As the melody of still alive wafted from the speakers, and comforting and eerie blue light warmed the theater. Just as their parents and grandparents had done with fire years ago, the masses pulled out the cellphones, iPods, and DSs, flipped them opened and swayed almost rhythmically in in front of the modern story teller.
On Friday, I went down to the Moore Theater in Seattle to see Jonathan Coulton perform, with his opening act Paul and Storm.
I first heard about Jonathan Coulton when he appeard on Leo Laporte's TWIT. His background is as a software developer, but he got tired of that and decided to make a go of it with geeky music. Coulton is like a cross between Tom Leher and Weird Al. He toured with John Hodgman on Hodgman's recent book tour and wrote the closing song to the blockbuster game Portal.
The crowd was filled with nerds and geeks. These are my people.
They enjoyed every geeky moment in the show, like it was a night of D&D, Monty Python reruns, unlimited Doritos and Mountain Dew.
They loved everything from LOL Cat speak, to the thoughts of an evil mad scientist, to the thrill of junk food, the the ecstatic joy that filled the hall during a Rick Roll.
The crowd Arrrrghed like pirates when called upon and then quickly responed with a dozen or more variations on it. When Paul and Storm asked for two Arrrrghs, they crowd gave two. When they asked for three Arrrrghs, the crowd gave them three. When they asked for pi Arrrrghs they crowd gave them 3.14.
It's been hours and my cheeks still hurt from laughing. My throat is still raw from cheering. I haven't had this much fun at a concert in years.
The dynamic was interesting too. Paul & Storm and Coutlon all seemed a little overwhelmed by the crowd. It was definitely a huge crowd. It appeared to fill 80-90% of the theater. And it was an enthusiastic crowd. Pirate shouts echoed in unexpected places. And everyone sang along with their favorite songs.
Coulton did appear in a few songs during the opening act's set. And Paul & Storm (and Molly ) joined Coulton several times during his set.
The interesting thing is that Paul & Storm did such a great job, that it was hard for Coulton to follow them. They riled up the crowd so well, the pirate Arrrrghs almost meant a mutiny during Coulton's set.
But in the end everyone got along and had a great time.
If you consider yourself a geek, go see these guys perform. Or buy their CDs. Or both.