PAX East 2012: The Concerts Come Home
One of my absolute favorite parts of the Pax experience (be it Pax East or Pax Prime) are the Friday and Saturday night concerts. There’s something inherently invigorating about participating in a geeky-ass concert while people around you are playing Catan, Magic: the Gathering, and waving Nintendo DS’s around in lieu of lighters. With the only barrier to entry being a Pax badge, the concerts offer an incredible value… if you’re willing to wait in line and potentially sacrifice seeing other panels scheduled at the same time (I had to make the difficult choice between the concerts and seeing the Giant Bomb podcast panel sadly).
This year’s concert schedule was absolutely packed, with four bands playing on each night. Friday night hosted relative newcomers Supercommuter, an interesting blend of chip-tune music and hip hop, The Minibosses, who have some of the best hard rock covers of classic game music ever recorded, Metroid Metal, who perform metal covers of Metroid tunes, and The Protomen.
The Protomen, for those unfamiliar, are a hard rock band whose two albums (Act 1 – The Protomen and Act 2 -The Father of Death) comprise part of an epic rock opera based loosely on… Mega Man. If that sounds weird, don’t worry… it is. But it’s also completely and totally awesome. Their music and stage presence is epic in a way that few other geek bands can compare to. On Friday night The Protomen performed the entirety of Act 2 for the audience. It was a fantastic show and the crowd loved every second.
Saturday night’s concerts included VGO, a band who’s acronym stands for Video Game Orchestra (but seems to have forgotten that since they focus mostly on heavy guitar covers of game music and had very little actual orchestral music this year), Paul and Storm, a musical comedy duo, Jonathan Coulton, the reigning king of geeky rock and roll, and MC Frontalot, the godfather of nerdcore hip hop.
I’m fortunate enough to be friends with MC Frontalot’s bassist, Brandon Patton (who’s a pretty awesome musician in his own right), and because of this my group was supremely blessed with the opportunity to gain access to the VIP seating area during the Saturday night concerts. This is the area that the musicians, Gabe and Tycho, other Penny Arcade personnel, and anyone else with a VIP PAX ticket sits. We were incredibly lucky to be in the second row during the Saturday night show.
I realized that this was a great chance to bring the Saturday night concerts home to you, the awesome readers here at GFBR. And so, I decided to record what I could of the concerts on my phone so that I could share this experience with you. Below you’ll find music from both Jonathan Coulton and MC Frontalot and while none of the songs are exactly explicit, there may be salty language peppered throughout, so consider them NSFW just to be safe. I’d also like to give another big shout out and thank you to Brandon Patton, without whom none of this would be possible. Thank you!
These videos were taken on my iPhone and we were a mere five feet away from the amplifiers–so they are a touch shaky, but it’s a look at the concerts from a position that very few people get. Enjoy!
Jonathan Coulton – Big Bad World One
Jonathan Coulton – Sucker Punch
Jonathan Coulton – Mandelbrot Set
Jonathan Coulton – RE: Your Brains
Jonathan Coulton – I Feel Fantastic
MC Frontalot – Penny Arcade Theme (Doctor Who Theme Remix)
MC Frontalot Ft Jonathan Coulton & Paul and Storm – Diseases of Yore
MC Frontalot Ft. Mega Ran – I Hate Your Blog
MC Frontalot – Yellow Lasers (dubstep remix)