Trying to summarize our adventure to Comic-Con – which was Harmonix’s first time on the floor and my first Community trip – is one of the most daunting things I’ve done to date at this job. In some ways, a string of words would almost work better: long lines, thick crowds, loud noises, super short skirts, scary monsters, cute monsters, achy legs, but most importantly: lots of fun.
We arrived in chilly San Diego Wednesday afternoon with just enough time to drop our things at our swanky Holiday Inn (over the river, through the woods, and five miles from the Convention center) before setting up the band for Preview Night. We kicked off the event with some Creedence Clearwater Revival, waited anxiously for about half an hour, and then didn’t get another break or moment of quiet for the rest of the convention.
A view from the stage
From there on out, the line was really never shorter than forty-five minutes, with some people waiting through it over and over again. We couldn’t even control the crowd with stanchions. Especially when a crowd pleaser rang out through our speakers, our stage literally stopped traffic. Lots of people had questions and got to check out the new Fender Mustang button guitar which we had in our little bubble of safety beside the stage. We had the new keyboard peripherals out for playing, and many brave souls searching for fame jammed out to The Cure, Whitesnake, The Doors, and crowd favorite Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Harmonies rang out, cell phones swayed back and forth in the air in time to the music, and some of the heavier songs saw mini mosh pits. The stage had all sorts of guest appearances, from Mario to the green Ugly Doll, and we had kids on up through grandparents rocking out together. A great time was had by all – even if we and the awesome guys at the booths on either side of us (Tokyo Toys and Medal of Honor; you guys were awesome neighbors!) did hear The Killers’ “Mr . Brightside” and Tenacious D’s “Tribute” over and over...and over again.
Mario plays Rock Band 3
Our panel on Saturday went great! The seats were packed, the song announcements for Rock Band 3 and Dance Central were met with enthusiasm, and everyone made it safely out with their copies of Green Day: Rock Band in hand. Lisa Roth did an amazing job demoing one of the new songs from Dance Central and then later that night worked Zachary Levi’s NERDParty with me, where I got to dance through Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” with none other than Danny DeVito! That made it totally worth the 20-hour work day and 4:15 am returning to my hotel.
Rock Band 3 Panel at Comic-Con
During the short breaks we would give ourselves on the floor to wander around, we got to meet some of the coolest designers, artists, and people in general from many of our favorite comics, cartoons, and movies. I found myself lingering around the Axe Cop and Earthworm Jim booth – has there ever been such a concentration of awesomeness? Besides, of course, you guys rocking out on our stage.
Already this is too long! Comic-Con refuses to be condensed! Well, after five days of non-stop rocking, of eating huge dinners and not much else except coffee and pretzels, of spending too much on Batman T-shirts and unique art, delirious with exhaustion we boarded our red-eye flight back to Boston. Alongside about 100 boy scouts (hope you guys are enjoying your trip to DC!)
To everyone who came out and chilled with us at the booth, thanks for helping make Comic-Con such a great experience for us! Hope you guys had as much fun as we did and we hope to see you all back next year, rehearsed and ready to rock out on all the Rock Band 3 songs.
For more costumed madness photos of Comic-Con 2010, check out the Official Harmonix Community Team Flickr album!