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6.14.2009

Part Two: THE LEAKYCON

Despite being a month dated, this post feels appropriate as my husband — as Gred & Forge — is currently in the final week of his summer tour. If you love to read, love to rock, and live near one of the following cities:


6/15 — Dayton, Ohio
6/16 — Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
6/17 — New York City
6/19 — Norwood, Massachusetts (plus Harry and the Potters — 500th show!, The Whomping Willows, & Pottercast)


you should check it out! (All dates are with The Remus Lupins. More information here.) And for anyone who doesn't know what WIZARD ROCK is, you might want to read this post before continuing. Otherwise, this will just sound weird.

Weird-er.

And slightly confusing.

So Part One concerned Boston itself, but the real reason we were in town was for LeakyCon, a gigantic Harry Potter conference organized by The Leaky Cauldron, the most popular HP news website. Three days of programing, each capped off by a HUGE wrock show. Shows that my husband had been invited to play.


Why did the wizards cross the road?


To get to the FRIGGIN' CASTLE!


Can you believe?? The only way the setting could have been more perfect was if it took place in JK's actual Scottish castle. And if you think the outside was amazing, check out the inside:

[The following pictures were grabbed from Flickr & Facebook. I snatched so many that I lost track of who took what. So if you've wandered here and found YOURS, please leave a comment, so I can give you credit! And thank you for letting me borrow your pics. Mine were terrible.]


THE GREAT HALL! Complete with house banners!


Ooo, pretty lights!


Major props to the Leaky staff. The atmosphere was perfect for a wizard party. For the first few hours, we all just walked around with our jaws hanging open. What I loved so much about the entire weekend was how inspiring it was to be immersed in this highly unusual community of people who are genuinely enthused about not only a fantastic work of literature (all of this for a series of BOOKS!), but also about making the world better and being just plain kind to one another.

HP fans are the nicest, warmest, friendliest people I know. There's no way I could count the number of hugs, smiles, and well-wishes I exchanged. And in this culture where kindness as a virtue is far too often overlooked, it was a welcome reminder that GOOD PEOPLE are out there.

LOTS of good people.

I'd seen all (but one) of these bands several times before, but every single musician took their performance to — and it sounds way cheesy, but it's true! — a new level. I mean, previous levels of awesomeness were SHATTERED. And hundreds of people sang and danced and HAD FUN, without that uncomfortable pressure to fit in or look cool that normally comes with listening to live music.

Amazing.

The first night in the castle was Evil Night. Swish and Flick, Justin Finch-Fletchley (not evil, but awesome!), The Parselmouths, and Draco and the Malfoys.


Swish and Flick with the sweetest mic ev-ah.


Draco and the Malfoys went bluegrass for the night!


The next day, I attended two of the convention's keynote events, a Nerdfighters party with John and Hank Green, and a discussion about writing and editing with John Green and Cheryl Klein. Their talk was definitely a highlight for me. These are SMART PEOPLE, you guys. Two of my favorite ideas, paraphrased from their talk:

— "Because I wrote it that way" is never a good enough reason to keep something [in the editing process].

— We have a responsibility to tell true stories. We can't lie about the brokenness of the world, but we also have to show hope, and that people have a responsibility to fight that brokenness. (John)


SMART PEOPLE. (One of the pics I took. See how blurry?)


Silly me forgot to get a picture with John, but it was very very exciting to meet him again because:

(A) I'm a gigantoid, gushing fan . . . though hopefully at least semi-under control in person.

and

(B) Now we share the same editor! WOO HOO! (I still have no idea how I swung that. Mystery of the Universe.)

Also, I'd just like to add that you know those kind, friendly, genuine, fun people I was just talking about? John is totally one of them.

I was also fortunate enough to meet another favorite author, Maureen Johnson. Maureen was a huuuuge part of why my agent, Kate Schafer Testerman, was/is my dream agent. But I was dumb here too — another forgotten photo opportunity! I only talked to Maureen for a quick moment, but she was also very nice.

And wearing killer boots.

Friday night, and it was back to the castle for more music. It was ROCK NIGHT. Tonks and the Aurors, Gred and Forge (yaaaaaaaaaay!), The Whomping Willows, and Harry and the Potters.


Squeeee! His big finale! My husband ROCKED.


I've never been so proud of Jarrod. He was incredible. It was so surreal, so thrilling to hear the crowd singing along to words HE wrote.

I grinned from ear-to-ear the entire show.

Here's the video of the final song, with his wrocker pals onstage with him. He's singing "Brotherly Love," a very naughty song! I wish you could see how big the crowd was, but the person who filmed this was pretty close to the front. There were TONS of people there. (I wish the sound quality of the video was a little better/fuller too, but whattaya gonna do?)





And I heart this picture of Jarrod and Justin (of JFF), because you can tell they're having a BLAST:




The last band that night was the one-and-only Harry and the Potters. Paul and Joe DeGeorge have been playing wizard rock since 2002! Not only are they completely talented and adorable (and SUPER nice and SUPER intelligent), but they know how to bring the epic.

Imagine hundreds of fans screaming "Harry Potter" to the tune of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" while a unicorn, a chicken, a giant squid, a wizard, Santa Claus, and an assortment of other creatures thrash up and down.

Shaky video proof:





I'd like to see the Twi-hards rock like that!


I did take this one of the Potters, from my post at the merch table.


Paul played a BROOM GUITAR, you guys!


That would be Jarrod dressed as the Giant Squid. And yes. We all know what the costume really looks like! HA!


The final rock show was Saturday afternoon at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel (where Jarrod and I were roomies with the lovely Nina and Adam). Riddle™, The Mudbloods, The Moaning Myrtles, and The Remus Lupins played. Jarrod was BUSY — he had full sets with The Mudbloods and the Myrtles, plus a song with the Lupins.


Jarrod the drummer, in demand. And wearing three different hats.


Don't you love the Lupins' drum head? Fight Evil, Read Books!


In true rock-n-roll style, Alex Carpenter of The Remus Lupins ended the festivities by setting his guitar on fire and smashing it into smithereens.


Note to the cool kids: Geeks party just as hard.


Alex and the last of his beloved LOVE guitar.


Okay. I declare that more-than-enough. Hope all of you had a wonderful weekend, reading good books and traveling happily.

Bon voyage!

5 comments:

  1. So. Cool.

    And I love Jarrod, but, umm, I had to turn the song off because it was making me blush. I was thinking Weasley mischief naughty...but that was NAUGHTY naughty, lol.

    And you're so right. Harry Potter fans = WAY cooler than twi-hards. Perhaps single-handedly because of Jarrod.

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  2. Awesome. I also liked the "I love Ron" wristband.

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  3. Oh my gosh! I heart this crazy post!!!!! What a fabulous life you lead dahling!

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  4. Ah I am so jealous! So much awesome in so little time, I'm surprised you didn't explode! I would have.

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  5. Kiersten — HA! No. Naughty naughty.

    Mariah — Someone let him borrow it for the show. So perfect!!

    Katie — Someday my fabulous life and your fabulous life will cross paths, and then THAT will be truly fabulous.

    Lexi — No exploding, though I did have to pee a lot. But I'm blaming that on my coffee consumption.

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