So PAX Happenned…

3898728908_ff35a4b75fSo there’s this convention thing in Seattle? Where they get together to play computer games and stuff? And some former child actor is, like, their pope or something? Count us in!

We’d heard about Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) several years ago, thanks to various friends of ours who had been there. For the uninitiated, PAX is a gaming convention in Seattle, WA started in 2004 by the creators of Penny Arcade (a webcomic of which—though we would never admit so publicly—we only understand about 50% of the jokes). This year, they decided for some silly reason to invite us to perform. Never ones to say “no” to a free hotel room, we eagerly accepted before they could change their minds.

Most of Thursday was spent on logistics: we got into town that afternoon, went to pick up the approximately 8,000,000,006 boxes of merch Coulton and we had pre-shipped to Seattle (many thanks to our friend Doug for letting us fill his garage with all our crap), transported it all to the convention center, went back to the airport to retrieve Coulton, and finally settled in for some late drinks with various cool and/or famous friends (Wil Wheaton, MC Frontalot, several folks form The Guild, and a bunch of our Harmonix pals)

Friday morning, we headed back to the convention center, and got our first taste of the true scale of things…

Most of Friday was split between sitting at our merch booth (which, thanks to the help of our merch volunteer army, ran like clockwork) and visiting the exhibition hall and previewing neato new games. Also, there was a sound check for our one-song guest stint later that evening with MC Frontalot, which included the aforementioned Wil Wheaton and his fake guitar…

Man, that guy was everywhere this weekend.

So anyway, things chugged along at a reasonable pace for most of the weekend. (Other than Storm being a little sick on Friday afternoon) That is, until the Saturday night concert…

We have to be careful with our adjectives here, so as not to fall into hyperbole. So attempting to discuss the concert objectively and dispassionately, we can only describe it as the most awesomely super-awesome thing ever, sitting on top of a pile of awesomeness. With awesome sauce. And more awesome sauce on the side, for dipping.

Before we even got started, the Ubiquitous Wheaton started things off with a tribute to Coulton:

…and then we stepped out into a veritable ocean of geek love with ~6,000 hyped-up people primed to have a good time. Much of the rest was a blur of lights, panties and “w00t”s and the occasional *squee*; suffice to say that we felt like real, full-on, honest-to-[deity] rock stars. Luckily, folks have recorded it for posterity, and video is starting to trickle onto the netterwebs. We do know that, at some point, our set ended and Jonathan Coulton went on stage and powneded as usual, with our old friend/enemy Molly joining the party; and somewhere along the way, we think we sang a song to Wil Wheaton (who apparently hadn’t had enough attention drawn to him yet)…

After the show, and then all day Sunday, we sat at our merch table and signed, signed, signed. We sure did sign! Boy, did we sign! We met hundreds of new friends, sold a lot of our crap quality merchandise, and generally cruised through the day with big, fat shit-eating grins. Once we closed up shop, we had time for one last quick meal with our “Guild”/”Legend of Neil” friends…

And then it was time to box everything up, head back to the hotel, and sleep for 3.5 hours before our pre-morning flights. (And then for Paul to be sick the next day. Fortunes of war.)

We cannot thank everyone enough—from Mike, Jerry and Robert in “management” to all the awesome Enforcers who unquestioningly did our bidding, to all the fans, both established and new—for making us feel so…well, let’s just say it: for making us feel so darn special this past weekend. If we could, we would do this to each and every one of you:

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9 Comments

  1. Leo
    Posted September 11, 2009 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    oh no! Paul and Storm, you should get tested for swine flu!!! I wish I could have made it though. Sounded like a ton of fun.

  2. Posted September 12, 2009 at 2:46 am | Permalink

    I told you guys this when I stopped by your merch booth on Sunday, but I loved you guys at the concert! Again, my favorite set the entire night!

  3. griff
    Posted September 12, 2009 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/avvy/3896838949/

    hehe

  4. Posted September 12, 2009 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    “The Ubiquitous Wheaton” is the name of my improv troupe.

  5. Posted September 15, 2009 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    Wait, wait, wait. You forgot to highlight the fact The Ubiquitous Wheaton gave that d20 tribute in the persona of having an official role which you bestowed upon him! That your little March Madness contest worked its way not only into the mainstream, but the very HEART of geek culture, is a tribute to your own ingenuity and personal coatings of awesome sauce.

  6. Anne-Marie
    Posted September 15, 2009 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    My favorite part was to overhear some teens in one of the handheld lounges talk about whether they were going to go to that Steve and Storm…Jeff and Storm…no, John and Storm concert on Saturday.

  7. Dean Hacker
    Posted September 16, 2009 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    First time I’ve seen you guys, and first day I’m feeling better since You guys were incredible, and I’ve done nothing but talk about you guys since seeing you, and trying to get my friends to listen to you. You guys killed at PAX. I’m very thankful I had the opportunity to find another band to listen to, as I don’t like many.

    Huge thumbs up – I hope you come back to the West Coast soon. Or maybe PAX again next year. Thanks, and keep rocking. You’ve made a “true fan.” I now need to dump some money in to your music, excuse me!

    ~Dean

  8. Posted September 17, 2009 at 2:05 am | Permalink

    Memorable PAX moment: Paul publicly shaming me for not stopping by the booth immediately after talking with Coulton. I’m sorry, guys. I was getting there!

    Great show! Seeing Frogger performed live was a real treat. Many thanks. :-)

  9. Posted September 17, 2009 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    That was my first time hearing you guys, and it was awesome. So awesome that I bought the triple-CD-pack and a t-shirt, plus one t-shirt for my friend. I was the guy standing in the front of the line waiting for the two of you to show up sunday morning, with the two Dejected Arr shirts. Thanks!

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