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WtNV Live!

books, op chopper studious
Welcome to Night Vale Live - so much fun! \o/ Non-spoilery recount of the evening on top, some spoilers for the ep itself under the cut.

The theater's doors (the Neptune in Seattle) opened at 7, with the show starting at 8. The sibs and I went early to eat in the area - when we got there a bit after 6, there was already a line outside the theater; when we got back after dinner, the line stretched down and starting to go around the block. Fans do love their queuing! Standing in line was a bit like standing in the middle of a Tumblr tag feed; the group ahead of us was discussing meeting Misha Collins at a bar, while random people cheered at my brother's Hero of Space Homestuck shirt.

It was cool night but not freezing or raining, not too bad. The crowd was about 4 to 1 female to male, I think (an unusual ratio, I'm used to either 50-50 for anime and SF events, or 99% female!) and the age range was all over the place - skewed toward the younger but we weren't the only 30+. It's a pity it was night because there was a lot of cosplay that was hard to see in the dark. There was a girl with a fantastic and adorable glow-cloud umbrella, internally lit (and the colors kept changing, slowly but every time I saw it it was a different shade) who got applause from the whole line when she walked by. The theater was low-lit as well, but there was a hooded figure, an Eternal Scout, and a Faceless Old Woman sitting in front of us, a bunch of various Cecils everywhere, including a guy who is getting a half-sleeve tattoo inspired by fanon!Cecil's - it was about half done (he said it had been about 12 hours so far), absolutely gorgeous work (Gnine has pics, I'll get 'em later.)

And the show! Cecil Baldwin is omg so adorable how even - he can't stop moving his hands the whole time he monologues, despite holding the script in one of them (someone on Tumblr described him putting on an invisible finger puppet show, which, yes) and he clearly had a blast, voice flipping between the sinister and the giddy and the occasionally terrified. It's really worth it to see him live, he's one of those performers who feeds off the audience and gives 200% when he's up on stage.

The Weather was Jason Webley, who did the Weather for PYRAMID - he has quite the spectacular if unusual voice, and is one of the more entertaining musicians to watch, as he accompanies himself on accordion for half his songs (acoustic guitar for the other), as well as keeping rhythm by stomping on the stage. Alex Guy accompanied him on viola for some of the songs and damn she can play. So pretty much everything I love about the Weather, as it's not usually the kind of music I would listen to but then am glad I do. (The best song was the Giraffe Song, which is hilarious and the story with it ("Forget About The Giraffes. Put Them Out Of Your Mind!") is perfectly Night Vale.)

So yes, if you're a fan of the podcast and have the opportunity, the live show is totally worth going to, highly recommended!

As for the episode itself - we were asked not to spoil the show for those going to see it later, and so far on Tumblr people seem to be being pretty good about that (it will all be recorded and released eventually online, of course). And if you are going to go, I'd go unspoiled! But if you're not going to be able to make any of the tour, here's a brief ep review - not a full recap, since any plot summary I could give wouldn't do it justice; as is often the case with Night Vale it's less about the story and more about the performance and the precise words. But I'll mention a few things for the purpose of headcanon construction.

As Joseph Fink mentioned on his twitter, the ep is a one-shot story, so doesn't advance any of the ongoing plotlines (there's no mention of Strex or Desert Bluffs, or Cecil backstory; and only one scene with any Carlos that I'm pretty sure was included only for the sake of refueling Fink and Cranor's squee-powered zeppelin.)(They do have a squee-powered zeppelin, right?) The story is entertaining but not really fannishly exciting (it's not One Year Later or Condos.) But it's creepy and funny and ends with a little tragic melancholy that made me laugh, as Night Vale should. And it had many fun callbacks for the audience to shriek over (which we did, loudly!) and a lot of hilarious stuff, particularly one scene of meta live-theater play that was hysterical and will be entertainingly different to hear as a podcast.

Some specific tidbits:

--There weren't any real guest stars (though we do hear Carlos on the phone - it was a recording, not live; I wonder if he might be live in other shows but couldn't make this one?). But the Weather-man Jason Webley had a hilarious cameo, as did Meg Bashwiner (the woman who does the ending "The Voice of Night Vale is Cecil Baldwin" etc bit - and is Joseph Fink's gf, which I just found out after wondering about it forever!)
--Librarians have multiple eyes, exoskeletons, and "hairy brown teeth". They can talk (really creepily), and are "surprisingly organized" (for those practicing the black arts of library science!)
--Even the hooded figures in the Dog Park flee from librarians
--but Tamika Flynn and her child militia are still willing to take up arms against them!
--Carlos doesn't know why librarians would be so bad, though he's not sure as he's never actually read a book, since he's a Scientist and not a journalist or editor. Though in college he knew journalism students who said librarians could be very helpful. And most of the people he knows who have been to libraries came back! Almost 50%...
(I'm starting to suspect that Carlos is actually an escaped mental patient who stole a labcoat on the way out of the psych ward. That or a really terrible conman. Or else he's realized Cecil doesn't really absorb anything he says about science, so is just being sarcastic about it all the time. ^^;;;)(and I am ignoring all of this for my fanfic Carlos because Night Vale is big enough to contain multiple realities and I like writing a Carlos who was an actual professional scientist before coming to Night Vale :P)
--Carlos and Cecil are at the point in their relationship that Cecil will call Carlos in the middle of his show if there's a town emergency and he's worried that Carlos hasn't boarded up the windows, they end their phonecalls with mutual "I love you"s, and fangirl squealing can shatter glass XD
--Steve Carlsberg is definitely a Scorpio (as one myself, I feel honored to experience Cecil's scathing horoscopes XD)

So yes, had a great time - though it's going to be such a looooong two weeks until the next ep, after the delight of getting two in a row! :D

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
joonscribble
Jan. 17th, 2014 11:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the review!!

I'm really tempted to email but if they're going to eventually put this online, I kind of want to go into it not knowing anymore than what you've described.

Carlos doesn't know why librarians would be so bad, though he's not sure as he's never actually read a book, since he's a Scientist and not a journalist or editor. Though in college he knew journalism students who said librarians could be very helpful. And most of the people he knows who have been to libraries came back! Almost 50%...

What the hell, Carlos? Your mental patient theory is getting stronger and stronger with each passing podcast/live show. But I also like the idea that he's just being completely sarcastic now because I feel like he's gone through the process of trying to either explain what he does, warning people of scientific dangers (radioactive areas!!) and no one seems to care so he's just molding himself to what he thinks Night Vale believes is a scientist. Basically a guy who does SCIENCE and wears a lab coat.

they end their phonecalls with mutual "I love you"s, and fangirl squealing can shatter glass XD

I love how normal their relationship is. And by normal I mean that it isn't laden with bizarre Night Vale-ish shenanigans.

Even the hooded figures in the Dog Park flee from librarians

Damn! Now that's scary.
xparrot
Jan. 17th, 2014 11:47 pm (UTC)
If you have any specific questions you're welcome to ask! :) but yeah, most of the story and jokes will be funnier unspoiled (especially since I can't recall the exact wording. But the horoscopes were amazing. Also Cecil's AmEx card... XDXDXD)

What the hell, Carlos? Your mental patient theory is getting stronger and stronger with each passing podcast/live show. But I also like the idea that he's just being completely sarcastic now because I feel like he's gone through the process of trying to either explain what he does, warning people of scientific dangers (radioactive areas!!) and no one seems to care so he's just molding himself to what he thinks Night Vale believes is a scientist. Basically a guy who does SCIENCE and wears a lab coat.

Ahhhh it is so hard to have consistent headcanons for a surreal comedy! I had a moment wishing I wasn't ficcing because Carlos saying he's never read a book is HILARIOUS except for how it crushes my fanon. But then the majority of the fic I read or write is never going to be the podcast anyway and I don't want it to be, so...I just need to find the off-switch for the canon-loyal part of my fan-brain...

That he's just given up and now is trying to be a Night Vale Scientist - heh, yeah, that would make sense. I have been trying to think of how often we know of Carlos doing "real science". The first ep, probably (though what was that beeping box anyway??) Is dissecting clocks science? In First Date he claims he's going to solve the buzzing shadow problem but we don't know it was actually him or it spontaneously cleared up...

...or maybe he's just been snacking on nutmeg seeds too much (they're a poisonous hallucinogen...!)

(I'm also wondering if Carlos maybe studied under Peter Venkman - "Back off, man, I'm a scientist!")

I love how normal their relationship is. And by normal I mean that it isn't laden with bizarre Night Vale-ish shenanigans.

Yes, as weird as Carlos himself might be, what he's got with Cecil is maybe the most recognizably real thing in Night Vale!
joonscribble
Jan. 18th, 2014 12:04 am (UTC)
Ahhhh it is so hard to have consistent headcanons for a surreal comedy! I had a moment wishing I wasn't ficcing because Carlos saying he's never read a book is HILARIOUS except for how it crushes my fanon. But then the majority of the fic I read or write is never going to be the podcast anyway and I don't want it to be, so...I just need to find the off-switch for the canon-loyal part of my fan-brain...

Yes, everything that I'm learning about Carlos since deciding to write fic has slowly murdered my headcanons. Well...I mean, WAS it a headcanon that Carlos read books?? Something that general? It was just a basic fact I took for granted but I guess anything and everything is up for grabs when it comes to Night Vale.

Is dissecting clocks science?

I had a very mundane thought about this where Carlos was probably just working in his lab, looked up and noticed that the clock on the wall hadn't moved since that morning so he tried to right it. And then opened up the back and saw its contents and proceeded to dissect all the other clocks he could get his hands on.
xparrot
Jan. 18th, 2014 12:31 am (UTC)
Yes, everything that I'm learning about Carlos since deciding to write fic has slowly murdered my headcanons. Well...I mean, WAS it a headcanon that Carlos read books?? Something that general? It was just a basic fact I took for granted but I guess anything and everything is up for grabs when it comes to Night Vale.

I think most fic-writers tend to just assume smart chars read a lot, since it tends to be true of most of us? Certainly I've seen Carlos reading books in a ton of fics, and yeah, I didn't think that was an assumption that would be overturned! I should have known better. Carlos having a family or not having a family - there's a ton of speculation but we still have no idea whatsoever, even though in most fandoms that's the kind of fanon that gets upended all the time. But to have a scientist char who canonically claims to have never been to a library - WHAAAAH??? XD It's so ridiculous I can't help but laugh, even if the ficcer in me is desperate to make some kind of sense of it...fanning on Night Vale is hard work! XDXDXD

(I suppose we should be used to it, I've also never been in a fandom where the slash is 100% canon but the race and in fact species of the main character is in doubt - Cecil refers to himself as human, but he also refers to Khoshekh as a cat! - and the only actual clue to anyone's age is that Carlos is "prematurely gray" at the temples - in Cecil's opinion of "premature" which is anybody's guess!!!)

I had a very mundane thought about this where Carlos was probably just working in his lab, looked up and noticed that the clock on the wall hadn't moved since that morning so he tried to right it. And then opened up the back and saw its contents and proceeded to dissect all the other clocks he could get his hands on.

Heee, sounds plausible...
...and then sometime around this point Carlos just decided he must have hallucinated all the books he thought he read and classes he thought he attended, because clearly they had nothing to do with reality...
joonscribble
Jan. 18th, 2014 12:36 am (UTC)
I've also never been in a fandom where the slash is 100% canon but the race and in fact species of the main character is in doubt

Oh my god, that's so true. This might be a first for fandom everywhere in that the slash is totally canon-legit but that you believe a character is human is up in the air. It reminds me of Joseph Fink once tweeting that for those who want to cosplay Cecil Baldwin: skullcap, a casual yet stylish shirt, glasses. To cosplay Cecil Palmer: whatever.

...and then sometime around this point Carlos just decided he must have hallucinated all the books he thought he read and classes he thought he attended, because clearly they had nothing to do with reality...

In the updated "Condos" when Carlos finished Cecil's sentence that time isn't real, I thought he'd totally learned the Night Vale lingo and state of being by this point. Carlos then talking about 19 standard fatality units was totally him inventing a unit of measurement that would work in the Night Vale reality. He's adaptable because after all, being adaptable is the second thing a scientist is. A scientist who has never read a book.
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