Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I was too young for Woodstock, but I got to see w00tstock v1.0

Billed as "3 hours of geeks and music", the show was 3½ hrs long and definitely had geeks and music in abundance. Also, "special guest" video appearances of Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi (being read by Wil Wheaton), which got a reaction of mixed laughter and applause, and Neil Gaiman, as seen in the opening credits of of a fictitious sitcom video clip (he's seen at 33 seconds in) who may have gotten the loudest applause that night for being in a 5 second shot in a video. Neil does add a lot of cool to anything he's seen in. The sitcom, which "...was canceled during the first commercial break of the first episode, and was ordered destroyed by then-ABC President Grant Tinker..." starred Jonathan Coulton (also not in attendance last night).

We spent nearly two hours on the freeway/city traffic to get to San Francisco last night to see w00tstock v1.0. Normally a 45 min to 1 hr drive, but traffic was slowed down considerably by rain, often very hard rain. Some of the delay was also due to me not giving the DH good directions and having to take a very long detour. Nonetheless, we did arrive before the show started and got fairly good seats even though they were in the very last row - it wasn't that big a venue, fortunately.

The majority of the w00tstock v1.0 audience, as far as I could judge, was male (rough guess, 60% maybe more), iPhone carrying, mathematical or ironic tee-shirt wearing, late 20's to late 30's people. As a 50-something female in a Jones New York blouse and sweater, with a rather old Motorola Razr, should I have felt more out of place? Nah, I had a great time, got most of the jokes and references, and occasionally laughed very hard. We got home really late, so I wasn't able to write this when everything was fresh in my mind, so these are just some general impressions.

The house lights dimmed and Wil Wheaton came out in his official Department of Geek Affairs tee-shirt. We were welcomed, told that the show was under a Creative Commons license (warm laugh from audience) and warned that the show is "in beta". My first clue, before even being told, was that Wil was reading from a folded sheet of paper. I didn't mind that one bit, nor the other little flubs and goofs - it was kind of like being a special guest to a dress rehearsal. Someday, when a more polished w00tstock is on tour, well, I can say "I was there for the first one" :-)

Paul and Storm performed some sets throughout the evening, but because I had seen them open for Jonathan Coulton, I'd heard the songs before - maybe not the Frogger one, although I don't recall. Then came Molly Lewis, who plays the ukulele, and Kid Beyond, whose first piece I missed while taking a break outside for a bit, but I got back in time for the end of his set, which featured two Muppet mashup videos and his commentary - which were quite funny.

Wil Wheaton did a dramatic reading from Just a Geek accompanied by Paul (kazoo) and Storm (guitar) and two of the Kasper Hauser troupe read "[an] actual exchange between Kasper Hauser ("Jock Plenary") and a Nigerian e-mail scammer ("Justice Shaish")" (by the way - as a huge fan of This American Life I found their podcasts spoofing TAL hysterical).

The last guest was Adam Savage, who did a slideshow of his 100 Wishes which I found touching, sometimes funny and generally pretty cool.

We got home pretty late, nearly 1 am, which, especially this morning, made me wish the show had been on a Friday or Saturday night - maybe w00tstock 2010... As I write this, the second San Francisco show is about to start. There's one more show scheduled, down in L.A., tomorrow.

Update - from w00tstock in LA Wil Wheaton Intro and (Do You Want to)Date My Avatar with Felicia Day & friends

No comments: