Starkid Presents The Apocalyptour (Or A Love Letter to Fandom)

So, here’s the thing: I fricking love Starkid. For those of you who actually know me, this is as obvious as saying the sky is blue or the Pope’s hat looks funny. If you have no idea what Starkid is, you’re not alone. About half the people I tell about them have never heard of them, which makes me sad because they’re just so fantastic. In a nutshell, they’re a musical theater company. They’re also Internet sensations, ridiculously talented, and the most adorable group of friends ever. Although Darren Criss is undeniably the most well-known of the Starkids, the names Joey Richter, Dylan Saunders, Lauren Lopez, Jaime Lyn Beatty, Brian Rosenthal, Jim Povolo, Brian Holden, Meredith Stepien, and Joe Walker will one day be just as well known. There are a number of other Starkids who are just as talented and will be just as famous, but I’m too lazy to list out every single one of them and went with just those who were on the tour.

Starkid has a sometimes terrifyingly devoted fanbase. For instance, this is the second time I’ve seen them in concert and both times, my best friend Caity and I spent the night before slaving away making cookies for them (this time, with Dani’s help as well, yay!) and figuring out exactly what the perfect gift bag would be for them. This time, we also brought them some barbecue sauce (since they probably didn’t get a chance to explore much of KC), a six-pack of Boulevard Wheat Beer (which was totally fine because everyone involved in the exchange is over the age of 21, except Dani, who never even touched the beer), and some coloring books and Mad Libs for the long bus rides. Some people (my parents, coworkers, friends, fiance, etc.) think we’re crazy and oddly attached to these people that we don’t really know at all. That may be true, but to most Starkid fans, we feel like we know them. They don’t know us, but we certainly know them (which isn’t as creepy as that sounds).

For me, Starkid is the key part of my self-care. When I can’t deal with the world and the shit that goes on in it, I turn on a Starkid show or listen to an album and am instantly cheered up. Their shows (A Very Potter Musical, Me and My Dick, A Very Potter Sequel, Starship, and Holy Musical B@man) have these beautiful messages of friendship, love, and acceptance. Yes, a musical about a boy’s relationship with his penis is actually incredibly touching when Starkid does it. Pretty much all of them put themselves out on Twitter and are gracious enough to allow the fans glimpses into their lives. When everything else might be going wrong, Starkid is always there to remind me that there is something right in the world.

So, all this being said brings us up to the day of the concert. Caity, Dani, and I prepared our gift bag to bring to them. Caity and I made matching T-shirts (the front side read “Somebody’s Buddy,” and the back said “Flying in the Friendship Ship KC Apocalyptour 2012”). We spent the whole day counting down the number of hours to the concert, while I kept texting Caity at work to remind her how close it was. Finally, we hopped in the car and drove downtown. After stopping at Quik Trip to try to remedy an unfortunate carbonated water explosion and screaming at my GPS as it seemed to take me all over the sketchy parts of KC, we finally made it there.

Caity and I were fortunate enough to have Golden Idol tickets (meaning we got to go in early and have a meet and greet with the Starkids), thanks to a graduation present from my parents. I wish I could remember the exact words we actually said to them, but it all went so fast and I was so flustered by trying to keep my cool that I didn’t really get a chance to take it all in. Brian Holden was nice enough to also sign Caity’s little sister’s Superman shirt and I know I talked to Charlene Kaye for a quick minute about how much I love her new album and how I listen to it nearly every day on my way to work.

Then we headed into the theater. For those of you who have never been to the Uptown Theater, it has a very interesting decor inside. There are all these weird, half-naked statues up where the balconies are. There’s faux candlelight and a really huge disco ball. As Meredith apparently described it, it has a very Hogwarts feel to it.

The concert started with Charlene Kaye, who while not necessarily a member of Team Starkid (in that she doesn’t act in their productions), is a close friend of theirs and often does concerts with them. I first heard Charlene when she recorded a duet with Darren called “Dress and Tie.” From there, I started listening to her other music and I completely fell in love with it. Her newly-released “Animal Love” is one of the best albums I’ve heard in a long time. During her set, Charlene primarily played music from that album, although she also brought out Dylan to sing “Dress and Tie” with her and sang Magnolia Wine from her album “Things I Will Need in the Past.” The highlight of the set, though, was undeniably “A Million Years.” Charlene asked for silence while she sang it and the crowd complied. Once the song got started, it was so beautiful that I hardly even breathed during the song. The crew turned on a disco ball (which Charlene described as the “biggest disco ball [she] had ever seen”) and the room was bathed in the soft lighting from it. The song, which is all about finding your soulmate, nearly brought me to tears (and definitely made Caity cry a little bit). I found a video of a performance of it from another stop on the tour, where the audience also stayed quiet to allow her to sing. The video does allow you to hear the song, but hearing it live was even more hauntingly beautiful.

After a short break, Starkid finally came out to the deafening screams of all the fangirls (as well as the fanboys). The basic premise of the show was that the Mayan Apocalypse was coming and Starkid could only save the world by putting on an amazing show to please the Mayan deities. If the Mayan deities weren’t pleased, then at least the crowd in Kansas City was having the time of their lives. They performed songs from all of their shows. As much as I love the Potter musicals, it was really nice to hear some of their other music. The greatest part of the show, though, was the interesting mash-ups they did. They would combine songs from several different shows and it worked so well together.

For me, the best was the mash-up of “Dark, Sad, Lonely Knight” from “Holy Musical B@man” and “Not Alone” from “A Very Potter Musical.” Caity and I keep singing to each other the part of “Dark, Sad, Lonely Knight” where it goes “I wanna be somebody’s buddy, somebody who can be my buddy back” and that was the inspiration for our shirts. So, we grabbed each other’s hand during that song and sang it to each other. Then when they launched into “Not Alone” right after that, I just about started crying. “Not Alone” was my bridge into the Starkid fandom. Even though I knew who they were, I didn’t really become a fan of theirs until after I got hooked on Darren’s character on “Glee.” Around then, I was having a really hard time and Starkid became my source of light and hope. “Not Alone” is my most played song on iTunes and I don’t even know how many times I listened to it when I was first getting hooked on Starkid. There was one night in particular that I think I listened to it on repeat for two or three hours while I just sat in my room and cried. That song became my anthem and to hear it right after this other song that I’ve come to associate so much with my best friend just about moved me to tears.

I don’t want to spoil the other mash-ups because they still have several stops left on the tour and I know I enjoyed the concert even more because I didn’t know what was coming. After the concert, Charlene was nice enough to draw something on my tote bag of hers that I bought. So now, about 24 hours after the concert, I am still insanely sore from standing up and dancing for so long. I got my voice fully back after screaming so much. I’m drained of energy from the emotions of the concert and the whirlwind trip to KC and back to Columbia. And I have a kickass tote with an awesome picture of a giraffe, as well as an autographed picture of all the Starkids on the tour. Basically, it was one of the best nights of my life and the best concert I have ever seen. Now, I just anxiously wait for my next opportunity to see them, whenever that might be.



Tosh.O (1/14)

EW Description: “Did you see that crazy viral video? Probably not, because comedian Daniel Tosh hasn’t been around to help you wade through the world of Web weirdness. Well, now his TV series is back and he’s offering more funny, scathing commentary about every awesome — or embarrassing — Internet sensation.”

I’ve read, watched, and listened to a lot of new things for this blog. Some of it turned out to be completely amazing (The King’s Speech, Black Swan, Winter’s Bone, etc.) and some of it was just painful (Fashion Police, The Bachelor), but even when something was truly atrocious, I managed to make it all the way through it. I sat through two hours of The Bachelor, although I did have to spread it out over a few days. Today, however, is the first time I have not been able to make it through all of a TV show that was recommended to me by EW.

The bit that pushed me over the edge concerned the Antoine Dodson “Hide Yo Kids” viral video. I’ll admit it, I’ve watched the autotuned news video more times than I can count and my roommates and I have dance parties to the song at random times. It’s my secret shame. However, Daniel Tosh took it to a whole new level on the season 3 premiere of Tosh.O. I’ll let Tosh’s words speak for themselves.

“That’s Antoine Dodson and he hates rape. Instead of crying in the shower for three hours, he fought back. Rape is an awful crime, but the fact is, without rape, we wouldn’t have this great video. Plus, Tori Amos would have nothing to sing about. I’d never want to buy a Duke lacrosse t-shirt and there’d be no Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for your parents to watch while you’re upstairs trying to rape your girlfriend. Basically, there are four kinds of rape. You have your traditional scary rape, which seems to only happen to joggers, so if you want to stay safe, knock it off with the cardio. Then there’s prison rape, which involves criminals, so it doesn’t really count. Now, date rape is the politest rape of them all, but it would happen way less often if doctors would just stop prescribing the date rape drug. Last but not least, there’s statutory rape, which can be very confusing because let’s be honest, women never look their age. 15 or 57? Who can tell? I don’t work at a goddamn carnival. And every place is different. In these states, the age of consent is 16. Basically, if your state can’t wait for President Palin, it’s a safe bet you can legally bang a high school sophomore. But for you real perverts, in Mexico it’s 12, so book your flights today. I’ve never been raped, but I have seen the movie Somewhere by Sofia Coppola and I’m pretty sure the experience is equally horrific. I know I’d be a terrible rapist. I struggle with a consenting female. So, if you’re squirming around throwing elbows, trust me ladies and gentlemen, you’re safe. But in the end, rape is just the word pear all jumbled up. I look at rape the same way I look at HIV. If you play guard for the Lakers, it won’t affect you. Antoine vowed to catch his sister’s rapist, but he got caught up in being famous and never followed through. That’s why I brought him to Hollywood, the sole/soul rape capital of the world to finish the job in this week’s Web Redemption.”

If you find this funny, you’ll love the show. If not, don’t ever waste your time. If you’ll excuse me, I need to go vomit now.

When Parents Text website (1/14)

EW Description: “Mom and Dad write the darndest things, especially when the buttons are tiny. Check out this site for a daily dose of hilarity.”

When Parents Text is my new favorite website. Just about every single post makes me laugh and all of them at least bring a smile to my face. I think there’s one simple reason for that. This could be any of our parents. Everyone in our generation has had to deal with their parents asking about some form of technology. We were there as our parents got cell phones. We were there as our parents first signed on to facebook. Then came the horror of texting. I’ve been fortunate enough that my parents absolutely refuse to learn to text. That doesn’t mean I can’t sympathize with the people who post on this website, however.

I really can’t describe what makes this website so hilarious to me. As with all forms of humor, everyone is going to find it funny (or not) for different reasons. I just know that I can relate to this site more than places like textsfromlastnight or fmylife. Check out the site for yourself and tell me what you think.

#4 “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” (9/17 and 9/24)

EW Description: “Saturday Night Live’s Jenny Slate voices the little shell with shoes in this painfully adorable, painfully funny Web sensation.”

I don’t even really know what to make of this video. In only 3 1/2 minutes, it just brings up so much stuff. At the beginning of it, there’s almost a Cribs vibe to it. Marcel (the shell) is showing the camera all around hir house and telling about how ze lives. It reminded me of what a five-year-old might be like on Cribs.

Then it gets really sad and you can see how lonely Marcel is. Ze talks about making a dog out of a piece of lint and putting it on a strand of hair so ze can pull it around. The dog’s name is Alan. It’s so adorable and everyone can see how lonely Marcel is. Then ze talks about the time when hir brother killed a person by impaling them on a brush and it’s back to being kind of funny again.

I have to give credit to Jenny Slater. She did a really great job with this. She wrote the script and voiced Marcel. Her voice was adorable, funny, and heartwrenching, all at the same time. I think she has a really bright future in animation and voiceover work. As noted before, the clip is only 3 1/2 minutes long, but there are some really great lines from it. You won’t soon forget this short.