saturday, september 5

our soundcheck was at 11, so we had to get up a little earlier than we would have liked. sean actually got up extra-early and walked to guitar center to get some last-minute cables and parts that we needed. meanwhile, jason headed over to our hotel and we grabbed our gear, and i had the *brilliant* idea that we should just walk it over to the convention center, instead of dealing with getting the car and using the loading dock again. it actually worked out okay, i think it was faster. so we got into the main theater and started setting up our stuff (i went to the green room and stocked up on muffins and waters and airborne) and soundchecked as best as we could without having the duke there (he was arriving at the airport at pretty much the exact same time). it went pretty smoothly.

all these pix by gordon merrick.

after soundchecking, i went back to the table and camped out there for a while. gordon and michael diamonds went off to explore the convention. the kid from the brainpower video stopped by, looking a whole lot more grown-up. and then the duke showed up! eventually, i wanted something a little more substantial than chocolate muffin, so he and jason and i went down to my beloved crepe stand. how i missed my tasty crepe stand. we ran into the mega 64 boys while we were waiting, and caught up with them for a while. my crepe was pretty darn tasty.

so the afternoon was mostly sitting at the table and talking to folks. i did an interview at some point in there. i met up with superfan helen-louise (who had come all the way from the UK) to give her a guest pass, and she set up camp at our table and ended up being saleslady extraordinaire (i.e. she probably knows more about our various cds than we do.). then MD and gordon reappeared, and we headed up to the green room for a little break. wil wheaton was there, sprawled out on some beanbags and not feeling great. he and gordon got into a detailed conversation about house renovations, specifically restoring mid-century pink bathrooms. oh man, i would love a mid-century pink bathroom.

back to the table for a while again. jason’s wife and baby showed up, it was the first time i’d met the lil’ girl, and wow, she is pretty cute. especially in her freezepop onesie. heh.

eventually we decided to take a break until showtime. we’d gotten meal vouchers at this place downstairs called juice it, and it was super-tasty, i got this brown rice bowl with thai peanut sauce and tofu and veggies. ohhhh yeah. that is what i needed. then back to the hotel for fancying-up, and then over to the theatre.

we hung out backstage while the omegathon was going on. i went out on the loading dock and polished my nails. we worked out a set list. i greeted the “raffle” winners, who won backstage passes (this was not a raffle at all, but a harebrained scheme cooked up to help this guy propose to his girlfriend onstage. she looked very nervous. i really hoped she’d say yes, not just for this guy but also it’d be kind of a downer if she said no in the middle of our set.)

after the omegathon, we did a quick line check with kasson’s gear and then i stood around backstage getting very nervous. even though it was our third pax, it’s still really scary beforehand. then it was showtime. gordon merrick announced us yet again. we started off with afterparty, which is a good one to begin with, both dramatically and technically, since it’s pretty easy for me. then was stakeout, and then brainpower, which was a technical nightmare. there were some guitar problems, and some keytar problems, that kinda threw everything off. luckily, we seemed to use up all our bad luck during that one song, and the rest of the set went fairly smoothly. i got less nervous and started having a pretty good time. we did a couple of new songs, i danced in the crowd during “tracey gold” and i brought out the happy couple for the surprise proposal before “plastic stars,” and much to everyone’s relief, she said yes! “shark attack” was insanely awesome, and then of course we finaled with GR2R and LTMR. everyone was jumping up and down. it was epic.

all show photos on the next couple of pages...

we ran out onto the loading dock out back to get a little air. wil wheaton told us the entire floor was shaking when everyone was jumping. that might have been a little scary. then jason came to fetch us, and we went out to our table for the big crazy rush. it was both big and crazy. a huuuuuge line had formed, so we sat ourselves down and met tons of awesome folks and signed stuff and took pictures for several hours.

shingen mochi, a tasty snack given to us by superfans who'd come all the way from japan! and an autographed banana, which we tried selling for over $2000 (we settled for 2 euros and change, and a small plastic nun).

new career milestone: i signed an ass! that was the first time that had ever happened before. (no, the boys did not sign it, just me. across both cheeks. in case you were wondering.) eventually the line died down, although there was still a steady stream of folks the rest of the evening. i had consumed wayyyy too much dr pepper by this point and felt pretty gross and shaky from all the sugar and caffeine, and just generally coming down from the big scary adrenaline rush of the show.

eventually the concert finished and there was a mini-rush at the end when everyone was leaving. and then finally we packed up. thankfully, we were able to leave our gear backstage until the next day, so we just hobbled back to our hotel and passed out.