a fair and balanced birdthing (raaven) wrote,
a fair and balanced birdthing


Oh, what a lovely weekend it was!

Going to CreepCon was an entirely random occurrence for me. coypixie mentioned in her journal a new liking for Rasputina, and I told her she should also check out Darling Violetta, as the two have some common elements. I sent her a link or two, and in one that I perused, found that the two bands were both scheduled to play a venue called CreepCon.

I'm not, in general, a con-goer. I've been to a couple of WorldCons (and enjoyed the last one enough that I'm planning on ConJose in August). But I mentioned the show to a friend/co-worker who, with his wife, supply me with any Buffy/Angel fixes I need (ie-they bring me tapes of eps I've missed or want ot watch again, and send me to fascinating websites to glean assorted bits of info)...and he said "hey, sounds like a road trip to me!". This was, I think, 4 days before the con. Amazingly enough, it all came together, and off we went!

I left the city (NYC, that is) at around 10:30pm, on the Amtrak to Philly, where L, S & M were picking up gregortroll and myself. Arrived a little before midnight. After a bit of misdirection (the map kind, not the sleight-of-hand kind), our chariot arrived. A fun and excited car conversation followed.

We pulled into Baltimore at about 5:00am Saturday morning. The rest of the gang got up and had breakfast, bought con tickets and assorted other stuff at 10:00. Not me. Already I knew I was in migraine territory, though I wasn't yet feeling any pain. I chose to conserve my energy, and not go to the con until the scheduled start of the Buffy/Angel track, at 12:30. A good thing, too, as it didn't actually happen till around 2.

Let me just say that I'm not a Farscape or Return of the Living Dead fan, so I know nothing about that aspect of the convention. My primary focus was the music, and secondarily the Buffy/Angel folks. The rest of the con pretty much passed me by.

Creepcon made it's debut this year, and despite some rocky organizational skills on the parts of the um...organizers...I, for one, had a great time. Two of the originally scheduled guests (Darling Violetta & J. August Richards), ended up cancelling due to poor communication/organization, but Mark Lutz and Brian Thompson ended up as surprise guests, much to the benefit and joy of the attendees.

The Buffy/Angel Q & A was a riot. It was delayed a couple of hours, first because some of the actors weren't there yet, then because, after a long morning of signing autographs & taking pictures with fans, the poor guys had to have a chance to eat some lunch. When it convened, Mark Lutz, Andy Hallett and Anthony Stewart Head were at the table. In time they were joined by Brian Thompson, and eventually, Adam Busch. Hilarity ensued.

I cannot imagine trying to get any kind of work done with this crew around. They had the audience laughing for nearly the entire panel, which was kicked off by Mark leaping down from the stage, running over to the audience microphone, and asking Andy a very silly question. This was merely a continuation of what some of us dubbed "The Mark & Andy Show", which had been progressing steadily throughout the morning autograph session.

Mark is clearly the ham of the bunch. Later in the weekend, I saw him sneak-run after a young fan, then as he got right behind her say "Hey!", and snap a picture as she turned around. She had apparently been plaguing the actors with exactly the same sort of tactic throughout the conference, at one point even frightening the gang with her sudden abrupt motions. The girl, with the kind of offended dignity that only a 14 year old can muster, told us all "it's not funny!". She was not amused. Those of us lucky enough to witness it, though, were practically rolling on the floor, howling with laughter.

Brian's deliciously dry humor was a perfect counterpoint to Mark's nuttiness. If I hadn't already had tears streaming down my face (apparently I'm violently allergic to Baltimore...an allegra, 6 benadryl and some antihistamine eyedrops, and still I had to keep the sunglasses on and a tissue handy. and my poor eyes still looked like our atlas - and felt like the highway), I certainly would have by the time Mark and Brian sang their improv duet of "Sometimes When We Touch".

Tony Head appeared nearly delirious from lack of sleep (or at least very punchy), and at one point actually giggled, nay tittered at some no-doubt scandalous tidbit that Andy whispered to him (and that probably everyone in the room would give lots of money to know). Tony was also incredibly gracious, showing up for the panel & staying to sign autographs even though he was on a very tight schedule. That set the audience and other panel members off laughing, and the whole was exacerbated by an extremely dry comment from Brian. It was, in a word, hilarious.

Adam Busch, when he got there, was so incredibly animated, enthusiastic and off-the-wall that I've nicknamed him, in my own mind, Insane Muppet-man (but only in a good way). What a hyper, random guy.

Fan: So, after the panel, are you going to be in the merchant room signing autographs?
Adam: Uh, yeah. Sure. (suddenly eager) You have something you want me to sign? Bring it on up! We can get to know each other! Sure!
Fan: Uh...so you'll be down there?

Andy kept the whole thing running, he & Mark telling embarrassing stories on each other, on assorted agents, keeping a running banter going constantly. Eventually the panel ended (but only because the room was reserved for another group at that time), and I went back to the hotel for a much needed nap. I was at that point seriously courting a migraine (high histamine levels do that), and since the weekend's music was my main motivation for being there, I really wanted to be able to attend the Shelter Shindig at The Vault. The Shindig was a charity event hosted by BronzeShelter with the proceeds going to the WPI Fireman's Fund. Unofficial word is that we raised over $2K, which I believe is to be matched by the WB, if I understand correctly.

Andy Hallett, of course, emceed the show. Let me just pause a moment, to talk about Andy Hallett. What an amazingly warm, friendly, utterly real guy. Everytime I saw him, he smiled at me, and said hello or waved. Of course I, being the sociophobic freak that I am, just flinched, grinned nervously and ducked away without saying anything (yes, I'm a freak. didn't we cover that already?). It's just a thing for me; I don't deal well with crowds, and I don't deal well with people I don't know, and I don't deal well with strangers looking at me. Even friendly warm smiles from wonderful folks like Andy. And I had a migraine. Too bad I can't find an email addy for him, I'd apologize. Might anyway, via snailmail.

Anyway! He was a wonderful host, and a fine fun dancer. He mixed & mingled & hung out, as did Mark & Brian (that I saw, and maybe more that I didn't). A good time was had by all.

The Bands:

Mister Monster: I'm sorry to say that I have no idea if this band was good or not. They were announced, and went on stage, and it was way too loud for my still-having-a-migraine-but-pretending-not-to self. I went downstairs, to a lovely little sitting/pool-playing area and hung there for quite awhile until the imitrex finally kicked in.

After awhile, my head was no longer exploding and I went back upstairs, where Torsion was playing. I think they may have had some sound problems, but they were quite listenable, and the percussion in particular was great!

A kind of a long wait, while I hung out with the folks I was with, talking corsets & creepcon & other silliness. A long soundcheck, then on came Common Rotation. This is the band that Adam Busch is in, and truly, I didn't expect much. I was waaaay wrong. These guys are great, kinda like Barenaked Ladies with a healthy dose of ska mixed in. Danceable, listenable, energetic & fun! If you have a chance to see them live, go! You'll have a great time!

Back downstairs I went, to rest up after having danced my butt off (incidentally aggravating a hip injury I thought I was done with, damn). A fine time was had, hanging out with the Common Rotation bandfolk, especially Eric, who told me I had beautiful eyes. ::grin::

And back upstairs for the amazing Velvet Chain! What can I even say about Velvet Chain? What a great band, and a great bunch of people. They are amazing to see live. If you don't already know their stuff, check them out. You'll see what I mean.

We got back to the hotel around 2AM (declined the after party...I'm too old for such things, apparently...I would rather sleep!), and arose at 10 Sunday morning for a final cruise through the vendor and autograph tables. Headed out of Baltimore around 1:30. I got back to Brooklyn about 7:30, for a quiet end to a fabulous adventure. I never suspected I would have so much fun at this thing!

Some of the folks I went with took pictures, as soon as they put 'em up, I'll link 'em here!
Tags: events, health/medical, music, reviews, squeee!, travel, tv
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