MTAC 11 was….a while ago. Last month, to be precise. Last year, I thanked my stars that I skipped it because there was flooding and travel delays. This year I was sad to think that I simply couldn’t afford the hotel stay. MTAC seems to be going in more of a music direction, which I like. As sad as it is, I simply can’t (or won’t) afford the outrageous ticket prices to see bands live. That means that seeing bands at a convention is a nice little bonus for me, whenever I decide to check out their show.
It couldn’t be helped though. I have an awful habit of squandering all my vacation time almost as soon as I get it, and once convention time rolls around, I have no time to ask off. It’s not a problem for local conventions, since they’re usually close enough I just go home each night. Traveling has tended to simply not work for me.
One day, my husband told me that a favorite band of mine, the Slants, was playing in Lee’s Summit, MO which is where we work! (Yes, this has a point. Stick with me.) It was a tiny little bar, but still a really good show. I tweeted about watching them set up and got a reply, which was exciting for me. To my eternal embarassment I started blushing. It’s always horrifying to realize that random blushing is something that still happens.
Upon learning that the Slants were set to play MTAC again, and really enjoying their show, I asked the husband about taking a crazy roadtrip to MTAC. I figured we’d head out late Friday/early Saturday, enjoy the day at the convention, and come back. For clarification, we live in Kansas City, MO and MTAC is in Nashville, TN, so it’s a long trip. Fortunately it was also a payday weekend, so we were able to afford the gas.
We didn’t do too much at the convention, being there for just one day. Most of the panels looked to be fan panels, and that doesn’t really interest me much. We did stop by a panel about aging in anime fandom, which was pretty interesting. I thought it was interesting that the men running the panel encouraged everyone to host a podcast or write a blog, seeing as how there’s tons of anime blogs and quite a few podcasts already.
During the afternoon, we sat outside on the patio and listened to a band called Action Adventure World, who does videogame/chiptune based rap. They have some pretty good songs.
We bought some things, of course. I bought a few t-shirts, and picked up a figma of Dead Master, who I’d been meaning to buy for a few months. Now gotta find a good time to pick up Black Gold Saw, hopefully before Strength gets released. My husband found a few pretty cool Dr. Who shirts.
Then came time for the main event, the concerts! We stood in line for quite a little while, but it was worth it. To be honest, it was one of my better line experiences. I really got a kick out of listening to the girls in front of us discuss their cosplay plans for their next convention.
The first band to play was the Suzan, and all-girl Japanese band. They were adorable! Their music was really weird, and for the life of me, I couldn’t categorize it for you guys. I don’t know that much about music, and it seemed to me that they crossed a few genres. It was really enjoyable though, and I ended up finding their album on iTunes!
After the Suzan got through their set, it was time for the Slants! This was actually their third year at MTAC, and it really showed that they had a good audience. Their show had an awesome warm-up video while they set up. Once they got started, it was full of energy and dancing. Band members took turns entering the audience, and they even pulled some girls up to dance on stage with them. I was pretty happy to see one of the girls that had been in line in front of us get up on stage. At the same time, I’m glad I wasn’t close enough to be pulled up. I’m horribly shy, and I get serious anxiety up in front of a crowd.
The Slants have said that MTAC is their favorite show. They’d been touring across the country to help aid victims of the Japan earthquake and tsunami. I took a look at the schedule, and it looked really rough. They seem to have spent most of their time driving from show to show! I could tell you from my most recent experience, that is not fun. I think next time I have to travel for a convention, I’m going to try flying instead.
I really enjoyed the show, and it was completely worth driving from Missouri to Tennessee. I told my boss later that I’d taken the trip, and he looked at me like I was crazy. Then he told me that he would only do that for rare whiskey. Pssht, what a loser. I kid. I think it’s hilarious that he doesn’t understand why I’d take the trip for a band, and I don’t understand why he’d take the trip for booze. Ah, the intricacies of fandom.
On our way back, we stopped off at Metropolis, Illonois, the home of Superman. There’s a 15 foot Superman statue, a museum, and various other murals and smaller landmarks all about the town. It was 2 a.m., but we stopped and took pictures of some of the scenery anyway. It was also rainy, which sucked.
There’s some kind of event in June, so we plan to go back and check that out. I’m personally looking forward to going through the museum. I’m not a Superman fan, but all the historical memorabilia will be fascinating to see.
Have any of you guys taken any crazy trips? Do you plan to this summer?