Whew, what a week! Sorry for the delay in updating, folks. This week has been terribly rough and containing far too many after-hours projects a row. But now I’m back and very excited to tell you all about the wonders of A-Kon 21.
I think we all know that I was skeptical about the amount of Steampunk activities that were going to happen at A-Kon. Why would they have Steampunk events at a explicitly Anime convention? I still am not exactly sure, but I’m pleasantly surprised that there was a strong Steampunk presence there. So, without further ado, a quick summary of A-Kon 21! 😀
Thursday night was Registration night which naturally meant standing in a long line to receive my badge. I had just come from work and picking up a friend who flew in from MINNESOTA to hang with me for the weekend. It just so happened that I managed to fall in line right in front of a Dieselpunk named Larry and his charming wife and we became fast friends. Over the weekend, we learned that we lived relatively close to one another and that we had a number of of interests (besides Steampunk) in common.
Friday I wandered about A-Kon for a bit and browsed the various merchants wares. I picked up lots of business cards of products I liked so that I could show them to you all in future blog posts! Friday was the official start of Steampunk events, and the first one was a “Steampunk 101” panel led by the Sky Dogs and the Delirium of Grandeur. At this panel, they discussed what they thought Steampunk was and offered up various categories of Steampunk. I thought the panel was interesting, especially when compared to the current direction of the Great Steampunk Debate. There certainly are a lot of different opinions and perspectives on what Steampunk means to people. I promise I’ll write a post later on this panel.
Later that evening was a Steampunk Tea Social which sounded lovely on paper but in reality was made a bit uncomfortable by the lack of tables and chairs. Also, hot beverages are usually not the drink of choice for those wearing many layers in the 100 degree weather of a Dallas summer. I chatted with Larry and his wife and a couple of new acquaintances who were pleasantly charming. There was an a Capella group there to provide the entertainment for the night, but they seemed to lose everyone’s attention after they sang the same song four different times. Imagine that.
And just when I was starting to worry about the future of this convention, in walked Captain Robert, who I’m sure you all know is the lead singer of Abney Park. There he was, just hanging with us. I couldn’t believe it. I had not expected to see any of the members of Abney Park until Saturday night at the concert, and yet, there he was! I was literally shaking with excitement- a fact that Captain Robert did not fail to overlook as I took a photo of some of my new friends with the Captain.
“She’s shaking,” he said.
“I know,” I said to myself.
After the photo was taken, I asked if I could have a photo with him as well, to which he responded, “Come into my arms.” I’m pretty sure I squeed in excitement. Captain Robert put an arm around my waist and commented again on my shaking, before concluding, “It’s our love, darling.”
The tea social ended shortly after this photo was taken, which was proceeded by the Steampunk Ball. It quickly devolved into the raved I feared it would, but not before Captain Robert led us in the dance to Airship Pirate and played air-violin for us during the song’s violin solo. Needless to say, it was epic… And that, my friends, was just Friday night…
Saturday was only more epic. At a Q&A session with the whole of Abney Park, I was asked by Nathaniel where I got my top hat which is quite the compliment considering how many top hats they see… After the panel, I got the email addresses of the band so that I could forward the information on to them. Wheee!
So then, the concert. Oh god, the concert… I sat for three hours to get a front row view of the action (with a little help from my friend Larry, who rocks) and it was positively amazing. Abney Park was everything I could have hoped they would be, and more. It was amazing!
They played all of their hits… in fact the only one I really missed was Under the Radar, a personal favorite of mine. By the concerts nearing end, however, everyone was screaming for them to play Airship Pirate, to which Captain Robert informed the crowd that they could not play it because they did not have their violin stand… unless… someone would hold the violin for Nathaniel during the song. And guess who got picked to come up and rock out with the band! (I’m still searching for a good photo of this. If anyone finds one, please let me know…) Nathaniel even gave me his pick that he played the night with after the song was over.
In autographs after the concert, I got a hug from Nathaniel and he asked me to add him of Facebook which was another squee moment. I can’t wait to see them again at SteamCon.
So, needless to say I had a spectacular time a A-Kon. I met many wonderful Steam and Dieselpunks and I can’t wait to see Abney Park again. It was hard to go back to work after such a Steampunk weekend, but fortunately, I have SteamCon on the horizon. I doubt it could come fast enough, though!