I don’t even know where to start.
The trip down was pretty uneventful. We got a hotel in Somerset, PA on Friday night. For breakfast on Saturday we had our favorite place to eat when traveling to the east coast…Sheetz! Then we got a little lost on our way to the Ottobar, but thanks to the wonders of GPS it wasn’t a big deal. The venue itself was great; it was huge, had a great stage, sound system, and lights, and there was a secret ninja entrance to a cool backstage area for the bands to hang out. The fact that the fridge was stocked with Natural Bohemian definitely didn’t hurt either heheh. It was a great opportunity to meet new friends and hang out with old ones.
The bands themselves were so great, I don’t know where to start. But I’ll try to summarize:
Armadillo Tank: These guys (and gals) were a great start to the night, and I swear they get better every single time I see them. A perfectly played mix of well-known tunes and more obscure ones kept the crowd enthralled with awesomeness.
Rare Candy: So much talent in these guys. Tons of energy, amazing musicianship, superbly arranged songs.
X Hunters: I’d never seen these guys before, and I was blown away by their skill at playing songs from the Mega Man X series. They were also super-cool guys to hang out with. I can’t wait to see these guys again.
The Ultraball: Unfortunately I only caught a part of these guys’ set, but what I did catch was great. They were hilarious, the music was great, and they had a ton of energy. It can’t be easy to rock out in a pikachu outfit.
Cheap Dinosaurs: I had to watch Dino’s set from backstage, so while I didn’t get the full effect of being up-front for these awesome chiptunes, it was great to watch how amazingly talented he is and how he manipulated his keyboard and effects to achieve such a great sound. I’m glad that he made it in time hahaha.
This Place is Haunted: I think I’ve seen these guys play close to ten times now, and I can honestly say without a doubt this was their best-sounding, most genre-defying, and all around most entertaining set that I’ve ever seen them play. It’s a huge shame that Mike Zucker is leaving the band, but I’m glad I was there to see him off, and I know Peat will keep things going.
The Megas: I was super-pissed that I missed almost their entire set. I was outside freaking out about the fact that my car’s trunk wouldn’t shut, wondering how I was going to get back to Michigan with an open trunk full of gear. But Rance figured out how to fix it (it involved hammering the shit out of it, basically). Thankfully, I was right up front when they came to Lansing the following week, so I felt like I made up for missing their 64 Bit Gen performance.
Year 200X: I guess we played pretty well. There were a couple of mistakes in there, but that’ll happen I guess. We did unveil two new songs (one of which we actually played correctly haha). The crowd’s energy was amazing and helped us kick up our performance several notches. Thanks to JD for giving us an awesome intro and outro speech. Yes, we do all wear cargo shorts.
Entertainment System: What can I say? These guys have some of the best-arranged, best-played tunes in this community. The amount of energy that they had was unbelievable. I’ve never been disappointed by them. And the Megatainment songs with The Megas were great! It was awesome seeing both bands up there rocking out together.
The Protomen: So, so, so good. I don’t even have words to describe how awesome these guys sounded and performed.
That night after the show we drove an hour or two and grabbed another hotel room. The following day it took us almost 12 hours to get home, after only a few hours sleep, so that was pretty rough. But all in all it was a great trip and we had tons of fun. Thanks again to JD and Chris for putting the show on and having this great opportunity for VGM bands, artists, and fans to get together in one place to celebrate the community that we all love.
Till next time.