While all my fellow nerds probably know what w00tstock is, I’m going to point you over to here and here in case you don’t (since both sources explain it better than I ever could.

Now that you’re all caught up we can move on…

Up until recently, the West Coast was getting all of w00tstock’s attention, and the East Coast was getting mighty jealous. Now w00tstock is in the middle of a mini east coast tour, thus ending our drought of geek entertainment.

The New York edition was Friday, October 29, 2010. The air was filled with excitement as I donned my Doctor Who costume (10th Doctor, complete with sonic screwdriver) and made my way for the Best Buy Theater – where the magical events were set to begin.

The show was four hours of geek entertainment split into two parts. The first half started with an opening from Jonathon Coulton (playing the part of Wil Wheaton for the evening). It was here that we got the night’s announcements, including the part where the show is released under a Creative Commons license, so we can share video and audio from the show (as long is it is not for commercial use), followed by the part where house rules for the venue say video not allowed but audio is OK. The complete audio opening:

w00tstock opening

After JoCo did his bit, Paul & Storm went on as the “Opening Band”

Paul & Storm – Opening Band

They were followed by Drew – the fark.com guy – who shared some interesting (read: ridiculous) things they have featured on their website.

Next Grant Imihara (of Mythbusters fame) shared his experience as C-3PO working various public events.

The first half ended with MC Fronatalot, accompanied at one point by Jason Finn, Paul & Storm, and JoCo.

Favorite moment from the first half – the whole thing was pretty flippin’ awesome, but I have to say Storm’s comment wins out. He had the lighting person raise the house lights and asked us to look around the room. “Look around this room,” he said, “because this is what the internet looks like… This wouldn’t have happened 20 years ago.” The quote might not be exact but it’s pretty close – and very true. Without the internet that room full of people would not have happened. And the likes of Paul & Storm, JoCo, and others like them would not have happened either. Their careers – and our enjoyment of them – happened as a direct result of this wonderful thing called the internet.

Act II:

The second half opened with a performance by Marian Call. I am ashamed to admit I had never heard any of her music until that night. I had of course heard of her and knew of her existence, but I had never adventured into her world of entertainment until then. I have to say I was very impressed. She has a unique style to her that really left an impression. She’s on the tail end of a 50-states tour, so if you live in MA or NH go check her out, because she’s coming to an area near you.

Next on the line-up was our host – Jonathan Coulton. He played a shorter set than I thought he would, but I understand they were pressed for time. I still enjoyed my time with him (even though he did not play Code Monkey *sad panda face*). I love his work though and the story of how he got started. I got to meet him after the show and am really sorry I couldn’t think of anything intelligent to say until after it was too late. I did make him laugh though, but that story comes later…

Adam Savage was our last act for the night before the big finale. He told some funny stories about his family and made us feel like we were sitting in the living room chatting it up – all 300 of us.

The final performance for every w00tstock is traditionally The Captain’s Wife’s Lament, and tonight was no exception. Jason Finn, Adam Savage, Paul & Storm, and JoCo all got on stage to give us our last song of the evening. Now, this song is normally only 2 minutes long, but when it is done live it can drag on for 30 or 40 minutes. Tonight came in at a tame 18 minutes, but that was mostly because they had a strict 11pm curfew they had to work with. They ended at 10:59 exactly – good job, boys!

The Captain’s Wife’s Lament

After the show everyone (except Adam, who had a 4am flight for the Rally to Restore Sanity in DC) lined up at a table in the lobby for a signing. Most of us had free posters we had received when buying our w00tstock merch, so we had these signed. This was when I met JoCo and lost abilities of speech – except for the part where I inadvertently made him laugh. As MC Frontalot signed my poster and passed it on to JoCo, he said, “Oh look, so-and-so signed this poster and he wasn’t even here” to which I replied “It’s magic!” and then started singing “Strange Magic” by ELO. It was at this moment when the famed JoCo made with the laughing. I then said something about that music reference being too easy and they had to give me something harder next time – and Storm started laughing a bit. At least that’s how this scene played out in my head. Whether it really happened this way or not is irrelevant, because I definitely got positive reactions from a couple of my favorite geeks ever in life – and you can’t take that away from me!

Thank you’s: 1) to ELO for helping me win in front of JoCo and Paul & Storm – a few of my nerd heroes. 2) to everyone involved with w00tstock (including their DM, LIz) for giving us an awesome show. Hopefully next time happens again soon and involves one Wil Wheaton.

ps – If you liked the audio clips I posted here, there will be more on my Tumblr very soon : )