The Yule Ball at the Middle East, December 20th
Oh, Yule Ball. How you bring out the geeks from all parts of New England. Also, this is my second annual Christmas Eve Yule Ball Post. Yay for starting new traditions!
First up, Ed in the Refridgerators. This is a band that was formed a long time ago by one of the members of Harry and the Potters, and a friend, I'm going to guess when they were in middle school. They sang songs that middle school boys would sing. One of them involved screaming butt over and over again. I have no further comments.
Next, after some sad wizard comedy, was MC Kreacher. I'd like you to understand that this is a guy in his 20s who dresses up like a house elf and raps. Furry hand claws, embroidered baseball cap and all. I was shocked by his appearance, but you know what? He can actually rap. Well. For an amateur rapper he's really quite good. But he was rapping about upset, enslaved, mythical creatures from a childrens series. This looks like a guy who might actually have a social life, and yet he's rapping about house elves! I... I'm so torn. He was really good, but damn.
This was also the point in the night when I really noticed the crowd around me. There were obligatory nerds, a few really drunk girls, a possibly drunk long haired boy who took to dancing right beside me, observant college kids, and the Malfoys. Yes, the Malfoys. This family (I think they're a real family) has been to every Yule Ball I've been to. In the past I've only noticed Lucius and Draco, but this year Narcissa was also present. They don't just dress up... they full on cosplay. Or maybe the correct term is role play? I'm not sure, but they stand in the back and don't talk to anyone and look very angry and disapproving. In full, dead on costume. Narcissa spent most of the time fanning herself. I did see Draco talk to another boy dressed as Draco at one point, but they mainly stay fully in character. Kudos for dedication, but we wouldn't think any less of you guys if you wanted to look like you were actually enjoying yourself too. Just saying.
More bad wizard comedy. "Where do tadpoles go to school when they grow up? Frogwarts!"
Then The Whomping Willows were on. I like them, they're fun. They play bouncy, happy wizard rock and they look like they're enjoying it and they're not afraid to be Hufflepuffs. They've started a house called Awesome and they believe in nargles. I think that about sums it up.
Speech by the head of the Harry Potter Alliance. Mmmkay.
Jason Anderson was next and I love Jason Anderson. Okay, so I don't personally know him and love him, but his music and live performances make me happy. He loves sing alongs and getting the crowd involved, and so everyone is participating and dancing and screaming. He plays good, homey New England music and it always feels like he's letting you into a special slice of his life when he plays. His happiness is infectious and his singing is full of joy and I just love watching him play.
Draco and the Malfoys! I used to love Draco and the Malfoys, but now, um, they've turned into a bluegrass band. I'm okay with country, don't get me wrong, but I can't really deal with bluegrass. There was an upright bass (cool!), and a banjo named Aberforth (not so cool!), and a guy rocking out on a mandolin (awesome!). But it was just odd. They used to play computer driven, guitar and drum based rock but now... now there was bluegrass and the songs were all slowed down and I was so confused.
And finally, Harry and the Potters. The original wizard rock. We had to leave partway through their set due to having to catch a train, but what we did see was so much fun. They had sing along songs too, and threw a giant stuffed snake into the crowd when we were saving Ginny Weasley from the basilisk, and it was fun and silly and wizard rocky.
There was tinsel and lights, butterbeer and a big glowing Santa. It was the perfect was to get into the geeky Christmas spirit.