended, but in a good way. my parents are going to drag me off to see it again since they didn't go to the midnight showing, so hopefully I won't bawl all over them when that happens.
ADVENTURE 3: BIKES.
Ahahaha intermission time. So all of those adventures happened in quick succession on Thursday, and I thought I'd be able to recuperate on Friday. Everything hurts after Warped Tour.
WHOOPS, NO, going to the Velodrome.
My dad's a cyclist (not for a living, but he's pretty dedicated) so sometimes I get dragged off to bike races and things like this. The Velodrome is kind of like NASCAR meets a swim meet but on bikes, so there are sprints and 5K races and things with weird names that involve motorcycles and IT'S ACTUALLY KIND OF A GOOD TIME. There is so much fucking strategy involved in cycling it's kind of ridiculous.
ALSO I GOT A PAIR OF THUNDERSTIX.
I HAVEN'T BEEN WATCHING THE TOUR SO APPARENTLY I'VE MISSED OUT ON THESE THINGS AND THEIR EXISTENCE BUT OH MY GOD I LOVE THEM.
They're just inflatable tubes that make noise when you hit them together. I WANT TO START A BAND WITH THEM.
Also apparently the whole place has gone organic so there were some pretty good burger times and awful, awful drinks.
Right. ANYWAY, NEXT ADVENTURE, BEST ADVENTURE.
ADVENTURE 4: RAZIA'S FUCKING SHADOW
SO. Thanks to a timely reblog by Reili, I found out on Wednesday that a local theater was doing a stage production of Razia's Shadow, so naturally I had to immediately beg my mom to take me, because I'm not driving to fucking New Jersey. And I'd played her the album before and she seemed to like it, so I figured it'd be a pretty sweet adventure.
I just got back from seeing it, and oh my god. RAZIA'S HOW I LOVE YOU. TIME FOR A SONG-BY-SONG RETELLING SO I DON'T FORGET ANYTHING.
The set: A staircase, a high platform upstage with some arches underneath. That's about it. It all looks like stone, sort of broken. Very low-budget but they really worked with what they had.
Genesis was interesting. We open up to O the Scientist (in white robes and big fake golden wings, oh god the costumes were seriously hit-or-miss here. the chorus generally had low-budget single-color things going on, but some of the other characters had some pretty good shit. I'LL GO THROUGH THEM ONE BY ONE) standing on the upstage platform while a few figures stood in front, pressing against some sheets like they were trying to break out. Ahrima (in a white puffy shirt and weird purple pants tied up at the ankles, also a weird short mohawk that didn't leave for the rest of the show) takes center stage for his solos. There's some dancing and shit, I can't really explain it except to say that the choreography was fantastic the whole way through. Lots of picking Ahrima up and posing and using those stretchy sheets to their full potential.
Then, there's a spotlight on the side of the stage, and a guy sitting in the front row of the audience stands up and walks up the stairs to meet it. This guy's wearing a knit cap, flannel button-down over a grey t-shirt, and sunglasses hanging from his shirt, and he just launches into the first monologue. THE NARRATOR WAS A HIPSTER, IT WAS SO CONFUSING. The actor's bio in the program put most of his credits as Shakespeare rather than musical theatre, and it shows. He almost made the monologues sound not quite so silly, it was pretty amazing. I guess it helps that he projects and adds some emotion instead of just calmly saying the lines like on the album.
Anyway. Nidria shows up before The Missing Piece, and omg, this Nidria is the cutest. She and Ahrima just spend all their time being adorable and touching each other fingerwalking up each other's arms and. See, I always had this image in my head of Nidria sitting down with Ahrima's head in her lap as he talks about how hard his life is, and she just kind of smiles and plays with his hair, and YEAH, THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS. OKAY RAZIA'S, KEEP BEING PERFECT. (spoilers it does)
The monologue before Life Is Looking Up got cut for some reason. I guess they didn't want O the Scientist to do anything else? I don't think he gets any lines after one verse of Genesis. Oh well. Point is, this one's great because they start playing with the lights. There are some really fucking bright lights that blink on when Ahrima waves his arms at them, but then some actual old-style lamps hanging from the ceiling light up near the end. THE CHORUS IS AMAZED. (the chorus is wearing similar white-and-purple clothes that look like...well, generic fantasy peasant clothes really, but cleaner. Nidria has a lovely white dress and some silver makeup on one eye)
But! Then Ahrima is sad and shit and goes to the cave, AND THIS IS WHERE THE FUN REALLY STARTS. The narrator says his monologue, then starts talking about the spider (complete with wiggly hand motion on Ahrima's shoulder!) and on the platform in the shadows you see a silhouette of a tiny dude putting on a top hat.
The Spider and the Lamps is just as bizarrely sexual as it is on the album, thank you Max Bemis for setting this precedent. Some members of the chorus dressed in black fishnet-like things do some dancing and give Barayas (who had aforementioned top hat, some tight pants, a whole red and black ensemble that I couldn't see very well in the lights, and according to my mom, a drawn-on mustache) extra arms sometimes. Barayas touches Ahrima a lot (he actually got really close at one point and started brushing at Ahrima's shirt all "oh, I see you've got some wrinkles there, lemme fix that." OH BARAYAS). I think by the end of the song he was on his knees just kind of singing into Ahrima's crotch. I love this show. The only problem is that Barayas' mic wasn't turned on for most of the song, so you only really heard him when he was singing in Ahrima's face. Which was pretty often, so.
SO AHRIMA STARTS TEARING THE LAMPS DOWN which really just means waving his arms at the ceiling until some of the lamps go out, but then some of the other angels restrain him before he can ruin the ones on the other side. So now you've got two lamps out and two lamps on. TRAGEDY.
Then Toba the Tura shows up in this weird dark green robe and a breastplate. And a sword. Which he uses to BREAK AHRIMA AND NIDRIA APART :(((( as the other part of the set shows up, a big angled wall with a door that separates the two halves of the world. Ahrima and Nidria cry and try to touch through the wall, because that is what you do when you are sad angels in love. You guys, I ship these two a lot :(
So Ahrima's sad again now, because his life is fucking hard, and then THE ORACLE APPEARS. Oh my god I don't actually have that many feelings about this song, but the way they stage it is really interesting. The Oracle (who's got some stripes painted on his face and a brown hooded robe that looks cobbled together in the vagabond way, not the low-budget way
The last verse has O the Scientist standing on the platform, and he's doing the possession this time. Really odd.
A Thousand Year, Minute Long Intermission has a different title from the album one, apparently. I like this one better. If it's only a hundred years then Ahrima is only like, Adakias' grandfather, what the fuck. ANYWAY, the chorus does a lovely little a capella for this (I am such a sucker for a capella, you guys) and waves their arms a bit. Wheeeeeeee ALL RIGHT NEXT.
YOU GUYS. MY FAVORITE SONG IN THE ENTIRE SHOW WAS DONE BEAUTIFULLY. The Exit starts by showing us some of the denizens of the darkness, who apparently spend their time...posing in compromising positions and fighting. NO, OKAY, THERE WERE THREE PEOPLE WHO WERE HAVING HILARIOUS THREESOME SEX I GUESS, TWO GUYS POSING LIKE THEY WERE ABOUT TO PUNCH EACH OTHER, AND ONE GIRL HOLDING A RIDING CROP AGAINST A DUDE MAKING A HILARIOUS FACE. Did I mention that everyone was wearing leather and fishnets and goggles and hats? STEAMPUNK AND BDSM, THAT IS THE LAND OF THE DARKNESS. I WANT TO LIVE HERE.
Anyway, here comes Adakias
THEN PALLIS SHOWS UP. AND. OH MY GOD, YOU GUYS, I NEED PORN YESTERDAY. Pallis is played by this tall skinny dude with a derby (and goggles!!) and eye makeup and a black waistcoat with a pocket watch chain and and and he basically looked like Fever-era Brendon but hotter, oh my god. He spends most of his time getting in his brother's face and pulling his hair, there was a shitton of hair pulling going on and a lot of pained gasping coming out of Adakias. Yeah. *________*
Right, plot. So despite all the hair-pulling Adakias still decides IT'S HIS DESTINY to go across the border blah blah blah. You can actually see Anhura standing on the platform at one point, looking around desperately because THE LIGHT IS BORING AND DOESN'T HAVE ANY STEAMPUNK OR BDSM I GUESS. Adakias takes off his weird coat and replaces it with a DISGUISE COAT, which is white and gold and kind of cool. LIGHT ADVENTURE.
It's True Love is boring as usual, because Adakias and Anhura are terrible and want to have babies on the first date, etc, etc, but they do touch a lot and make cute faces and press their faces against each other by the end of the song. I actually kind of hissed kiss her, kiss her! under my breath when they stared at each other from two inches away until they finally did, so. Slightly more invested in their relationship on stage I guess? WHATEVER THEY'RE BOTH STILL DUMB.
There's some pretty sweet dancing, though. In the beginning the chorus picks them up separately and kind of swings them and it made me want to see them having a picnic in the park or something. WHATEVER.
Then Adakias has to Meet the King, who is incredibly silly. His voice isn't that great, but his servants are full of energy and make stupid faces and generally doof around for the entire song. THEN THEY SING THE FINAL VERSE TOGETHER AND DANCE WHILE ADAKIAS AND ANHURA DANCE TOGETHER. I KIND OF SHIP THE SERVANTS OKAY. They hug at the end and then break apart looking mortified before rushing back up to the king.
LA LA LA ELOPING LA LA LA Holy the Sea! This one's pretty cool. Two members of the chorus just dressed in black t-shirts and pants sit in front of a raft holding one of those sheets from the beginning while two more sit under some other sheets and they all kind of wave the sheets around. INSTANT WATER.
So Adakias carries Anhura to the raft and puts his DISGUISE COAT on her (awwww) while they go across the sea. Then, a HOODED FIGURE in this cool white-and-black robe thing shows up and starts singing about the prophecy! Then a DIFFERENT HOODED FIGURE shows up and sings other verses. The thing about this is that both of the characters (Baruka Bawaba and Baba Bawaba apparently, why aren't they named
Oh, good god, Doctor, Doctor. You think this song can't get sillier and then here comes a big guy with feather and face paint shrieking with laughter and trying to look up Anhura's skirt (spoilers she slaps him when he tries, Anhura you get points). OH RIGHT AND IN THE BEGINNING ADAKIAS GETS THROWN INTO A CHAIR AND THE CHORUS MEMBER SITTING BEHIND IT HOLDS HIM THERE. CAN WE JUST RENAME THIS SHOW "EVERYONE WANTS TO TOUCH AHRIMA AND HIS DESCENDANT: THE MUSICAL" ALREADY?
So yeah, there's a lot of silly jumping around and the guy who played the Doctor is hilarious. The chorus picks Adakias and Anhura up so they can grasp at each other's arms longingly while they discuss her cruel fate, the Doctor pulls up a big old oil drum to mix his creepy concoction in (and after Anhura gets a whiff of it he just kind of dunks his head in and breathes in all he can, APPARENTLY HE GAVE ANHURA RECREATIONAL DRUGS TO CURE HER ILLNESS, WHOOPS).
AND THEN COMES PALLIS, DRIVEN BY MALICE which will never stop being the funniest fucking thing, and Pallis stabs the Doctor to fill up at least one plot hole.
The End and the Beginning is a thing. Alliteration happens (but doesn't sound quite as silly when done by these guys! the thing about the album is that it's done by musicians, not actors, and Brendon Urie cannot act to save his fucking life, so this Pallis actually sounds like he has emotions), Pallis pulls his brother's hair some more (
Adakias actually sounds like he's dying! Instead of just carrying on after being fatally wounded like he's fucking Desdemona or some shit, he actually gets really breathy and shaky and GENERALLY NOT HAPPY WITH HIS LIFE. And Pallis is sad. He really didn't mean to stab his brother, you guys ;_______;
Then the STEAMPUNK CHORUS comes back to pick him up (arms outstretched, way to be a fucking christ figure, adakias you calculated sacrifice you) and in the background, you can see O the Scientist with a dude with hair styled the same way Adakias' is (silly short mohawk!) as he sings the last few verses. IT ALL COMES FULL CIRCLE.
CURTAIN CALL. THE GUY PLAYING PALLIS ACTUALLY KEPT STARING AT ADAKIAS. UH. YEAH.
I BOUGHT A T-SHIRT AND IF YOU WANT THE CAST ALBUM IT'S RIGHT HERE but if you happen to live anywhere near East Brunswick, NJ, go see it tomorrow, or support Playhouse 22 later in the season! THEY'RE DOING SWEENEY TODD OVER HALLOWEEN AND I CAN'T GO :(
So yeah. That was a good time and hopefully I will get to chill the fuck out tomorrow while my whole family goes to one of my dad's bike races.