For a few hours on a Saturday night, I and many other geeks, nerds, and various weirdos (I say this with affection since I’m including myself among them, of course) got to experience a small taste of the old days when Nerdapalooza and Orlando Nerd Fest ruled the summers. Orlando Overdrive returned once again to the newly redesigned Geek Easy. This was my first one, and it really makes me wish I’d gone in the past!
Starting off the night was the dynamic O_Super. He got the crowd hyped up with his signature raps about video games and anime. I’ve seen O before, and this set was better than any I’ve seen. He’s just so cool and smooth. I realized, though, when I was reviewing the Twitch feed, that the spot I was sitting in made it a bit more difficult to hear the lyrics than I’d known at the time. Ah, well, it was still quite good. Next up was the group I was most looking forward to, Geekapella. As I mentioned in my preview, I’ve missed them at least twice in the past, and I was so glad to finally get a chance to see them. They did not disappoint. I’ll admit there were a couple of songs I didn’t know, but their vocals are spot on and amazing. I loved the new song, a parody of Flobots’ “Handlebars” possibly called “Fireballs” (as in, “I can beat the boss with no fireballs”), but I don’t think they mentioned a name. And they closed with an awesome cover of Rob Cantor’s “Shia Laboeuf.” Oh, and they also included a fantastic cover of the song “Paper Boats” from the soundtrack to Supergiant Games’ Transistor (which for some reason I didn’t raise my hand to say I’ve actually played when they asked).
Following a slightly shortened set by Geekapella (not sure why, but OK) was newcomer Ivy Hollivana. I like her voice, and the songs on her latest album, Kissings, have a strong positive message, so I’ll admit I was a little disappointed that she sang over a track that still had the vocals on it. She does, however, have a lot of energy on stage, and I think she’ll come into her own. I look forward to seeing what she does in the future. After Ivy came Mag.Lo. I hadn’t actually seen him live, although I did see a live video back before he came on the podcast (I think that might be how I discovered him, but it’s been long enough ago I’m not certain). “Machine” is probably my favorite track from his EP, Never, so I was especially excited to hear it live. Additionally, both O_Super and EyeQ separately joined him for tracks which was awesome. He closed out with one of his newest tracks, “Team,” which put him a bit over on time, but I’m pretty sure no one cared since it’s such a great song!
Following up was the artist that I’m pretty sure I can safely say that I’ve seen more times than any other, Marc with a C. In fact, I’m fairly confident I’ve seen the current trio version more than I’ve seen any other individual band. They were in fine form at the Overdrive, delivering mostly new songs with a couple of rather interesting surprises, opening with “DJ Danny Treanor” and closing with “Song Song” (immediately following the “Please Don’t Let My Art Die” / “Life’s So Hard” duo). I wasn’t particularly familiar with the next act, Under Polaris, though I did check out part of their performance at last year’s Overdrive. They play metal covers / adaptations of video game tracks. They’re quite entertaining to see live, although it’s not something I’ll necessarily listen to on my own since that’s not really my genre.
Finally for me was EyeQ. By this time the sets were running a little late (not bad, and completely understandable), so I was starting to fade a bit. He’s quite definitely one of my favorite performers in the geek music scene so I knew I had to at least stay for his set despite the fact that I needed to drive the two hours home later than I’d originally planned. Fortunately, EyeQ revved up the crowd with his positive vibe (Marc with a C introduced him as a “lifestyle-changing motivational speaker,” something I have to agree with). After his set, I was fully ready to drive home — in fact, his energy might even have carried over when I got home since I did have some trouble getting to sleep!
I did skip out on dj-Jo and Ben Briggs. I have nothing in particular against them; in fact, they both have some really good music. I’m just not the biggest fan of DJ sets. I like them when I see them (Ben Briggs does put on a great performance), but when the choice is between getting home at around 1 am and closer to 3… the choice is clear for me.
I also didn’t get a chance to check out any of the indie games since I was, obviously, mostly focused on the music. But I have to say that I was impressed with the visuals. Battle Gem Ponies, in particular, looked like a really fun one. I’ll definitely be checking it out in the future!
All in all, it was a really great night, and I’m looking forward to another one! Oh, and I should also mention that Kent Ward, the creator of Ongaku Overdrive who put on this event, announced that there will be an event on November 17th at The Abbey (which looks like a really cool venue!) to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Ocarina of Time. Of course I’ll be previewing that once I have more details.