So last night was Thomas Dolby. Not sure what to say about most the performance, since we couldn’t even begin to pretend that hearing “She Blinded Me With Science” wasn’t our only reason for being there. Some of his other songs were decent, some were terrible, only two others in his set we had ever heard of from our Sirius 1st Wave station.
There was indeed a steampunk time capsule waiting outside the venue, as promised, but we didn’t leave a message. I kind of forgot to, but we sat inside for awhile. I was delighted at how reminiscent the time capsule was to H.G. Wells’s time machine.
Thomas Dolby was entertaining enough and we had a good time, but we had to stand there through a crummy opening act. Such is life. It was a steampunk act. I was reminded of our time at Dragon*Con when we went to a few steampunk-themed events, particularly the Steampunk Ball. I agree that steampunk is really a beautiful aesthetic, I love how it comes with its own set of colorful vocabulary terms, I love Jules Verne, HG Wells and appreciate Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (though a steampunk I once talked to scoffed that I only liked the old stuff, but he was more into ‘modern steampunk literature’. Did Jules Verne know he was steampunk when he wrote “Journey to the Center of the Earth?”). I also love the idea of clunky and aerodynamically unsound flying machines, and calling them “flying machines.” And clothes are far more attractive that what anyone wears today.
But steampunk music is really godawful. Like grinding gears mixed with vitriol and um, gears. And I thought the full hipster beard had come and gone about nine years ago, but apparently it’s now steampunk-not hipster- to have a gigantic bushy beard. I guess Jules Verne had one, right? Except I don’t think of Jules Verne when I see a huge bushy beard. I think of Rutherford B. Hayes, the nation’s beardiest president of all time. Rutherford was also hugely un-fun. He was a strict Presbyterian who forbade alcohol of any kind in the White House. His wife thought that billiards were a gateway drug to gambling so she converted the White House Billiard room into a room for her plants. The Hayes family spent every evening (yes, every evening) reading the Bible and singing hymns. He was also a crummy president to boot. I call that kind of beard a Rutherford. And all this was meandering through my mind throughout that entire crummy steampunk set we stood through while we waited for Thomas Dolby.
When Thomas Dolby finished the set with “She Blinded Me With Science”, I yelled out “Science!” one time at one of the appropriate points in the song, as did Jon once or twice. Nobody else in the audience seemed to be doing this, and I got a stinkeye from a member of the crowd when I did it. Really? We don’t yell “Science!” during this song? How is that possible? I was fully expecting the entire crowd to yell it every time, that what’s you do at a Thomas Dolby concert, right? Maybe this was just an anemic audience or something.
Still a good show though, and I’m glad we went.