As you might guess from the name, it was indeed awesome.
Less awesome were our seats, which were dizzingly high up and terribly cramped. Not being able to stretch my legs for two and a half hours with no intermission? Not fun. And I have fairly short legs.
But, physical comfort aside, it was a great show. John talked movingly about the process of writing The Fault in Our Stars (which you should read, if you haven’t yet), Hank played some of his wonderfully geeky songs, and there was a Q&A featuring Neil Gaiman and Hannah of My Drunk Kitchen.
Kimya Dawson, who I hadn’t heard of before, also performed. I loved her songs, and will definitely be checking out more of her music.
As for the Mountain Goats? Meh. I know a lot of my friends love them, but I’ve never really gotten into them. And their performance lacked the energy, the oomph, that makes live music enjoyable. I did appreciate their cover of They Might Be Giants’ “New York City”, though–and John and Hank’s awkward dancing along to it!
There were lots of funny moments throughout the night, but the best one, hands down, was during a reading from John’s novel Paper Towns. Neil Gaiman read a sentence that began, “I decided that I would actually, literally suck donkey balls…” the crowd erupted in laughter. It was pretty amazing. (If you’re curious, the context was that the character would do such a thing if it would allow him to get out of government class.)
Another thing that was cool, albeit less brilliantly hilarious, was when Hank sung a song about how so many songs involve the same four chords. Funnily enough, we had heard a similar song the night before: Rob Paravonian’s Pachelbel Rant. And on the train to NY, I had listened to Axis of Awesome’s 4 Chords on my iPod. I love that kind of unexpected synchronicity.
Also enjoyable was the feeling of being surrounded by “our people,” even though they were mostly much younger than us. I appreciated the geeky style of the people around me: from multiple TARDIS hats to a Jayne hat to a handmade TFiOs jacket. We even met and exchanged brohoofs with a fellow brony, who was wearing a Dr. Whooves t-shirt.
It reminded me of one of the things I love about fashion: the ability to build community by the use of markers that represent shared interests. And it was funny to get dressed for a show at Carnegie Hall thinking not, “How can I be as glamorous as possible?” but, “How can I be as nerdy as possible?” I forgot my TARDIS earrings, but at least I did have both a t-shirt and sweatshirt featuring My Little Pony.
For those of you who didn’t make it to the show or one of its live broadcasts around the country, you can see the whole thing here: