Let me start off my review of the hugely successful first Orlando Nerd Fest with a few personal comments. I was, like so many, extremely disappointed when Nerdapalooza died. So to discover that there was going to be a huge geek music festival this summer after all was amazingly satisfying. In fact, I even took off a day from work to make sure I could see as much music as possible (weirdly, I actually skipped the Nerd Fest “pre-show” on Thursday and stayed for Monday (the day I took off), but that’s a long story that I won’t bore you with).
I also found myself spending more time just sort of hanging around outside the concert area as well as in my hotel room. This meant missing some of the music, but after many years of going to festivals like this, I’ve pretty much figured out that there are certain bands that I just don’t personally care about seeing (which says nothing about the quality of their music). I should also mention that I didn’t actually take notes of songs performed (I have no idea why; I mean, I have Evernote), so forgive me if I forget to mention them in some cases. So, with all of that in mind, let’s get into the music! (Since I recorded whole sets of several artists, I’ve included the links to the playlists in appropriate places in the review. And here’s my YouTube channel with all of them on it. I’ve also posted a bunch of pictures on my Google+ page. I have no idea when / if I’ll get around to organize / captioning them, but at least they’re up!).
Friday started bright and early for me at 6:30 a.m. since I had to drive down to Orlando in order to be sure to catch Devo Spice. He put on a great set, as did his fellow FuMP artist, the great Luke Ski. Admittedly, I was pretty tired most of the day, but it didn’t stop me from checking out the other great acts. For example, I hadn’t seen Dr. Awkward since Nerdapalooza in 2010, and he’s only gotten better since then.
A couple of other sets of artists from Friday that I’d already seen included Sci-Fried and Professor Shyguy. Both were great as always, and they both invited guests on stage to perform with them. Sci-Fried performed their Avengers-based song from their last album, “Never Fall,” with Kyle Stevens of Kirby Krackle. They also played quite a few tracks from their newest album, Season V, which was actually released at Nerd Fest (and which I will be reviewing at some point in the future). Professor Shyguy brought up the Doubleclicks to perform with him, and they did a cover of the first They Might Be Giants song I ever heard, “Ana Ng.” So cool!
The Doubleclicks also played on Friday night, with Professor Shyguy (their set was actually before his) joining them on cat keyboard for “Love You Like a Burrito.” They were the first of a few artists I was really looking forward to seeing since I’d never seen them before. I’m so glad I finally did! I thoroughly enjoyed their show; I hope to get to see them again in the future.
Capping off the night was another band I had been looking forward to seeing, Steam Powered Giraffe. I knew that I was in for something special pretty much from the moment I arrived at Nerd Fest, well before the robots took the stage. There were tons of people (mostly young women) cosplaying with make-up similar to SPG. In fact, because I watched Professor Shyguy’s set on the other stage right before SPG came on, I had to watch from quite a way back (though not terribly far since everything was in a hotel conference hall). The crowd was absolutely nuts! Before the band came out, they played two of their videos and the crowd went wild. Yes, just for their videos. You can imagine what it was like when they took the stage. That said, it was well deserved. They really do put on a great show. It’s not just the music, it’s also the little skits in between. I wish I’d been able to get a bit closer to see better, but it was still a fun experience.